From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 14, 2005
Mountains of paperwork in the St. Clair County courts have been swept away.
The system has switched gradually over the past two years to electronic record keeping for all traffic and misdemeanor cases.
Chief Circuit Judge Jan V. Fiss said St. Clair was the first county in Illinois to make the switch under a pilot project approved by the Illinois Supreme Court.
Included as well are all ordinance violations, drunken driving cases and conservation cases such as hunting and fishing violations.
Electronic imaging is also used for felony cases, but it is not yet the official record for that division. Nor has it spread to civil cases.
Fiss said the change had already helped everyone from circuit judges down to police officers on the street. But the biggest fans seem to be the court clerks.
No longer do they spend hours each day searching for documents, filing documents and refiling documents. In the past, courtrooms sometimes came to a standstill while a search was conducted.
Circuit clerk supervisor Debbie DeRousse said the biggest advantage of electronic imaging can be summed up in a single word -- access.
"It's at our fingertips," she said.
The sheer volume of cases in St. Clair County gives some idea how important that is.