Dorothy Brown Finally Embraces the 21st Century - NBC Chicago
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Dorothy Brown Finally Embraces the 21st Century



    Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown must be listening to her opponent’s charges that she’s a pen-and-quill fuddy-duddy who’s office is stuck in the Age of Paper.

    “Lawyers most of all call to complain: “How come we can’t have electronic filing? How come when a case goes to appeal, a lot of the time, they’re missing files?” Ald. Ricardo Munoz told Chicago magazine’s Carol Felsenthal in November. “This is the last corner of corruption; this is the last corner of antiquated, bureaucratic system that [Brown] just hasn’t brought into this century. She hasn’t tried any of the IT solutions that every other county in the state is using.”

    Just in time for the primary, Brown’s campaign has issued two press releases suggesting she has finally gone electronic. First, Brown praises the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision to allow cameras in courtrooms, calling it, “a major step toward [my] 21st century vision.

    “I am thrilled that we are moving towards the real time access to the court for the public and media,” Brown said. “This pilot being initiated by Justice Thomas Kilbride, and the Illinois Supreme Court allows for true transparency, and equal and fair justice for all citizens using the court system.”

    Brown says the cameras “dovetail” with digitization of court documents underway in her office, which will allow the public to access information on public access terminals, rather then paper.  

    “We currently have many documents digitized for viewing that are accessible through the public access terminals located in the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office,” said Brown.

    The clerk’s office has also instituted an electronic filing pilot program in the Commercial Litigation section of the Law Division.

    Brown was elected to her office in 2000, so she’s had the entire 21st Century to bring her office into the 21st Century. Better late than never. And no better time to brag about it than now.

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