Case Management Case Study

See How this Public Defender's Office Improved Document Control and Indexing


The Office of the Public Defender of the 13th Judicial Circuit is responsible for providing criminal defense services for indigents in Tampa-Hillsborough County, Florida. Almost 90% of all criminal cases in the circuit are handled by the Public Defender's Office. With no control over the number of cases handled, the Office must operate as efficiently as possible. This requires maintaining large volumes of case files on-site.


The Public Defender's Office handles over 4,500 new cases per month. This translates to over 2 million pieces of paper per year that must be stored and available for retrieval for up to 5 years before being archived. In addition, the office generates all of the personnel, administration files and fiscal documents required to operate a 200-person law firm. With over 10,000 square feet dedicated to filing, storage space was rapidly becoming an issue. With an ever-increasing case load, implementing an effective case management system was essential.

Document Management Solution

DocuVantage® provided a Document and Content Management Solution that is flexible and scalable, with the ability to handle over 200 users and 2.5 million documents per year. Scanners were put in place to capture the paper documents in electronic format, then indexed and stored electronically. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is performed on the images to allow for simple document indexing and document control.

 Old Process

When a new case arrives, a folder is created to hold all of the documents related to that case. This file can easily contain hundreds of pages. The staff member File Storage  Document Managementhandling the case maintains the file until the case is closed. The file is then transferred to the file room. When someone needs to refer to the file, they must request it. This process is time-consuming and can result in delays and misplaced files.

Personnel and fiscal documents are also handled in paper form resulting in processing delays and file sharing issues.

 New Process

Our case management system ensures all personnel files are scanned, indexed, and stored electronically to allow for easy access by authorized users. Fiscal documents are also scanned and stored electronically with the additional functionality of OCR and Full Text Indexing. This allows for searching within the content of the documents for information that is not contained in the attribute fields.