E-mails received will include notification that a document has been filed, signed by a judge and processed by the clerks' system. Currently, his office files a Trial Information, which the judge signs and is then handed to the clerk. Under EDMS, the file will have to be uploaded to the system, a judge will electronically sign the document and the file will go back to the clerk who will docket the document.
The lack of personal interaction with the clerks in Marion County is something Bull said he would also miss. He has only high praise for the clerks as people and the quality of their work. Bull was adamant that the public understand the change is not their fault and hopes the public will not blame the clerks.
"It's sad to think the interaction with the clerk's office, who are exceptionally nice people and a benefit of working in Marion County, is going to go away," Bull said.
All of the electronic filing may have an impact on Marion County's information technology system. He is concerned that the County may have to invest in redundancy programs. Under EDMS, the County's e-mail system can never be down. Power outages could be "catastrophic," Bull added.
"I'm trying to be very optimistic and go in with an open mind," Bull said. "I hope when we are fully transitioned, I'm able to say, 'This was a great idea.'" He went on to say he hopes that EDMS will improve efficiency and allow for a better court system in Iowa, but, "The early returns don't look that positive."