eCourts

North Carolina courts are transitioning from paper to digital. Find important news, FAQs, training opportunities, and more to assist you.

Continue reading below or use the links in the contents column to help you navigate to the information that interests you.

What Do I Need to Do to Prepare for eCourts?

 

What is eCourts?

eCourts is a package of new software applications and technology infrastructure improvements that will transition our court system from paper to digital. The major components include the following:

  • eFiling: web-based platform for electronic filing of documents
  • Odyssey: digital integrated case management system (ICMS)
  • Portal: public website access for viewing records and making payments
  • Guide & File: assists users in creating basic legal documents
  • File & Serve: assists users in filing and serving legal documents
  • Attorney Manager (DA): case management platform for District Attorneys
  • Attorney Manager (PD): case management platform for Public Defenders
  • eDiscovery: platform enabling District Attorneys to share digital evidence
  • eWarrants: electronic warrant repository
  • Brazos: electronic citation platform
  • CRAVE: courtroom audio visual enhancements
  • Financial Manager: financial management system for Clerks of Court
  • eCourtNet: infrastructure overhauls and security upgrades

Although many of these components have already been successfully implemented statewide, most users will primarily engage with eFiling, Portal, and Odyssey, which will be phased in over a two-year period after go-live which is set for late 2022 or early 2023.

Benefits

  • Provides 24/7 statewide service to all Judicial Branch employees, attorneys, and public users
  • Provides web-based access to court records and documents
  • Streamlines court administration
  • Provides greater case management ability
  • Enhances disaster recovery (fire and flooding)
  • Reduces paper forms
  • Increases access to justice and the courts
  • Facilitates remote testimony through increased audio/video capabilities
    • Out of town witnesses, experts, and other witnesses can testify virtually
    • Law enforcement can appear virtually for testimony or warrant applications
    • Victims of violence or abuse can testify virtually, reducing the trauma of being in the same room as their abuser
    • Inmates can appear virtually reducing travel and costs and safety concerns for sheriffs and corrections officials

eCourts Fact Sheet

eCourts Advisory Committee Meetings

eFiling

eFiling, also known as File & Serve, enables you to file documents electronically through a single, secure, centralized online location. It also allows you to:

  • Submit court documents online to the clerk's office in eCourts counties.
  • Pay filing fees that are automatically calculated for you when you submit filings.
  • Get a file-stamped copy upon the clerk’s acceptance.
  • Receive filing status updates via email.

Who will be required to use eFiling / File & Serve?

Attorneys and individuals in the four pilot counties (Harnett, Johnston, Lee, Wake) as well as those in other counties wishing to file cases in the four pilot counties will be required to do so via File & Serve. As additional counties launch Odyssey ICMS, attorneys and individuals wishing to file cases in those counties will be required to do so via File & Serve as well. View the Odyssey ICMS rollout schedule.

How do I register for eFiling / File & Serve?

Attorneys and individuals must register for an account to access File & Serve.

  • Firm Account: Firm Administrator
    The firm administrator will set up the firm account and invite the individual users (attorneys, paralegals, legal assistants, etc.) to set up their own accounts. From the landing page, the firm administrator can register for their firm account by creating their individual user account credentials and then adding the firm information. After registering, the firm administrator will receive an email to activate their account.
  • Firm Account: Individual Users
    Firm Account Users include:
    • All legal professionals including:
      • Solo practitioners
      • Attorneys, paralegals, and staff at firms with multiple filers

    Individual users in a firm will be invited to create an account within a firm by the firm administrator. Once the firm administrator has added them to the firm account, the user will receive an email to set up their credentials.

    Note: Attorneys may be required to enter an attorney number. If you do not have an attorney number from this state, register as an individual.

  • Individual Account Users
    Individual Users of File & Serve include:
    • Filers without lawyers (pro-se filers or self-represented litigants)
    • Process servers
    • Landlords and tenants (renters)
    • Pro hac vice or out-of-state attorneys
    • Other non-parties (for example, employers filing garnishment information)

    These users can register individually for their account here and scrolling down to ‘Register for an Individual Account.’ From there they will set up their account credentials and information. They must fill out all required fields. After submitting, they will receive an email with a link to activate their account.

Are eFiling / File & Serve training materials available?

What hardware and software are required for eFiling / File & Serve?

  • Browser Requirements - Chrome™, Mozilla® Firefox®, Microsoft® Edge®, or Safari®
  • Operating Systems - Microsoft® Windows®, Linux®, Chrome OS™ Android™, iOS, and OS X®
  • Recommended Hardware:
    • Intel® Core™ i3 or AMD A6 processors with at least a 2.0 GHz clock speed
    • 4 GB of RAM
    • 1920 x 1080 resolution of both desktop computers and mobile devices
  • High-speed Internet connection
  • Document Format - Adobe® PDF
  File & Serve logo

Portal

Portal allows the general public and registered users to access court information including:

  • Perform smart searches by party name, record number, citation number, attorney bar number, attorney name, business name, case cross-reference number, or nickname
  • Search for court dates and hearings by case number, party name, business name, attorney name, attorney bar number, judicial officer, or courtroom
  • View case information, records, and documents
  • Make instant online credit card transactions to pay fines and fees

When will Portal become available for use?

Portal access will mirror Odyssey ICMS go-live dates. Find more information regarding the Odyssey ICMS statewide rollout schedule.

Who can use Portal?

Anyone wishing to access court information online can use Portal, including the public.

How do I register for Portal?

Please see more information about Portal and how to register once it’s available. Registration for Portal is not required for anonymous users to search and view publicly available court information. The public may register if they plan to visit often and would like the ability to save cases to the ‘My Cases’ tab. Registration is required for Elevated Access. Only those users who have a verified business need and authority granted by statute will be approved for elevated access to access restricted case types or non-public information.

Are Portal training materials available?

  • Access the Portal User Guide, which provides information about Portal
  • Additional Portal training materials coming soon

What hardware and software are required for Portal?

  • Portal uses similar system requirements as eFiling / File & Serve
  • Browser Requirements - Chrome™, Mozilla® Firefox®, Microsoft® Edge®, or Safari®
  • Operating Systems - Microsoft® Windows®, Linux®, Chrome OS™ Android™, iOS, and OS X®
  • Recommended Hardware:
    • Intel® Core™ i3 or AMD A6 processors with at least a 2.0 GHz clock speed
    • 4 GB of RAM
    • 1920 x 1080 resolution of both desktop computers and mobile devices
  • High-speed Internet connection
  • Document Format - Adobe® PDF
  Portal logo

Odyssey

Upgrading from 40+ Applications to an Integrated Case Management System

Upgrading from 40+ applications into an ICMS wheel graphic

FROM in-house, NCAOC-built, multiple case management / index systems housed on mainframes TO vendor-provided and hosted integrated case management system hosted in the cloud with eFiling for all case types.

24/7 Electronic Access Benefits All North Carolinians

  • Provides 24/7 statewide service to judges, magistrates, district attorneys, clerks, law enforcement, attorneys, and the public — across rural and urban areas
  • Small business owners (after-hours access)
  • Law enforcement officers (remote appearances)
  • Rural North Carolinians (reduced travel to courthouses)
  • Victims of domestic violence (reduces the emotional trauma of in-person appearance)
  • Sheriffs and corrections officers (inmates appearing virtually reduces security risks and transportation costs)
  • Families (remote appearances for children and guardians ad litem in custody disputes)
  • Doctors and expert witnesses (remote appearances means less time waiting in court and cost reduction)
  • Attorneys (increased availability of records and ease of case management)
  • Judicial officials (swifter administration of justice)
     

Tyler Technologies Odyssey logo

 
Tyler Technologies’ Odyssey suite will replace older legacy systems and integrate all of these products into one total case management solution including eFiling, financial management, and document management for all case types. This new system will bring higher efficiencies to the justice system, electronic access to information, reduce manual processes and reliance on paper, and increase collaboration among court officials, lawyers, and law enforcement officers. Odyssey’s specific products include the following:

Odyssey NavigatorOdyssey Case Manager™

  • Track all aspects of court administration, from eFiling through disposition, and manage highly sensitive data about court cases.
  • Use streamlined electronic processes and eliminate paper handling.

Odyssey Attorney Manager™

  • Manage caseloads and track critical data.
  • Aids both prosecuting attorney and public defender offices by organizing and maintaining case data for hearing and trial preparation.
  • Review, gather, and track essential information for both criminal and non-criminal case types by using case statuses, witnesses, victims, evidence, statistics, and related case information.

Odyssey Financial Manager

  • Manages the entire transaction audit trail — from account management to financial transactions and check processing — without having to rely on a third-party financial application.
  • Users can verify payment forms, produce a summary of financial activity, and much more.

Odyssey eSolutionsOdyssey File & Serve™ (eFiling)

  • Enables you to file documents electronically through a single, secure, centralized online location.

Guide & File

  • Launched statewide August 2020, the free online service available to help self-represented litigants and attorneys to prepare court documents online to file for certain case types.
Portal
  • Allows the general public and registered users to access court information including: view case information, records, and documents; and make instant online credit card transactions to pay fines and fees.

Odyssey In-Courtroom ProcessingOdyssey Judge Edition and Odyssey Clerk Edition

  • Provide in-courtroom processing to support electronic court record management workflow and high-speed data entry.
  • Include judicial workbench for access to electronic court records by justices and judges.

Older Computer Applications Will Not be Updated

The new case management system will replace older systems such as ACIS, VCAP, CCIS-CC, CCIS-DA, and CCIS-PD. To support this new work, NCAOC is realigning its resources so that older systems can be maintained until they are retired, the infrastructure can be redesigned and updated to support the new technology, and the new system can be configured and launched statewide. Because older legacy systems are being replaced, NCAOC has suspended all enhancements to these old systems.

Note: It is important to be aware that users will no longer be able to use legacy systems (for example, ACIS, VCAP, CCIS-CC, CCIS-DA, CCIS-PD, JWISE, CASEWISE) for inquiry into the pilot counties (Harnett, Johnston, Lee, Wake) once they go live on Odyssey. You will instead use Odyssey for inquiry (i.e., lookup) of cases in counties who have switched to Odyssey.

Odyssey Counties

There are currently no counties live with Odyssey.

Track Counties Target Go-Live Date
Track 1 - Pilot Harnett, Johnston, Lee, Wake TBD - MEMORANDUM :: eCourts Launch Delay
Track 2 Mecklenburg 60-90 days after Track 1

 

Pilot Counties

Find materials from recent eCourts pilot county town hall meetings. 

Timeline

Odyssey Rollout Plan Map

Odyssey is scheduled to roll out in tracks over a two to three year period. Track 1 consists of the pilot counties: Harnett, Johnston, Lee, and Wake. Pilot go-live is expected in early 2023. Track 2, Mecklenburg, is expected to go live 60-90 days after Track 1. Additional tracks are expected to come online every 60-90 days thereafter until all 100 counties are live.

Odyssey Rollout Plan Map

Projected Rollout Schedule

Product Rollout Location Projected Go-Live Date

Odyssey Integrated Case
Management System (ICMS)

(In each track, all components
of the ICMS will be released
simultaneously and include
efilings for all case types.)

Track 1 - Pilot Counties

  • Harnett, Johnston, Lee, Wake
TBD - MEMORANDUM :: eCourts Launch Delay

Track 2

  • Mecklenburg County
60-90 days after Track 1

Subsequent Tracks

  • Additional tracks are expected to come online every 60-90 days thereafter until all 100 counties are live.
2023 - mid 2024

 

There are several features of the rollout plan:

  • Counties will have appropriate technology equipment installed before their go-live date
  • All counties in a district rollout at the same time
  • Avoiding coastal areas during peak hurricane season
  • Avoiding mountains during winter
  • Providing ranges for go-live dates while retaining some scheduling flexibility
  • Counties will receive their target go-live date and will begin preparations before their track rollout

It is important to be aware that user will no longer be able to use legacy systems (for example, ACIS, VCAP, CCIS-CC, CCIS-DA, CCIS-PD, JWISE, CASEWISE) for inquiry into the pilot counties (Harnett, Johnston, Lee, Wake) once they go live on Odyssey. You will instead use Odyssey for inquiry (i.e., lookup) of cases in counties who have switched to Odyssey. Note that the plan for Odyssey does not change the ongoing rollout activities for Brazos (eCitation replacement) or eWarrants (NCAWARE replacement). 
 

eCourts Initiative Primary Audience Target Go-Live Date
Guide & File Self-represented litigants, public, and attorneys Launched August 31, 2020
Brazos (Tyler eCitation Solution) Pilot Law Enforcement Agencies (5) Launched December 7 – 9, 2020
Statewide – remaining eCitation law enforcement agencies Launched January 18 – April 30, 2021
(Agencies were sequenced and scheduled for rollout)
NCAWARE Replacement
(Tyler eWarrants / Odyssey for Magistrates)
Statewide (Magistrates, Clerks, Law Enforcement) Launched
July 17, 2022 - conversion started
July 22, 2022 - went live
Odyssey (ICMS) Pilot Harnett, Johnston, Lee, and Wake Counties TBD - MEMORANDUM :: eCourts Launch Delay

Brazos (eCitation Replacement)

  • The eCitation cutoff / Brazos go-live was April 30, 2021.
  • Brazos is Here! New eCourts eCitation Replacement System Launching in Five Pilot North Carolina Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Statewide replacement of North Carolina’s current electronic citation system, eCITATION.
  • Electronic citation solution for the court system and law enforcement agencies that provides citation information immediately available to court users statewide.
  • Provides additional advantages, integrates, and improves efficiencies with the integrated case management system (ICMS).
  Brazos logo

CRAVE (Courtroom Audio Visual Experience) Project

The Judicial Branch has launched the CRAVE (Courtroom Audio Visual Experience) Project to further enhance the capability to safely and securely hold remote court proceedings. The immersive courtroom audio video infrastructure inside the courtroom includes numerous cameras, microphones, and monitors.

eCourtNet - Infrastructure Improvement Project

eCourtNet, the infrastructure improvement project piloted in counties during fourth quarter of 2020, will continue throughout the state in 2021. These upgrades serve as the foundation for the new Integrated Case Management System (ICMS) implementation and support other applications and tools that will be offered to all Judicial Branch staff.

Embracing the eCourts vision to expand access to justice, additional technology initiatives underway within the Judicial Branch are providing the building blocks for future technologies necessary to modernize the courts. This includes:

  • Court facility ICMS infrastructure
  • Court facility wireless expansion
  • Courtroom audio / visual enhancements
  • Electronic faxing
  • Identity & access management
  • Network infrastructure upgrades
  • Security expansion
  • and more

eWarrants & Odyssey for Magistrates (NCAWARE Replacement)

  • Statewide replacement of current electronic warrant system, North Carolina Statewide Warrant Repository (NCAWARE).
  • Maintains detailed information about criminal processes, such as warrants, magistrate orders, citations that lead to an arrest, criminal summonses, orders for arrest, release orders, and appearance bonds.
  • Data conversion started July 17, 2022, and goes to inquiry-only mode.
  • eWarrants went live July 22, 2022.
  eWarrants logo

Guide & File

  • Launched statewide in all counties August 2020, Guide & File is a free online service available to help self-represented litigants and attorneys to prepare court documents online to file for certain case types. Working much like popular tax preparation software, this online tool guides users through a series of questions (an interview) to generate court forms that are ready to be printed and then mailed to or filed at the courthouse as they do currently. It is the first service to launch through Tyler Technologies improving access to courts and is available 24/7 at NCcourts.gov/Services.
  • eCourts Guide & File Fact Sheet
  • Guide & File FAQs, Support, and How-To Basics 
  • In the future as a county goes live with Odyssey (ICMS), users will be able to file these forms electronically.

Find more details or start a filing

  Guide & File logo