Information Technology Advisory Committee Library

This is the Information Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC) library. Here you will find the Strategic and Tactical Plans for Technology, reports submitted to ITAC from its workstreams and subcommittees; reports and resources on technology-related initiatives; and other resources that fall under ITAC’s subject matter area.

Strategic Plan for Technology
Every four years, the judicial branch Strategic Plan for Technology is updated by analyzing the previous judicial branch technology goals, business drivers, and objectives, as well as by evaluating the benefits and outcomes. Updates are prepared by a branchwide workstream, recommended by the Technology Committee, and approved by the Judicial Council. The plan provides a comprehensive and cohesive technology strategy, with clear, measurable goals and objectives at the branch level. The current plan was approved at the December 2, 2022 Judicial Council meeting. 

December 2022: Judicial Council Report; Presentation

Tactical Plan for Technology
Every two years, the judicial branch Tactical Plan for Technology is developed by reviewing the Strategic Plan for Technology to ensure alignment with branchwide goals, evaluating the status of existing initiatives, and considering new initiatives. Updates are prepared by a branchwide workstream, recommended by the Technology Committee, and approved by the Judicial Council. Guided by the technology strategic plan, the tactical plan describes the focused efforts on technology solutions that further the administration of justice and meet the needs of the people of the pubic. The current plan was approved at the July 21, 2023 Judicial Council meeting.

July 2023: Judicial Council Report; Presentation; Video

Other guiding governance documentation: 

During the pandemic, the Information Technology Advisory Committee convened the Advancing the Hybrid Courtroom Workstream to study how courts ensured successful remote proceedings, to make recommendations regarding best practices for technology and equipment, and to assist with development of a request for proposal consistent with their findings and recommendations. The workstream issued the Report of the Advancing the Hybrid Courtroom Workstream: Findings and Recommendations, which summarizes its work and sets forth a framework for courtrooms that are optimized for proceedings involving any number of physical or remote participants. The report was approved by the Judicial Council at its November 17, 2023 meeting.

November 2023: Judicial Council Report; Presentation

At the November 17, 2023 meeting, the Chief Justice directed the Information Technology Advisory Committee develop minimum standards for courtroom technology to comply with SB 133 deadline of April 1, 2024, requiring the Judicial Council to adopt minimum standards for courtroom technology necessary to enable participants to participate remotely in court proceedings. 

When drafting the proposed standards, ITAC drew from the work of the Advancing the Hybrid Courtroom Workstream and solicited the workstream’s feedback. The committee also solicited feedback from the Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee, the Court Executives Advisory Committee, and the Judicial Council’s Facilities Services office, and circulated the proposal for public comment.

At the March 15, 2023 Judicial Council meeting, the Council approved these minimum standards for courtroom technology to permit remote participation in court proceedings (Sen. Bill 133). 

Judicial Council Report
Minimum Standards for Courtroom Technology to Permit Remote Participation in Court Proceedings  

For related work prior to this, see the Video Remote Technology section below.

The Information Technology Advisory Committee’s Data Analytics Workstream final report on Data and Information Governance Policy Concepts was approved by the Judicial Council at its May 21, 2021, meeting. This report is the final work product of the workstream, which was charged with recommending a data analytics strategy for the branch that included developing branchwide data and information governance policy recommendations. The policy concepts laid a foundation for future policy development and helped execute a new vision for data analytics in the judicial branch: to analyze, use, and share data to inform decision-making in order to enhance and expand vital and accessible services for all the people of California. 

May 2021: Judicial Council Report; Presentation; Video

2023 Status Update
In 2022, following the acceptance of this report, a Data Analytics Advisory Committee was formed to develop and recommend policies on the collection, use, analysis, and sharing of judicial branch data and information resources. The committee’s page is updated regularly and provides information on updates to branch strategies.

The Data Exchange Workstream was established to develop standardized approaches to case management system (CMS) interfaces and data exchanges with critical state justice partners. On May 8, 2017, the Judicial Council Technology Committee approved the workstream’s final report and recommendations, including the establishment of a continuing Data Exchange Working Group.

May 2017: Technology Committee Report; Presentation (p.18-30) 

Following the acceptance of the report, ITAC received annual updates on the governance working group’s activities:

2023 Status Update
Additional updates from staff:

  • In December 2022, the Judicial Council worked with the California Department of Social Services and the Office of Systems Integration (OSI) to develop and distribute a survey to learn how county agencies and local courts are filing their Juvenile Dependency documents and to assess the impact on the interface specification. This survey also helped inform service design and product development activities supporting the upcoming CWS-CARES (Child Welfare Services–California Automated Response and Engagement System). 
  • In April 2023, work was done with the Department of Justice to update how information was exchanged with the California Courts Protective Order Registry. 

Disaster Recovery (DR) Framework Guide and Toolkit 
At its March 2, 2018 meeting, the Judicial Council approved—effective immediately—a Disaster Recovery Framework Guide to help any judicial branch entity with the various processes necessary to plan and implement a disaster recovery strategy. Additionally, the council supported the initiation of a pilot program to test the framework and adopted the following tools for use by the courts:

March 2018: Judicial Council Report; Presentation

Disaster Recovery to Cloud Roadmap
ITAC formed the Disaster Recovery Phase II workstream to leverage the Court Innovation Grant awarded to the Superior Court of Monterey County to pilot the Disaster Recovery Framework Guide and Toolkit and modernize the approach to implementing disaster recovery using cloud-based technologies. 

The Phase II Workstream completed its objectives with the approval of the Disaster Recovery to Cloud (DR2C) Roadmap by the Technology Committee on April 12, 2021. The DR2C Roadmap validates, builds, and expands on some of the concepts and technologies documented in the Disaster Recovery Framework. It is intended to serve as a reference for courts interested in establishing a new disaster recovery program or in refreshing their existing program using emerging technologies, including cloud-based solutions.

April 2021: Technology Committee Report (beginning on p. 280)

2023 Status Update
These projects were completed in 2018 and 2021. As of 2023, the framework and materials are still relevant and applicable for courts.

During its June 24, 2016 meeting, the Judicial Council approved technical information exchange standards for e-filing and directed ITAC to develop a plan for implementation of these standards.

June 2016: Judicial Council Report; Presentation

2023 Status Update
The Information Technology Advisory Committee’s Statewide E-Filing Program Review and Evaluation Workstream presented a report on the final findings and recommendations (beginning on p. 4) to the Technology Committee at its March 13, 2023 meeting.

Work continues under the JTI Master agreement to onboard courts with E-Filing. The Master Agreement will expire December 31,2023. Efforts are underway to extend the contract.

The Electronic Evidence Workstream was charged with considering existing pilots and court practices along with available technology pertaining to the use of electronic evidence; propose changes to rules and statutes related to electronic evidence; and develop a framework for successful possible future pilots. The workstream presented its findings and recommendations to ITAC on March 7, 2024, and to the Judicial Council Technology Committee on March 11, 2024.
March 2024: Final Findings and Recommendations Report; Presentation

The judicial branch has been implementing digitally driven processes and enabling information sharing to meet increasing expectations and a growing reliance on digital access to court information. Acknowledging these important changes, ITAC initiated the Identity and Access Management Workstream to explore and make recommendations related to providing and safeguarding access to court information. At its January 20, 2022, meeting, the Judicial Council approved the workstream’s three recommendations, all of which support the overarching goal to increase access to justice. The recommendations outline a common framework for courts that participate to provide a uniform way for the public, attorneys, court partners, and others to access online court information and services across California.
January 2022: Judicial Council Report

2023 Status Update
Since the Judicial Council approved the recommendations,

  1. Work to establish ongoing governance process and procedures for policy and technology decisions is underway; 
  2. Efforts to enable and deploy enhanced features such as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) continue; and
  3. A Branchwide Identity Management Program is being built. 

The Information Systems Controls Framework: “How to use” Guide and Checklist were prepared by the ITAC Information Security Framework Workstream and approved by both ITAC and the Technology Committee. The Judicial Council approved these documents on October 8, 2015.

October 2015: Judicial Council Report

2023 Status Update
The Information Security/Systems Controls Framework is still applicable. Please contact if you have any questions.

Additionally, in 2023, ITAC and the Court Executives Advisory Committee launched a standing Joint Information Security Governance Subcommittee charged with reviewing and providing feedback on security-related recommendations made by the Office of Information Security and other entities. Meetings relative to that body are noted on ITAC’s meetings page.

In 2017, Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye directed ITAC to explore and make recommendations related to the use of intelligent chat technology to facilitate informational and self-help services for the public. The ITAC Intelligent Chat Workstream: Findings and Recommendations Report (beginning on p. 11) was submitted to the Judicial Council at its November 13, 2020 meeting providing the comprehensive business case for the use of chatbots – where a person would interact with an automated system on a website to ask questions and receive information, for informational and self-help services. The report provides background research on the current state of chat technology, outlines key findings and deliverables, and sets forth recommendations for the use of intelligent chat to benefit court customers.

November 2020: Judicial Council Report; Presentation; Video


2023 Status Update
Based on the Intelligent Chat workstream report recommendations, the Virtual Customer Service Center pilot program was initiated in January 2020. The chatbot is now available on certain portions of the judicial branch self-help website, allowing users to get quick, automated, and conversational answers to their questions. All chats are initiated with the chatbot and are then transferred to an available live chat expert if the question is too complex to be answered by automated services. This saves website visitors time and improves their overall experience.

The chatbot is currently available for eight case types, including: Name Change, Small Claims, Eviction, Family Law, Fee Waiver, Guardianship, Traffic, and Ability to Pay. From March 2021 – November 2023, nearly 200,000 chats have been initiated, with 218,000 questions asked. Almost 10,000 users have been assisted and the chatbot was able to answer 79% of their questions.

The Intelligent Forms Workstream was charged with investigating options for modernizing the electronic format and delivery of Judicial Council forms. The workstream presented its final recommendations  to ITAC on April 30, 2018, and to the Judicial Council Technology Committee on May 23, 2018.

2023 Status Update
Since the workstream’s recommendations, stakeholders have had exploratory discussions on next steps at a branchwide scale. However, at present, there is no additional information regarding specific workgroups or activities.

The IT Community Development Workstream was charged with making recommendations around ways to optimize court technical staff resources through resource sharing, promote professional development through education, and increase collaboration through technology tools usage. The workstream concluded its efforts and its IT Community Development Workstream: Findings & Recommendations report was approved by ITAC on April 20, 2020, and by the Technology Committee on May 11, 2020. The workstream focused on the people side of technology advancement and adoption for the judicial branch. This includes leveraging technical staff resources to implement and support technology; what staff and judges need to know in order to use new technology; and how collaboration tools can be used to share experiences and promote innovation.

May 2020: Technology Committee Report (beginning on p.104)

2023 Status Update
IT leaders of the California courts continue to meet regularly to exchange information and collaborate on branchwide solutions, consortium projects, and local court initiatives that could be implemented or used by others to improve access to justice through the use of technology

At its March 2, 2018 meeting, the Judicial Council approved—effective immediately—a Next-Generation Hosting Framework Guide and associated tools, to provide guidance to court leadership in planning their transitions to next-generation hosting solutions. Additionally, the following tools accompany the guide to assist courts in their transitions:

March 2018: Judicial Council Report; Presentation

2023 Status Update
This project was completed in 2018, and the framework and guidelines are still relevant and applicable.

The Online Dispute Resolution Workstream was tasked by the Judicial Council’s Information Technology Advisory Committee with developing a roadmap for courts interested in pursuing online dispute resolution (ODR). Specifically, the workstream’s focus was on:

  • providing a summary of the ODR landscape;
  • summarizing the outcomes of court-offered ODR programs;
  • defining practice areas and potential applications for ODR in the judicial branch;
  • developing guiding principles and key considerations when making plans for ODR; and
  • listing rules and statutes that may need to be amended or drafted.

The Online Dispute Resolution: Findings & Recommendations final report - accepted by the Technology Committee in 2021 - provides the workstream’s analysis of the current state of ODR as used in courts across the United States and makes recommendations that would facilitate continued efforts.

June 2021: Technology Committee Report (beginning on p. 8)

Following a VRI pilot conducted in 2018 in Merced, Sacramento and Ventura Superior Courts, the Judicial Council on March 15, 2019, approved updated Language Access Plan guidelines for video remote interpreting (VRI) that include recommended minimum technology guidelines to facilitate its use. The council also voted to create a new VRI program for the judicial branch to expand LEP court user access to qualified interpreters.

March 2019: Judicial Council Report; Presentation

In May 2021, the Judicial Council approved the Recommended Guidelines and Minimum Specifications for Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) for Spoken Language-Interpreted Events (VRI Guidelines), which have been updated to support VRI in both physical and virtual courtrooms and to provide guidance to courts and the public to ensure that remote interpreting allows limited English proficient court users to fully and meaningfully participate in court proceedings.

May 2021: Judicial Council Report

In 2017, Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye directed ITAC to “consider, for presentation to the Judicial Council, the feasibility of and resource requirements for developing and implementing a pilot project to allow remote appearances by parties, counsel, and witnesses for most noncriminal court proceedings.” The workstream presented its final report  to the Judicial Council on September 25, 2020; the report includes a Key Considerations Guide for Early Adopters of Video Appearances in California Courts (beginning on p. 41), which provides a summary of key questions a court should use as a guide when allowing video appearances.

September 2020: Judicial Council Report; Presentation; Video

Prior research:
Survey & Findings: Video Remote Technology in California Courts (December 2014)
This survey on courtroom use of Video Remote Technology (VRT) was conducted by the committee’s Projects Subcommittee to ascertain the extent to which VRT has actually been used, or is currently being used, by California judicial officers.

The Voice-to-Text Language Services Outside the Courtroom Workstream was tasked with exploring available technologies to assist limited-English-proficient (LEP) customers at service counters and in self-help centers. The workstream’s efforts were informed by recommendations of the Commission on the Future of California’s Court System that the judicial branch pilot technology solutions to allow “two individuals who speak different languages to converse without the assistance of an interpreter.” The Voice-to-Text Language Services Outside the Courtroom Workstream Final Report was approved at the January 22, 2021 Judicial Council meeting.

January 2021: Judicial Council Report; Presentation; Video

2023 Status Update
Based on the workstream’s report, the Voice-to-Text Translation program was initiated in January 2020. A “CA Courts Translator app” was built to provide real-time voice-to-text transcription and translation in approximately 130 different languages and dialects for users with limited English proficiency. There are currently 31 courts participating in this program, and it is designed for use outside the courtroom at counters, clerk's windows, and self-help centers.

From July 2021 through November 2023, nearly 6,000 conversations were conducted and 77,000 messages were exchanged. The top used languages included Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, and Hindi.