Government

Legal Practice Sets the Bar for the State

Gone are the stacks of legal papers that used to be printed and carried around by the County’s Child Support Services attorneys for each child support case. These days, the attorneys use a paperless system that’s saving time and money and is about to become the model for all other counties in the state.

The California State Department of Child Support Services recently honored the County of San Diego Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) with an Innovation Award for its Legal Paperless System and plans to replicate the program throughout the state. San Diego is the first child support paperless application in California that integrates department systems as well as outside agency calendar systems. 

“The Legal Paperless System is another example of the County being a leader through innovation,” said Jeff Grissom, DCSS director. “Other counties throughout the state will soon be using the system and reaping the benefits of the efficiencies it will bring to them.

“I am also very proud of the teamwork that went into the development and launch of the Legal Paperless System,” Grissom said. “The system was developed and launched within a short period of time which was a testament to the engagement and commitment that our staff has in constantly improving the services we provide to our customers.”

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The complicated legal workflow that traditionally relied heavily on paper and spanned disparate, multi-agency systems was reworked to be almost completely paperless. DCSS eliminated the need for paper legal files used in approximately 17,000 court hearings per year. Since being introduced in January 2013, nearly 98 percent of San Diego DCSS case files are paperless.

The system was created to reduce the costs associated with generating paper files, while also increasing the efficiency of child support staff involved in the court hearing process. The system uses graphics to enable attorneys to rapidly navigate the case on both a traditional desktop PC and mobile devices. 

Melissa Phy is a multimedia designer with the County of San Diego Communications Office.