Jefferson County approves court system fee

Commissioners hold meeting with one in Europe

PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson County commissioners approved a fee schedule for access to the court’s Odyssey Case Management System.

County Clerk Ruth Gordon said that in 2017, Jefferson County transitioned from an old case management system to a new one used throughout Washington state by most jurisdictions. Odyssey is web-based application featuring a web portal that the public and attorneys can access to view case information.

Those who register can see confidential information, financials, a summary of parties involved in the case, filed protection orders, warrants and schedules, if they are a party of record in a case.

Gordon said this case management system requires record keeping, data entry and ongoing customer support on the part of the clerk’s staff. The ordinance establishes user fees to help defray administrative costs.

Gordon suggested a like-fee comparable to the passport application fee, of $25, to register.

She said that most attorneys are already registered in other counties, so there was no need to register in Jefferson County. She said the value is for those who represent themselves and want access confidential information outside the courthouse.

After some clarifying discussion, the ordinance was approved by commissioners David Sullivan and Kate Dean, with minor edits as suggested by the Gordon.

Dean participated by phone from Europe.

Commissioner Kathleen Kler was absent because of illness Dean called in on Skype at 10 a.m. to participate.

The board had no quorum to conduct business for the first hour of the meeting.

Commissioner David Sullivan said this was the first time in his tenure that he has been on the dais by himself.

The public comment section of the meeting was held, with several people making announcements and raising concerns. It was extended beyond the usual 9:30 a.m. time to accommodate those wishing to make remarks.

“At this point, this is not a meeting of the county commissioners,” said Philip Morley, county administrator, as public comment was heard.

“It is a meeting with Commissioner Sullivan and I, and we are trying to record it for purposes of later review. This comment portion is not part of the board of county commissioners meeting.”

Executive sessions regarding actual litigation and potential litigation were rescheduled until July 9.

The two commissioners also heard discussion about state Department of Natural Resources’s grant application for Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program funding to acquire private and public properties in the Dabob Bay Natural Area.

The main discussion centered around the public acquisition of private properties’ impact on assessed valuations subject to property tax.

Because this action takes place in Kler’s district, it was recommended to postpone the discussion until July 9 so she could attend. Dean is expected back on Friday.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-3225 or at [email protected]

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