Use of the Electronic Application for Criminal Complaints (EACC) has grown rapidly from its original 2014 pilot at the Dudley District Court to 30 District Courts across the Commonwealth, and will expand to all 62 divisions by year-end. All eight divisions of the Boston Municipal Court (BMC) work with the Boston Police Department, which piloted EACC in 2015.
Westborough District Court Acting Clerk-Magistrate Kenneth Candito, whose court in Dudley was the first to pilot EACC for the District Court Department, says that the new system saves his staff considerable time, especially at the start of the data entry process. He observed that there have been some challenges related to police departments’ ability to update or add information to a case – something he feels can be fixed over time, with more training and system updates.
“EACC is new to all of us,” says Clerk Candito. “There’s always a learning curve involved with adapting to new technologies and changes. We've been a part of the process from the start, in order to ensure that best processes are defined up front. If we can help our employees by making their jobs easier, I’m all for it in the long run.”
For Natick / Framingham District Court Clerk-Magistrate Brian Kearney, consistent up-front training of court staff is key to EACC’s success. He has been working with Clerk Candito, Case Manager Joseph Jackson and others to create a standard operating procedure to smooth out any issues. Clerk Kearney’s team has helped train District Courts in Haverhill, Concord, Newton, and Waltham. “We are available to help other courts have a better understanding of how EACC works,” he says.
“I understand why people can get frustrated with the new system,” says Clerk Kearney. “EACC is not business as usual – it’s a big change. But, EACC saves staff time with the initial data entry process for a case.”
Joseph Jackson, Case Manager and EACC pilot lead, says: "EACC eliminates the need for data entry in the Clerks Office. It is an important building block in the transition to the e-Courtroom."
As part of the EACC pilot, the team, led by Mr. Jackson, tested how long it took to enter cases manually compared to the EACC process at nine district court divisions. They found that cases initiated with EACC consistently took one-third less time to create in MassCourts than the manually entered ones.
Mr. Jackson says that the testing process confirmed that in the long run, Clerks Office staff will save considerable time using EACC, especially since the system also creates a case record in MassCourts that includes all the identifying information on a defendant as well as the charges listed by the police. In the meantime, the team plans to achieve its statewide goal for all District Court divisions to go live with EACC by January 1, 2018. Watch this space for updates as the end-of-year deadline approaches.
What’s EACC? EACC is an electronic data exchange that enables law enforcement agencies to transmit applications for criminal complaints, with accompanying attachments, to the Trial Court, and receive electronic information back as to the results of submission. EACC also creates a reliable and immediate link using the Offense Based Tracking Number (OBTN) between an arrest and any pending criminal cases that may result in a finding of probable cause.
EACC: by the numbers. Since January 2017, over 13,000 EACC cases were entered by 64 police departments in the District Court and Boston Municipal Court Departments. Thirty District Courts and all of the BMC's 8 divisions are using EACC. More than 200 local police departments, as well as the Massachusetts State Police, plan to incorporate EACC as part of their incident reporting systems by the end of FY17.
EACC at your court. The District Court’s Administrative Office is available for help with EACC troubleshooting and training: 617-788-8810; call and ask for Case Manager Joseph Jackson, or email him at email@example.com.
Dudley District Court EACC Team
Natick / Framingham District Court EACC Team