General DMS FAQs
1. Why is the DIA creating a DMS?
At present, the DIA maintains 40 years of court records in paper form held in approximately 30,000 boxes (mostly standard issue state records boxes). This includes nearly 9,000 boxes that are stored in the DIA's Boston facility; the remaining boxes are stored at the State Archive at Columbia Point. The agency pays significant amount of rent simply to keep boxes of documents on hand; most of which will never be accessed after the case is closed. The Department of Industrial Accidents is seeking ways to operate more efficiently and to lower costs for the agency as well as its constituencies. One way the agency can save time, effort and money is to eliminate the need for paper files by maintaining all court documents in an electronic format tied directly to its Case Management System (CMS) file.
2. I'm an attorney who practices before the DIA. What will I need to utilize the DMS?
You will need four things - a computer, access to the Internet, a valid e-mail address and an on-line user account with DIA. See Sign-up for an On-line Account.
3. How do I prepare my documents?
Documents in hard copy (paper) that are to be presented to the DIA must not have any fasteners (staples, paperclips, binder clips etc.). Each document must be accompanied by a bar-coded cover sheet when it is presented to the DIA at Conciliation, Conference or between proceedings. Cover sheets will not be required at the Hearing level. See Role of the Attorney for more details.
4. Why do I have to create cover sheets?
Primary means of document importation will be by means of a scanner. The bar-coded cover will automatically indicate what the document is and what file it belongs to. This saves a tremendous amount of time in processing the documents and ensures that every document is properly filed.
5. What happens if I do not have cover sheets? Won't the DIA accept my paperwork and create the cover sheets for me?
NO! Conciliators and Judges WILL NOT accept documents that are not properly prepared. You will be told to go and create cover sheets for your documents and return when they are done. To that end, the DIA will have computer kiosks in each office with printers so that parties may log-in to our system by way of their user account and create the needed cover sheets. It will be in your best interest to arrive at the DIA properly prepared. Doing so will also save time and energy.
6. Isn't creating all these cover sheets going to take a lot of time?
No, the bar-code generation module is very user-friendly and a single cover sheet should take only seconds to create. The user only needs to select the correct document type from a pull-down list and enter between 2 and 5 pieces of information about the document. For example, if you have a Conference packet with 25 documents, creating cover sheets for all 25 should take no more than 10 or 15 minutes. Please refer to Tutorial #1 - Creating Cover Sheets file size 2MB for instructions.
7. Will I need to buy scanning equipment or special software?
No. You will not need to purchase any new software or hardware to access the on-line account, the bar-code module or to view case documents. As the DIA will be handling the scanning, such equipment will not be required on the part of the parties.
8. Can I e-mail documents to a Judge or Conciliator?
Yes. In fact, that will be the preferred means of written communications among the parties between proceedings.
9. Do I need a barcode sheet for Lump Sum Agreements? How many?
A Form 117 Lump Sum Agreement and all of the related attachments (including forms 116 A, B & C) only require one barcode coversheet - DIA 117 LS Agreement. The parties should bring signed copies for each party and one for the Judge - the judges copy must have the barcode coversheet. The Judge will stamp all copies. The copy for the file, with the barcode coversheet, will be scanned as the official record of the DIA.
10. When I submit a form to the DIA, such as a Form 110 Claim or Form 121 Appeal of Conference Order, do I need to submit a barcode sheet with it?
No. When submitting forms, no barcode coversheet is required, we will handle that on our end.
11. Can I photocopy a barcode coversheet and then submit it to a Judge or Conciliator?
No. Photocopying coversheets will not work. The reason is that photocopy machines will distort the image of the barcode and will cause it to fail.
12. Can I fax a barcode coversheet?
No, for the same reason photocopies won't work. A fax machine also distorts the image of the barcode, rendering it useless.
13. My law office uses a 'perforating' date stamp when it receives documents. Can I submit those documents?
Yes, you may. However, do not send an 'original' with the perforations. This will jam the document scanner. (Also, please be sure the 'perforation' holes do not impair reading the document.)
14. Do I need a bar-code sheet for a cover letter?
A cover letter that simply describes an attachment (motion, hypothetical questions, medical reports) does not need a separate bar-code sheet.