Odyssey is the name of the Vermont Judiciary’s Next Generation Case Management System. It is a suite of software programs that will replace VTADS, our legacy case management system. As Odyssey is implemented across the state in phases, it will change the way court users submit filings and access case files. The Judicial Bureau successfully transitioned onto Odyssey on June 5, 2019. The trial courts in Windham, Windsor and Orange, will transition onto Odyssey in late winter 2020. For more details about the roll out, see the timeline below.

NC-CMS Timeline - Updated 9-26-19

 

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Electronic Filing Questions

Attorneys and self-represented litigants will use Odyssey File & Serve to electronically file documents with the court via a secure, web-based portal. Electronic filing will be permitted on every case type in every division. Odyssey File & Serve will be available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Odyssey File & Serve is also known as eFileVT.

  • How do I access Odyssey File & Serve?
  • Do I have to electronically file (aka efile)?
    • Attorneys are required to efile where Odyssey has been implemented. Self-represented litigants will have the option to efile. To learn more about efiling requirements, please review the proposed efiling rules that were distributed June 19, 2019 (https://www.vermontjudiciary.org/attorneys/rules/proposed).
  • When can I begin efiling?
    • Users will be able to efile in a region about 30-60 days after the region’s trial courts transition onto Odyssey. The date will be announced with as much advanced notice as possible.
  • Will mandatory efiling be phased in gradually?   
    • No. Once a date has been established for a region that has transitioned onto Odyssey, electronic filing for attorneys will be mandatory from that date forward. Advance notice will be provided.
  • Is there a cost associated with efiling?
    • Filing fees are determined by statute and will not be impacted by Odyssey. However, Odyssey File & Serve does have a processing fee of $ 5.25 for use of the system (i.e. every time a filing is submitted), as well as a credit card service charge of 2.89% of any filing fees paid.  This will automatically be added any applicable filing fee, unless the filer has an approved fee waiver application, or is exempt by Rules of Electronic filing, such as a government agency.    
  • What case types will have efiling?
    • Efiling will be available for all divisions and all case types. This even includes mental health cases and guardianship cases.
  • Who do I contact when I have technical problems with efiling?
    • When Odyssey File & Serve goes live, you will need to contact our vendor partner, Tyler Technologies, for technical questions. They can be reached via email or phone at efiling.support@tylertech.com or 1-800-297-5377.
  • What is the process for filing documents under seal?
    • A provision for the filing of confidential documents or sealed documents will be made in the Odyssey system. Currently, however, configuration of Odyssey is ongoing, so detailed instructions are not available.
  • If an e-filer includes confidential information by mistake, will the filer be able to correct it?
    • Corrections will be allowed. However, as configuration of Odyssey is ongoing, detailed instructions are not yet available.
  • Can my staff and/or associates efile documents on my behalf?
    • Yes. After establishing a firm account in File & Serve, you can add users with different levels of permission.
  • What will users be expected to do if Odyssey File & Serve is temporarily non-operational?
    • If there is a prolonged system outage, the court will make accommodations regarding filing deadlines. We are always prepared to accept paper filings in emergency situations.
  • How many megabytes can I efile at one time?
    • It is recommended that each document be no larger than 5 megabytes and that each “envelope” be no more than 25 megabytes/
  • If I registered in the Public Portal, do I still have to register in Odyssey File & Serve?
    • Yes. You must register separately for the portal and for File & Serve.
  • Do I have to keep paper copies of documents that I have efiled?
    • Retention of paper copies is not required by the court, though there may be separate statutes or rules that continue to require this.
  • Will Odyssey File & Serve allow users to send documents to other parties in the case?
    • Yes, one of its functions is electronic service. Subject to other rules and statutes governing service, you can set up a service contact in Odyssey File & Serve.
Electronic Case Access Questions

Court users will access case files via the Public Portal either remotely or through kiosks stationed in the public areas of the courthouse. Individuals who are party to a case may access the case file remotely by requesting “elevated access” (detailed information is below). Those who are not party to a case will only view limited information about Judicial Bureau and Civil cases remotely. To fully access otherwise publicly accessible files, such individuals will have to use the designated computer kiosk at the court. 

  • What public documents will be accessible online?
    • At this time, only Judicial Bureau cases can be viewed online through the Public Portal. With the expansion of Odyssey across the state, all divisions will be moving towards electronic case files. For information about the public accessibility of court documents, see the Rules for Public Access to Court Records. Odyssey will provide the same level of access to public records that these rules and other Vermont statutes require.

      In short, a party to a case, a person appointed by the court to assist in a case, or an attorney who represents a party in a case will be able access all documents the individual currently has access to in the paper based filing system. The difference is that court users will view these files online through the Odyssey Public Portal, and can do so at any time from any internet capable device (such as a home or office computer, or a smart phone). This is true for all cases, whether public or not.

      Non-parties, however, will not be able to view criminal, family, and probate cases online through the Public Portal because 12 V.S.A. Sec. 5 bars the court from providing internet access to such case records. Non-parties may view all non-confidential cases files (including criminal, domestic and probate cases) during regular court hours through public computer terminals to be installed in every courthouse.

      Almost all court records will be electronic only after Odyssey is rolled out statewide. Very limited exceptions may include some exhibits that are admitted into evidence, like large, cumbersome documents that cannot be scanned or copied into electronic format, or physical objects. Such non-electronic documents or objects will be reviewable on request, at the relevant courthouse, during regular court hours.
  • What is elevated access to the Public Portal?
    • Elevated access allows attorneys, parties and others with a right of access to view their cases and the documents in their cases remotely through the Public Portal.
  • How can I request elevated access to the Public Portal?
  • If I have multiple cases, do I have to request elevated access for each case?
    • No. Once your Public Portal account is linked with your party record in Odyssey, the access will transfer to all other cases in which you are a party.
  • Can a law firm receive elevated access?
    • Yes.
  • Will Guardians Ad Litem (GALs) be able to request elevated access?
    • Yes. GALs who have been associated with a case in the Odyssey case management system may be granted elevated access upon request.
  • Can my staff and/or associates access cases through the Public Portal on my behalf?
    • Yes.
  • If I registered in Odyssey File & Serve, do I still have to register in the Public Portal?
    • Yes. You must register separately for the portal and for File & Serve.
  • Who do I contact when I have technical problems with the Public Portal?
  • Will inactive cases be accessible through the Public Portal?
    • Limited information about the case will be available through the portal. However, case documents will remain as paper files unless the case is reactivated and then scanned into the Odyssey case management system.
Computer and Technical Questions

Odyssey File & Serve and the Public Portal are both web-based software programs that can be accessed from any internet capable device (Mac, PC, iPhone, tablet). Court users can access these websites through nearly any web browser including Internet Explorer® 10 or 11; Chrome™; Mozilla® Firefox®; or Safari®.

  • Who do I contact when I have technical problems with efiling through Odyssey File & Serve?
    • When Odyssey File & Serve goes live, you will need to contact our vendor partner, Tyler Technologies, for technical questions. They can be reached via email or phone at efiling.support@tylertech.com or 1-800-297-5377.
  • Who do I contact when I have technical problems with the Public Portal?
  • Do I need to purchase or download any software to use Odyssey?
    • No. Users simply need have an internet accessible device (such as Mac, PC, iPhone, tablet).
  • Will the metadata be scrubbed from documents that are electronically filed?
    • No. Documents are not modified.
  • Will there be the ability to do full text searches on filed documents?
    • Yes.
  • Where are the servers stored?
    • The Judiciary’s Odyssey servers are in Vermont. Odyssey File & Serve, which is maintained by Tyler Technologies, utilizes multiple, geographically diverse data centers in Texas and Maine
Judicial Bureau Questions
  • Will I be able to pay my tickets and other citations online?
    • Yes. Individuals can make Judicial Bureau payments using the Public Portal. The Public Portal can be accessed directly through this link: https://publicportal.courts.vt.gov/Portal/. A link to the Public Portal is also available on the judiciary’s main website.
  • Can I still make citation payments (traffic tickets) at any court in the state?
    • Once Odyssey rolls out to the entire state, drivers will be able to pay traffic tickets from any courthouse.
  • Do I need a credit card to make payments?
    • A credit card will be required for payments made online or over the phone. To pay with a method other than credit card, and prior to Odyssey being rolled out to the entire state, a driver will need to go to the courthouse in White River Junction or mail the payment.
Miscellaneous Questions
  • Will all cases that pre-date Odyssey be uploaded into the new system?
    • All case information from VTADS will be converted into Odyssey, however, not all paper documents will be scanned in.
  • Who owns the data in Odyssey?
    • The Judiciary stores all Odyssey data on their own servers.
  • How are notarized documents affected by this rollout onto Odyssey?
    • Recent legislative changes state that many, though not all, documents normally notarized will no longer need a notary if filed electronically.
  • How will Odyssey impact VT Courts Online?
    • VT Courts Online will eventually be replaced by Odyssey. Until all divisions have been converted to Odyssey, VT Courts Online will remain active for the courts which have not yet made the transition.
  • If an attorney practices in an area outside of the Windsor, Orange and Windham area, will he or she have to use two different websites to access cases?
    • Yes, until all courts transition to Odyssey. All court hearing calendars statewide will still be available online in one place at www.vermontjudiciary.org.
  • Will hearing notices be automated?
    • Yes.
  • What if the judiciary’s vendor, Tyler Technologies, goes out of business?
    • This is accounted for in the judiciary’s contract. Among other things, it requires the use of a third-party escrow agency for Tyler’s licensed intellectual property.