County Probate Court will see a “new or major” upgrade to the computer software that manages all of the data from court cases after being awarded a $200,000 technology grant from the Ohio Supreme Court, Judge Robert Rusu Jr. announced.

The award is the largest amount received by a court in the Mahoning Valley for technology upgrades and second largest in the state.

New or upgraded software, known as a court-management system, will improve ease of access to case information for Mahoning County Probate Court staff and the public and will enable staff to generate reports on a variety of topics more effectively, Rusu said.

The new system will make it easier for the court to send notices to parties in a case and will make electronic filing easier. The court also will be able to more easily notify the public regarding court matters through email and text messages, he said.

The $200,000 grant is the largest one the Ohio Supreme Court awarded to any of the courts in Mahoning County. The Ohio Supreme Court awarded a number of $200,000 grants throughout the state, but there was only one grant larger than $200,000.

Erie County Municipal Court will receive $250,000 for a similar “new or major” upgrade to its computer software. Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor announced the latest list of $8.6 million in grant approvals.

Other Mahoning County courts receiving grants are:

• Campbell Municipal Court, $42,624 for computer hardware, software or equipment;

• Mahoning County Domestic Relations Court, $36,204 and $7,779 for computer-system upgrades;

• Struthers Municipal Court, $32,915 for a new or major upgrades to its computer system;

• Youngstown-based 7th District Court of Appeals, $63,521 for technology systems or applications.

Girard Municipal Court received the largest amount of funding among Trumbull County Courts. It received grants of $31,889 and $52,180 to make “new or major” upgrades to its computer software.

The general division of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, which handles criminal and civil cases, received grants of $16,589 and $32,962 to make “new or major” upgrades and updates to its computerized court-management systems.

Columbiana County Municipal Court received a grant of $15,575 to make upgrades to computer systems or applications.

The Ohio Supreme Court awarded grants to 143 courts from this year’s technology-grant fund, which O’Connor started seven years ago. Her Ohio Courts Technology program has provided just over $27 million in technical improvements across Ohio.

Ohio appeals, common pleas, municipal and county courts are encouraged each year to apply for grants to upgrade systems, hardware or equipment or purchase new ones.

The selected projects were scored by a 36-member panel of judges, court administrators, clerks, information technology professionals, security experts and other personnel.

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