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2nd Judicial Circuit Press Release Judges and Clerks Network Connectivity June 19
2nd Judicial Circuit Press Release
Judges and Clerks Network Connectivity
June 19, 2002

Group photo of Chief Justice Toal with other judges and clerksChief Justice Jean Toal presented the South Carolina Supreme Court’s special service award to law clerk, David Miller, in ceremonies at the Aiken County Courthouse today.  Miller, law clerk to Second Circuit Judge Rodney Peeples, was recognized for his contributions to the court’s technology initiatives.

In June 2000, Chief Justice Toal began her efforts to modernize the SC Judicial Department (SCJD) by integrating internet technologies with the SC court operations.  The SCJD website and email have now become cornerstones of SC management and court operations.  For these internet technologies to work, reliable, high-speed network connectivity is fundamental.  Because of the leadership of Senator Fritz Hollings and as part of the 2001 Byrne Grant Project, several rural counties of South Carolina now have reliable, high-speed network connectivity to the Judges, Clerks of Court and staff personnel in the county’s main courthouses.  Three of these counties are Bamberg, Barnwell and Aiken which together comprise the 2nd Judicial Circuit of South Carolina.

In announcing the Supreme Court’s recognition of Miller, Chief Justice Toal said:  “The efforts to implement this connectivity have truly been collaborative between the state and county agencies.  The outstanding hero and person making it happen in these counties is David Miller, who has spent the past year serving as the Law Clerk to Circuit Judge Rodney Peeples.  During his year as law clerk, Mr. Miller recommended changes to the distribution of monthly judicial reports to take advantage of the internet which SCJD has incorporated and completed.  This suggestion impacted all 46 counties in the delivery of monthly reports.  He also was the leader in the 2nd Circuit who, upon his own initiative and own time, relentlessly pursued the SCJD Information Technology Team, Aiken County Information Technology Director, Clerks of Court and Judges in the circuit to assist in the Supreme Court’s modernization vision by bringing reliable, high-speed network connectivity to these courthouses.”

In Bamberg County, equipment was installed to provide secure high-speed DSL access to the Internet.  The equipment was co-located to the existing network supporting the Clerk of Court and his activities.  In addition, wire was laid to connect the courtroom (judge, clerk of court, court reporter, printer, solicitor, and public defender) and visiting judges chambers.  The equipment has the capability to support the planned future additions of the resident Probate Judge, Nancy Green and her staff to the network.

In Barnwell County, equipment was installed to provide secure high-speed DSL access to the Internet.  This equipment was also co-located to the existing network supporting the Clerk of Court and his activities.  In addition, wire was laid to connect the courtroom (judge, clerk of court, court reporter, printer, solicitor, and public defender), the solicitor’s office, and the judge’s chambers.  The equipment has the capability to support the planned future additions of the Family Court, Judge Gables, and the Probate Court, Judge Branna Williams.

In Aiken County, wireless equipment was added to some of the courtrooms and judge’s chambers in the courthouses where the concrete walls were too thick to penetrate due to some of the site restrictions.  Wireless equipment now connects the criminal courtrooms to the county network.  Aiken County’s comprehensive plans allows high-speed Internet access to the Criminal and Family courtrooms, judge’s chambers, the Clerk of Court and other levels of court including Probate, Appeals, Magistrate and Master-in-Equity.

Toal congratulated Miller, stating:  “Because of David Miller’s efforts, the collaboration of the state and counties, and a committed team effort, the main courthouses in the 2nd Judicial Circuit now have reliable, high-speed network connectivity.”

Joan Assey
Director of Information Technology
South Carolina Judicial Department
Phone (803) 734-0523
Fax: (803) 734-0273
jassey@scjd.state.sc