Busy hands. Business people writing their reports and analyzing new ideas.

Legal document scanning services are integral to a well-run district court. The National Center for State Courts acknowledges “records and document management are at the core of most courts’ business processes.” 

There are many good reasons to use a document scanning company to help manage and streamline your documents and records.

Legal document scanning services and electronic court records (ECR)

Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) is a service run by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. PACER allows users to access case and docket information from district courts, as well as federal appellate and bankruptcy courts. 

A document scanning company can help district courts more easily provide these documents and records to the public.

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Scanning legal documents helps lawyers

Chances are when you go to the doctor, he or she carries an iPad or tablet at your appointments. More and more essential services are going paperless for the sake of convenience and portability. The legal profession should be no exception.

Searchable legal documents are beneficial to law offices. Gone are the days of lawyers needing large briefcases everywhere they go. When a lawyer can quickly pull up and search for information electronically, everyone benefits.

A document scanning company can help legal practices and courts host documents once they scan them. While courts and legal documents can store electronic documents digitally through a document scanning service, paper is still an option. If a court or practice needs hard copies, electronic records and documents can always be downloaded and printed out.

A court that engages legal document scanning services can more easily interface with legal offices that have gone paperless. If your court uses document scanning, document sharing with these entities will go more smoothly.

Serious woman sitting at desk reading letter

Practical Considerations: Save Space 

Saving space and minimalism are trendy at present and for a good reason. A de-cluttered space is calmer and more organized. Think about how much room you will have once you can clear out filing cabinets and shelves from your office.

A document scanning company lets you cut down on the amount of paper coming in and out of your offices.

There are legal offices now that are entirely paperless. A district court will need to be able to scan documents to work with such legal offices.

A legal document scanning service can scan your documents for district courts. Paralegals will appreciate their freedom. The time that an organization needed to scan documents they can now spend working on cases.

River City Data offers Secure Socket Layer (SSL) digital hosting for your documents. SSL encrypts your legal documents. This capability is particularly valuable when you are dealing with sensitive material.

Legal offices and courts are vulnerable to leaks, and encrypted documents are safer.

Pen lying on a contract or application form, wide angle view.

A Brief History of Legal Document Management in the United States

The role of paperwork in the legal profession has steadily expanded since its inception.

America has 94 federal judicial districts, and each of those has 12 regional circuits. These courts are essential to our judiciary system. Their technology needs to be up to date.

In the nation’s early days, the number of admiralty cases in a district largely determined the court’s caseload. The reason was district courts initially served as federal courts for maritime and admiralty cases.

Therefore, a district court could hear relatively few cases. The district court’s clerk, responsible for administration in the district and circuit courts, was likely pretty busy. For most of the early history of the district courts, district court judges occupied themselves primarily with circuit court business.

In the mid-nineteenth century, the role of district courts started to expand. District judges were sometimes responsible for multiple state districts. 

The judge and clerk likely handled many paper documents on a given day, which would have traveled very slowly. When Congress established the 13 judicial districts back in 1789, courts dealt with reports much differently. Legal document scanning services can bring federal judicial districts into the 21st century. 

Federal data on caseloads did not really exist prior to the creation of the Department of Justice in 1870. The amount of paperwork required from courts increased considerably in 1910. That was when the DoJ issued new forms so those district attorneys could regularly update their caseload information for federal government statistics.

Another factor that increased the demand for document management was Prohibition. When the nation outlawed alcohol in the early 20th century, caseloads increased. Not surprisingly, courts struggled to keep up with the administrative demands that accompanied this increased workload.

Harried paralegals and clerks in Prohibition-era America would have appreciated legal document scanning services. Quick, secure, and searchable document scanning is more than a luxury for a busy court; it is a necessity. 

An ability to manage paper flow helps track caseload data. When a court keeps track of its caseload, it has a better idea of the resources it needs. A document scanning company is an essential tool for a district court that needs to be adequately resourced.

When the Department of Justice created the Bureau of Statistics in 1935, reporting on caseloads required even more paper. Courts were required to submit monthly data cards to the Bureau of Statistics on every case it began and ended. The Bureau of Statistics then special machines to tabulate the data.

This mechanization of court data anticipated the need for River City Data’s services. Clerks and attorneys must have spent a lot of time preparing these detailed data cards for submission. These hardworking legal professionals could have saved so much time if document scanning companies had existed.

Signing contracts

River City Data Can Help

Courts need to provide information to the Department of Justice, legal clients, or the general public. The sheer number of documents a typical court deals with can make storing and sharing this information a challenge.

River City Data assists with scanning paper to digital and microfilm formats and transferring microfilm to digital images. River City Data also helps with document hosting and archiving. Start saving time and resources; contact River City Data for further information on services and pricing.

frustration over too many papers

We have all experienced going through old family photos, financial records, or legal documents, and wishing someone had digitized them. Every moment is valuable, which is why you should consider using a digital scanning service for occasions like these. It can be tedious to enter old information by hand, and scanning multiple items is frustrating and time-consuming.

River City Data is a Kofax Certified Document Conversion Center that offers digital scanning services. If you are considering utilizing a digital scanning service for you, your business, or a project, read on.

There are many good reasons you should consider taking advantage of digital scanning services. Here are a few benefits of digitizing your documents, courtesy of the National Archives:

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Digitized Records Can Be Tracked and Shared More Easily

Records that are stored digitally can be shared quickly with others in various locations. A digital scanning service can help you standardize the format of your digitized files to organize logs and facilitate searches. A digital scanning service can help index your organization’s records more effectively than traditional documentation.
Be Prepared for the Worst (Natural Disasters and Audits)
Fires, floods, and other natural disasters can destroy paper records. When your essential information exists digitally, you don’t have to worry about salvaging documents after the worst happens. Digital scanning services can also help you clean and preserve some damaged materials, recovering them for future use.

Digitally scanned records also come in handy if someone needs to audit your organization. The searchability and easy aggregation of information of digitally scanned files can simplify and speed up the audit process.

Digital Scanning Protects Old Documents

A digital scanning service can help you protect valuable documents. When a digital copy of an original document exists, the original paper can be put away and preserved, leaving you with two copies in case of emergencies. A digitized file or text may also be made more legible than the original, saving you time from trying to decipher it in the future.

Save Money and Space

too many papers

Less paper means fewer filing cabinets. Fewer filing cabinets means more space. You will also need to buy less paper and mail fewer documents.

Business owners and individuals should also consider the price of scanning equipment and maintenance themselves. The hardware and software needed for digital scanning is costly, and like any machinery, require both routine and emergency maintenance.

A digital scanning service can save you time, money, and unnecessary worry.

Digital Scanning Is Useful for Everyone

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Whether you are a small business or an individual, you will be glad you digitally scanned your documents. Many of us have pre-Internet-era documents and papers we would like to preserve. People are busy, and it is not uncommon to put off scanning them until we have more time or energy.

For most people, that occasion never quite seems to arrive.

You may be surprised to realize all of the little things that go into digitally scanning documents well. Think about the time it takes to remove the staples or sticky notes from records before you scan them. For a large number of documents, this task is no small undertaking.

As part of its Paper to Digital process, River City Data takes paper records to their large document preparation facility. Once your papers arrive there, River City Data pros either remove or repair undesirable features, including folds and tears. They also resize your documents during part of the preparation.

River City Data Offers a Range of Services

River City Data works with you to determine the best storage method for your electronic images.

We can scan everything from small receipts to oversized engineering maps and blueprints. But River City Data doesn’t just transform your paper documents to electronic images.

We also scan images to take them from paper to either 16mm or 35mm microfilm images. River City Data’s three decades’ microfilm experience offers a low-cost way to convert and store paper documents in bulk.

River City Data’s additional services include document hosting, a valuable utility for any business. Document hosting through River City Data offers a simple, encrypted way to store and retrieve your documents. With our application, this process takes only minutes, and you can do it from your personal computer.

Additionally, you can archive your documents using River City Data’s searchable DVD indexing and viewing system. Our system allows you to quickly identify which DVD has the material for which you are searching.

Good News for Self-Publishers

Digital scanning services add value for anyone who self-publishes books. River City Data can convert manuscripts to any of the popular e-book formats, including Kindle, Nook, iPad, PC, and Android.

We can also convert your paper books or manuscripts to the right electronic format.
Self-publishing is already a lot of work: a digital scanning service can help you get back your time and energy when it comes to formatting your work.

AMiView

Your information is important and precious. River City Data takes your trust very seriously, and because your time is so valuable, we use our internet based AMiView File retrieval system to take care of your electronic files.

AMiView offers a secure, accessible, and streamlined system for electronic information organization. Users can access through the internet to retrieve the file they want and no need to refile the paper document!

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Contact River City Data for Help Scanning Your Paper Documents

The cost can vary depending on what digital scanning services you or your business require. River City Data offers consulting can help you determine what process is right for you or your organization. Our professionals can help you identify the best method of document conversion and storage for your business or project.

We understand scanners, and we know that selecting the right scanner is an investment. River City Data consultants can also help you choose the right kind of service for your data converting needs.

Whatever the needs of you or your organization, when it comes to digital scanning services, we can help. Are you ready to save the time and effort that comes with scanning and storing your own records? Contact River City Data today.

Insurance adjuster and beautiful woman in abandoned building

Disaster can strike with minimal warning. Even if you have any advance notice, you will likely be focusing on essential things, like the safety of your family. Thankfully, there are disaster recovery services to help after the fact.

One of the last things you want to be worrying about following a disaster is whether or not your pictures and papers have survived. If you find yourself in this distressing position, River City Data is here to help.

If you have found yourself in a situation where you need help restoring your home or business to normal after a disaster, or if you want to pre-emptively back up your data and documents, contact River City Data. We have the expertise and skills to recover and safeguard your essential items.

man grieving over destroyed house

Types of Natural Disaster

You never know what kinds of disasters are in store. From tornadoes to hurricanes, from floods to fires, there are many things nature can throw your way.

..While residents of Minnesota should be safe from hurricanes and the like, it is best always to prepare yourself. You never know when a thunderstorm, tornado, or flash flood can hit.

Tornado

Tornadoes are the result of air rising, cooling, and moisture condensing. When the force of the lifting of the air is strong enough, the updraft can have intense winds. This updraft is where tornadoes form.

This column of air can be violent and cause winds up to 300 miles per hour. The tornado touches both the enormous cloud and the Earth. These storms, depending on their strength, can tear apart everything in their path. Tornadoes are rated on the Enhanced Fujita scales, i.e., F1 to F5.

Severe Storms

Severe storms can be anything from thunderstorms to lightning storms. Depending on the type of storm, damage can vary. Thunderstorms can result in immense rain and flooding, while the electrical charge from lightning storms can cause a fire.

Hurricanes

When you think of a hurricane, you generally think of the tropics and warm weather. While this is typically true, hurricanes can occur in other regions. 

A hurricane is a low-pressure system with a counterclockwise circulation that can come with thunderstorms.

Hurricanes can be classified as tropical depressions with maximum sustained winds of 38 mph, a tropical storm with sustained winds between 39 and 73 mph, and a hurricane with sustained winds over 74 mph. Hurricanes are categorized on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale from Category 1 to Category 5.

Flood Protection Sandbags with flooded homes in the background (Montage)

Floods

Floods can occur from a variety of causes. Primarily, a flood occurs when there is an excess of water that is unable to clear or flow away effectively. Whether a flood happens in your home from a busted pipe or a storm with excessive rain, this flooding of water can damage everything they contact.

Fire

From wildfires to house fires, fires are devastating. Sometimes things can be recovered, but often there is little left to work with after a fire.

Earthquake

The Earth’s crust is full of points of weakness, or fault lines. An earthquake occurs when stress is built up under the surface along these lines. When the pressure becomes too much for rocks or the crust, energy is released and becomes an earthquake.

Vibrations, also called seismic waves, radiate from the center of the earthquake- Picture ripples in a pool of water. These waves shake the ground and can cause a large amount of damage.

Earthquakes can happen anywhere and are measured on the Richter Scale.

rebuilding from a natural disaster

Disaster Recovery Services

At River City Data, we perform a variety of services after a natural disaster. From repairing and protecting microfilm to digitizing documents, we can help you recover from the worst-case scenario.

Process

Typically after a natural disaster, several things have to happen to recover and protect your documents.

    1. Inventory. The first thing we do is to inventory your documents. We want a thorough account of everything you have before doing any work. This inventory will help us determine which materials are salvageable and which need to be shredded for your protection.
    2. Transport. After the inventory, we will transport your documents to a facility where the restoration can occur. You can rest assured that we take the utmost care with your papers and monitor the chain of custody.
    3. Clean. After the documents are safely dried, they are carefully cleaned. Careful consideration is taken to ensure all silt, soot, or mold is removed from your documents.
    4. Sanitize. We care about your health and safety, so we ensure that we sanitize everything before returning anything to you.
    5. Return. After cleaning and sanitizing your documents, we perform a thorough audit so we can ensure we have everything with which you trusted us. We return the items taking special care with the chain of custody again.

Hands Holding Home

Why Disaster Recovery Services

If a disaster has struck your home or business, the last thing you want to worry about is recovering your documents so you can return to your routine.

Whether you are concerned about your personal records, from deeds to licenses to passports and everything in between, or you run a business and depend on these documents for your livelihood, you can count on River City Data.

We take the utmost care in recovering your documents so you can focus on getting back to life. You can focus on picking up the pieces with your family while we focus on your documents. 

Preparing for the Future

When we are recovering your documents after a natural disaster, ask us about digitizing them. You won’t have to worry in the future should the unthinkable happen again. You will know your documents are stored digitally and, therefore, safe from natural disasters.

Being proactive now can save you headaches and potential heartache down the road. Digitizing your records now, even before a disaster strikes, is essential. Contact River City Data today and ask how we can give you peace of mind going forward.

At River City Data, we take care of your documents so you can get on with your life.