Clerk aims for Web site upgrade

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 5, 2010

By David Vitrano


EDGARD – St. John the Baptist Parish Clerk of Court Eliana DeFrancesch said her office is working on improving its Web site to make a wide range of documents available to the public.

For years the site had been plagued by bandwidth restrictions that have limited the number of documents that can be posted there. But thanks to an installation courtesy of the parish government and Sheriff’s Office, that may soon change.

“We’ve been discussing it and looking forward to it for years now,” she said.

She said her office has been working with its software providers to enable it to post such documents as civil and criminal dockets and a full range of real estate records. Many similar clerk-of-court Web sites already post these.

Although the bandwidth problems have been resolved to a point, DeFrancesch wants to do a little more research before implementing the Web site upgrades. “I don’t want to jump into it until everything’s perfect,” she said.

And for the time being, her office faces another hindrance.

“We’re budget-strapped right now,” she said.

Once it gets past the initial financial obstacles, however, the office may be able to use the improved Web site to generate a little more revenue. When it is fully functional, the clerk of court is considering charging a service fee for access to the documents.

According to her research, other clerk of court offices charge between $50 and $100 per month for access. She said she is considering a monthly fee in the range of $60. That price would be for access only. Copies would cost extra.

DeFrancesch said she hopes to have the Web site upgrades implemented within six months to a year, although a launch date closer to six months would be preferable.

“It all depends on funding,” she concluded.