“If you ever saw the pile of paper work just one court case can produce … I live in a record-keeping nightmare. We have been working with BMI for over 25 years. The company has consistently delivered on time with the kind of efficiency, quality and accuracy I couldn’t live without.”

– Ron Ho | Computer Systems Director


The California court system, the nation’s largest, has more than 2,000 judicial officers, 22,000 court employees and an average of 9 million cases filed per year. The majority of cases in the California courts begin in one of the 58 superior courts, which reside in each of the state’s 58 counties. As an integral part of this system, the San Francisco Superior Court has trial jurisdiction over all criminal cases (e.g. felonies, misdemeanors), civil cases (e.g. family law, probate, and juvenile) and traffic matters within the City and County of San Francisco.

Each of the legal matters that the Court handles typically generates large amounts of paper. Although new filings are converted from paper to digital and stored within a document management system, the Court continued to house an enormous microfilm and fiche archive of older cases. Aware of how inefficient this archive was, the Court evaluated several potential solutions. In the end, BMI Imaging Systems was selected for its 100% conversion accuracy, image quality and ease of use.


  • Expensive to house 10,000 cubic feet of microfilm and microfiche cabinets
  • 15 microfilm readers that carried a collective $20,000 in annual maintenance expense
  • Unacceptable average retrieval time of 4 hours from the microfilm and fiche archive


  • To date, 4,000 rolls of 16mm microfilm (15 million images) digitally converted to 5 terabytes of data
  • Digital ReeL is available to all court staff and is accessed by approximately 100 users on a daily basis


  • Elimination of all film and readers
  • Estimated 100 hours per day of collective time saved
  • Faster retrieval and elimination of the back-log vastly improved service levels to attorneys and judges