John is nationally recognized as a leader in court management and technology.
In 2006, John received the Public Official of the Year Award from the National Association of County Recorders, Election Officials and Clerks (NACRC). NACRC awards the Public Official of the Year Award “to a person that has exemplified leadership, ingenuity and excellence in his or her office. Excellence in government is a challenge in our ever-changing world. Delivering top quality service during good times is easy; only those with long-term vision are able to continue to deliver quality service in difficult or challenging times.”
John was one of the first in the nation to automate the land records recording system.
He was also one of the first in the nation to implement a land record electronic recording system. John has expanded remote access to court records, including images of the documents. The court public access network (CPAN) currently has over 46 million images and indexes available to the public.
John automated the probate system, using electronic documents, electronic signatures and electronic filing.
This change has streamlined the process for people to probate the Wills of their loved ones. The “Virtual Probate System” put in place by John and his staff won a NACRC Best Practices Award.
John revolutionized the jury system.
When John first took office, jurors were required to be on call 1 day a week for 8 weeks. John saw this as inefficient and as a major burden on the citizens serving as jurors. Today, a person called for jury duty will serve 1 day or the length of 1 trial.
John also automated the juror selection process taking it from a system that literally pulled numbers out of a hat to the current process that uses random number generation algorithms to send out juror questionnaires and random selection for assigning jurors to specific cases.
Potential jurors can fill out their questionnaire on-line. And jurors who have been selected have the ability to obtain information on their need to report, as well as obtain a letter for their employer certifying that they served on jury duty, all on-line.
Thanks to John’s reforms, the jury system in Fairfax withstood two challenges, in two different murder trials, because of the random selection process and the fact that our jurors reflect the diversity of our community.
John implemented an on-line marriage application process.
Couples can now have their marriage license printed out when they arrive at the courthouse, saving them valuable time. This system received a 2013 Governor’s Technology Significant Achievement Award. .
John is a champion for open government.
In 2013, John received an award from the Virginia Coalition For Open Government for his work making circuit court opinions available to the public online without charge. The Coalition noted that at the time, Fairfax was one of only three circuit courts in the state to offer opinions, and the only one to do so without proprietary limits.