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Friday, July 31, 2015

Ind. Courts - E-filing already is underway in some Indiana trial courts

The ILB last posted on e-filing in this July 24th entry on amendments to Rule 86. The day before, on July 23rd, the Court had posted an "E-Filing Implementation Schedule" which provided that voluntary e-filing for specified categories of civil cases was to go into effect in Hamilton County's Circuit and Superior Courts as of July 29th.

Although e-filing is technically available to everyone starting July 29th, Hamilton County firms are being ushered into the process gradually over the next few weeks, with training available now for everyone who wants to begin e-filing. After that initial roll-out, the plan after August 12th is for things to move faster. After 30 days experience on the civil side, e-filing on the Hamilton County criminal side will be added. But it is all still voluntary.

Wells County will be next, then other Odyssey counties will be added, one or two at a time.

Looking at the big picture, trial court e-filing is planned to be completely implemented by 2018, with all documents listed in the online docket and available with a mouse-click. During the pilot projects, however, such documents will be available only to the parties. [The ILB hopes that at least trial court opinions will be universally available via the online docket long before 2018.]

In order to e-file, an attorney will need to be registered. Training will be available and encouraged (sign up here), but the ILB has been told that the system is fairly intuitive for those who have done other e-filing. The e-filing process involves an intermediary or interface between the attorney and the court. Tyler Technology has been selected to fill that role, but other e-filing service providers offering additional bells and whistles for a fee are expected to sign up.

Currently, the Court has adopted a "bare bones" version of Rule 86, the e-filing rule, which will be fleshed out with experience.

The Court’s e-filing webpage
has the latest developments, so check it regularly.

What about appellate e-filng? Good news here. October or November of this year is the current anticipated date for the beginning of an appellate e-filing project. More details will be released as that date approaches. Ultimately the goal is to have an appellate docket with links to e-filed appellate documents available to the public just as court orders are currently, but it is unknown whether that will happen immediately with the pilot project or whether it will have to wait until the trial courts do the same.

Funding for e-Filing.
The 2015 budget bill, HEA 1001, provides at p. 11:

Judicial Technology and Automation Project Fund (IC 33-24-6-12)
Total Operating Expense-----14,500,000-----14,500,000
The above appropriation includes funding to develop and implement a statewide electronic filing system for court documents, a case management system, and a public defender case management system.
In addition, SECTION 258, on p. 250, raises the automated record keeping fee (ARK) in most actions from $5 to $19. This change is described in detail in the final fiscal note to HEA 1001, at p. 22.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 31, 2015 03:00 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts