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News Item
District court eFiling becomes mandatory for attorneys, government agencies, guardians ad litem, and sheriffs statewide on July 1

Posted: Friday, July 1, 2016

As of July 1, 2016, attorneys, government agencies, guardians ad litem, and sheriffs are now required to electronically file and serve documents in all district court cases filed in Minnesota using the Judicial Branch’s eFiling and eService system (eFS).
 
For other filers – such as self-represented litigants – use of eFS remains optional. These filers are able to choose whether to file on paper or through eFS, though Minnesota’s Court Rules require that once a filer has used eFS to file a document, he or she must continue using the system for all future documents filed in that case.
 
Also as of July 1, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors across the state are now required to electronically file charging documents in adult criminal cases with the district courts; charging documents in juvenile delinquency cases will continue to be filed on paper. Prosecuting agencies statewide must use the MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s (BCA) eCharging system for filing criminal complaints. That same system supports the electronic filing of citations by law enforcement agencies.
 
The transition to electronic filing and service is part of the Minnesota Judicial Branch’s eCourtMN initiative, which has transformed the state’s court system by replacing paper-based court files with an electronic information environment. Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea has called eCourtMN “the largest transformation in the 150-year history of Minnesota’s Judicial Branch.” The goal of the initiative has been to make the state’s court system more accessible, more efficient, and more convenient for court customers.
 
One of the key elements of the eCourtMN initiative is giving case participants the ability to submit documents to the court and serve documents to opposing parties electronically, through an online portal. This allows court customers to file documents without traveling to the courthouse or paying for postage or courier costs, and to file documents outside of courthouse business hours.
 
The Minnesota Judicial Branch began pilot testing eFS in 2012, and the system became available statewide at the end of 2015. Today, more than 200,000 documents are being eFiled with Minnesota district courts every month.
 
“Over the past several years, the Minnesota Judicial Branch has been undergoing a historic transformation that has made our courts more accessible, more efficient, and better able to meet the needs of the people we serve,” said Chief Justice Gildea. “July 1 marks a major milestone in this transformation, as it will mean the vast majority of court filers will now be electronically filing and serving court documents across the state. This transition has provided new convenience for our customers, created new efficiencies for law enforcement and other government agencies, and improved access to court records.”
 
Training and Resources Available to Filers
 
Attorneys, government agencies, guardians ad litem, and sheriffs are required to electronically file and serve documents under the Minnesota General Rules of Practice and other applicable court rules. More information about the mandatory use of eFiling, eCharging, and eCitations is outlined in this document: Overview: Mandatory Electronic Filing and Service.
 
The Minnesota Judicial Branch has posted informational resources, training materials, and a three-step guide to starting eFiling at www.mncourts.gov/eFile. The Judicial Branch also offers live and recorded online training webinars.
 
The Minnesota Judicial Branch also operates the statewide eFS Support Center to answer questions and assist filers with the eFS system. The eFS Support Center is staffed Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and can be reached at 651-227-2002 (from metro area codes), 1-855-291-8246 (from all other area codes), or by e-mail via the Minnesota Judicial Branch website.