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Electronic Case Filing Now available in 11 district courts

Posted: Monday, April 1, 2013

Attorneys and government agencies can now file their cases electronically in 11 Minnesota district courts.  eFiling is a component of the Judicial Branch’s eCourtMN initiative to move from paper files to electronic case records.

The 11 courts have served as pilot sites, providing feedback and insights to be used to develop an electronic case-filing service for all district and appellate courts.  The pilot courts include those located in: Cass, Clay, Cook, Dakota, Faribault, Hennepin, Kandiyohi, Lake, Morrison, Ramsey, and Washington counties.  eFiling and eService is currently optional, except for civil and family cases filed in Hennepin and Ramsey counties, where eFiling is mandatory.

Upon completion of the multi-year conversion, all cases will be eFiled, justice system partners and other external constituents will have secure access to electronic records, court processes will be streamlined, and judges and court staff will rely on electronic records for case processing.

“Our pilot courts have helped us learn what we needed to know to be able to develop a service that will work for all of our courts and for our justice partners,” said Fourth Judicial District Chief Judge Peter Cahill, co-chair of the eCourtMN Steering Committee.

“Being a judge of a paperless court has been exciting and challenging,” said Clay County District Court Judge Lisa Borgen, the other co-chair of the Steering Committee.  “Having every court file at my fingertips on my computer on the bench, in my office, or at home has added to my efficiency and my ability to prepare, be current, and to better serve the parties and the public.”

“As we continue to expand electronic records to our judges, the transition from paper to electronic files will be a new and more efficient way of doing the Court’s business,” said Borgen.

Phase Two of the project will focus on preparing remaining courts for transition to electronic case records, beginning with the electronic imaging of paper filings.  In addition, staff will develop expertise in assigning appropriate document security, working with electronic case records, and submitting case files electronically to the appellate courts.  An eFiling service designed for self-represented litigants will be piloted later in 2013.

A subsequent effort will focus on developing tools for use by judges in case processing and that support working with the electronic case records.  The final phase of the project will involve rolling out eFiling and eService to the remainder of Minnesota’s court beginning in 2014.