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September 1, 2012, Set For Mandatory eFiling and eService in Hennepin County and Ramsey County District Courts

Posted: Thursday, June 07, 2012

The Minnesota Judicial Branch is continuing its move toward an electronic case information environment. Electronic case filing has been available for civil and some family cases in the Second (Ramsey County) and Fourth (Hennepin County) judicial districts on a limited, voluntary basis since October 2010, as part of the Branch’s eCourtMN initiative. eCourtMN is a multi-year effort to move from paper files to an electronic case information environment.

Following the success of the pilot, the Minnesota Supreme Court has approved rule changes that will make eFiling and eService of civil cases in Hennepin County and Ramsey County district courts, including family but not probate/mental health and conciliation court cases, mandatory for attorneys and government entities beginning September 1, 2012. The Court approved the change May 24, 2012, by promulgating amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure, the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts, and the Rules of Public Access to Records of the Judicial Branch. The eCourtMN initiative calls for the development of eFiling and eService for self-represented (pro se) litigants at a later time.

“This is part of a larger effort, and we have much work left to do, but we’re excited about this significant step forward in our effort to shift statewide from paper files to an electronic records system,” said Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea.

“The move to eFiling will enable us to speed up case processing and reduce the time court staff have to spend entering new cases and new filings on existing cases,” said Fourth Judicial District Assistant Chief Judge Peter Cahill, Co-Chair of the eCourtMN Steering Committee. “It will also give judges and court staff instant access to case files from their computers, something we have never had with paper files. “

“The eFiling project will help the courts provide better service to the legal community and to the public,” said Second Judicial District Chief Judge Kathleen Gearin. “We are excited about making the court system more accessible and more efficient.”

Attorneys and government agencies must register to use eFiling and eService before they can file electronically. Prior to registering, attorneys and agencies must first attend an eFiling and eService training. Additional details are available on the Judicial Branch Website at www.mncourts.gov/ecourtmn.