District court e-filing mandatory for several court related individuals statewide starting July 1: E-charging and e-citations also become mandatory statewide on July 1
ST. PAUL--Beginning July 1, attorneys, government agencies, guardians ad litem, and sheriffs will be required to electronically file and serve documents in all district court cases filed in Minnesota using the Judicial Branch's e-filing and e-ser...
ST. PAUL-Beginning July 1, attorneys, government agencies, guardians ad litem, and sheriffs will be required to electronically file and serve documents in all district court cases filed in Minnesota using the Judicial Branch's e-filing and e-service system.
Currently, the system is mandatory for these filers in 11 pilot courts, while it remains optional in the state's other 76 district courts.
For other filers such as self-represented litigants use of e-filing will remain optional. These filers are able to choose whether to file on paper or electronically, although Minnesota's court rules require that once a filer has used e-filing to file a document, he or she must continue using the system for all future documents filed in that case.
Also on July 1, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors across the state will be 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 Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension e-charging system for filing criminal complaints. That same system supports the electronic filing of citations by law enforcement agencies. The use of this e-charging system is already common across the state, with prosecutors in 85 counties and more than 600 law enforcement agencies in the state using the system.
Transitioning to electronic filing and service is part of the Minnesota Judicial Branch's E-CourtMN 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 called E-CourtMN "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 E-CourtMN 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, in a news release. "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 that are not already using e-filing are encouraged to be prepared to electronically file and serve documents no later than July 1, 2016 as required under the Minnesota General Rules of Practice and other applicable court rules. More information about the mandatory use of e-filing, e-charging, and e-citations is outlined in this document: Overview: Mandatory Electronic Filing and Service.
In order to help attorneys, government agencies, guardians ad litem, and sheriffs prepare for mandatory e-filing and e-service, the Minnesota Judicial Branch has posted informational resources, training materials, and a three-step guide to starting eFiling. Go to www.mncourts.gov/eFile for more information.
The Electronic Filing Service Support Center is staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and can be reached at 1-855-291-8246, or by email via the Minnesota Judicial Branch website.