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July 20, 2012
STATE BAR ASSOCIATION COMMENDS STATE LEADERS FOR NEW
LAW EXPANDING E-FILING IN COURTS
The New York State Bar Association today commended the Legislature
for passing and Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing a bill to expand
electronic filing, or e-filing, of legal documents in state courts.
The Office of Court Administration program bill (A.10796/S.7592A)
expands the existing pilot program, which now covers civil actions in
some jurisdictions, to include criminal and family courts in several
counties. New York’s e-filing pilot program began in 1999.
"Since 1999 more than 10,000 people have used the state’s pilot
e-filing system, which has proven dependable and efficient. Its benefits
include the ability to upload and serve court papers following summonses
and complaints; increased security; and extensive savings of time and
money,” said State Bar President Seymour W. James, Jr. of New York
City (The Legal Aid Society). “Currently, e-filing is mandatory in
federal courts. The State Bar Association supports mandatory e-filing in
all state courts as well. This legislation moves New York a step closer
to achieving that goal.”
As of March 1, 2012, e-filing had been authorized on a mandatory
basis for various civil matters in Supreme Court in five counties and
certain Surrogate’s Court proceedings in three counties.
Voluntary e-filing – with the consent of the parties – has
been authorized for certain matters in the Supreme Court in 13 counties,
in the Surrogate’s Court in 11 counties, in the Albany District of
the Court of Claims, and in the New York City Civil Court.
The measure signed by Governor Cuomo expands e-filing to criminal and
family courts in several counties. To ensure confidentiality, e-filed
documents in those courts would not be available to the public online.
Courts would use the existing New York State Courts Electronic Filing
In 2007, the State Bar’s Task Force on Electronic Filing of
Court Documents studied e-filing and made recommendations to the state
Office of Court Administration on how a mandatory and universal system
could be implemented in New York.
In March 2012, the association’s House of Delegates approved a
report of the Committee on Court Structure and Operations that
reiterated the State Bar’s support of universal mandatory
e-filing. According to the report, e-filing would maximize the
savings and benefits of eliminating paperwork. It also would simplify
use for attorneys practicing in different courts across the state, allow
appellate courts to review documents already on file, and reduce the
number of documents that would need to be filed and printed. The 2012
report is available online at www.nysba.org/EFilingReport.
Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman has estimated that a statewide e-filing
system could save taxpayers and litigants more than $300 million each
year in employee time, court fees, paperwork and transportation costs,
while allowing attorneys to file papers around the clock from anywhere
in the world.
The 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest
voluntary state bar association in the country. It was founded in
NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION, ONE ELK STREET, ALBANY, NY 12207 PH: (518) 463-3200 SECURE FX: (518) 463-5993