The state of Missouri is moving ahead with creating a digitized case management system which allows attorneys to file documents electronically. The state-wide automation project is managed by the Missouri Court Automation Committee (MCA). Some of counties in the state have completed the transition to e-filing of court records, while others are yet to do so. The system holds many benefits for courts as well as attorneys.
Benefits of E-filling of Court Records
- E-filing allows courts to receive, process and manage cases electronically
- Attorneys can save time and money, without having to going to the courthouse to submit filings or to check the status of cases
- With electronic filing, case documents will be stored in a digital database at the court and will be viewed by Missouri attorneys who are registered and subscribed to the Missouri eFiling System via Case.net
- Efficiency is improved by doing away with paper records, which is also an environment-friendly solution to record management
- Doing away with paper saves storage space
- Attorneys from any court (not just one of the pilot courts) will be able to see a public document that has been scanned into the state document management system.
- E-filing eliminates delays in retrieving case records due to lost or checked-out files.
- Deliver filings to the court in the appropriate form and format.
- Enhance court access by overcoming geographic challenges and providing after-hours case interaction
- The system will provide a case tracking system and schedule case filings automatically within it
- Access to court documents is a win-win situation for both attorneys and clients, where attorneys can access legal information easily and clients are provided with better services
- Clerical staff can spend more time in reviewing files for ensuring accuracy and data integrity
- Case records available online can be accessed free of cost.
- The system allows attorneys to file and view cases or documents seven days a week, excluding the times of technical difficulties and scheduled maintenance works.
- With electronic filing, attorneys can reduce or eliminate the costs associated with printing and binding, overnight delivery, postage, courier or other travel delivery costs.
Transition to e-filing and digitization did pose some initial problems for courts and attorneys, though they are gradually becoming comfortable with the process. Attorneys should take care not to make any data entry errors and choose the correct document type when e-filing. This is important for proper routing of the document for follow?up by the court and efficient processing.