This is an update on the August 8, 2016 blog “Indiana Supreme Court Makes E-filing Mandatory“
Handling caseloads is always a concern with court systems. With the availability of advanced technologies and reliable document scanning solutions, more and more legal entities are considering electronic case filing as an ideal way to manage cases online.
Indiana courts have already made E-filing mandatory from July 1, 2016. The Electronic Filing (E-Filing) System allows filing documents in formal proceedings from your office using a web-based application. Such Electronic Case Management systems allow case documents such as pleadings, motions, and petitions to be filed within the court, using a computer and Internet connection. This process gives the courts a way to easily manage these files electronically.
Though the initiative for an electronic filing system for court documents began early, according to the Indiana Supreme Court’s annual report, roughly two-thirds of the state is currently using the digital case management system, Odyssey Supervision. It is now expected that electronic filing will be used by every county in Indiana by the end of 2018 or by the beginning of 2019.
According to Justice Steve David,
- Digitized records help streamline the work of judges, clerks, and attorneys.
- Eliminating hundreds of millions of paper copies will save money, and reduce the chance of pages getting lost.
- Digital case filing allows lawyers and judges to view documents on a laptop, anywhere at any time, leading to huge efficiencies and saving valuable time spent on searching for paper files.
However certain barriers that exist in the way of adopting the electronic filing system include education, willingness to accept a new system and proving the credibility of a new system. It is also noted that the structure of Indiana’s court system, which has 92 separate counties makes it difficult to impose change.
Specific Benefits of Electronic Case Filing
- Attorneys, parties, and the general public can access full case details online
- The case file can be simultaneously reviewed by parties, the judge, court staff and the public
- Without any concerns regarding postage or messenger services, registered attorneys can file case documents from anywhere to the filing deadline
- With 24/7 access, attorneys can stay more responsive to clients
However, some reports point out certain cons of E-filing such as lack of personalized service with the court’s business office upon filing the documents, online data security issues, and software and hardware malfunctions. These concerns can be addressed to some extent with the support of experienced legal document scanning companies that use state-of-the art technology and implement strict data security measures to ensure that the client data is safe.