Electronic Case Filing and Public Record Retrieval

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mandatory E-Filing For NY County Supreme Starting May 24th
Pursuant to Chapter 416 of the Laws of 2009, mandatory electronic filing will be instituted in this Court soon in certain commercial cases (“mandatory commercial cases”). The target date for commencement of this program is May 24, 2010. A Uniform Rule is being drafted that will set forth the procedures for mandatory e-filing. Although that Rule will, of course, control, the following are the key aspects of mandatory e-filing that the Court at present expects to implement. If upon issuance of the Rule any changes in procedures are required, the Court will provide notice thereof as expeditiously as possible.

NOTICE TO COMMERCIAL PRACTITIONERS: MANDATORY ELECTRONIC FILING

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Pacer U.S. Party/Case Index Being Replaced with Case Locator

The PACER Case Locator which allows you to search for court records in all district, bankruptcy, and appellate courts is now available. The Case Locator replaces the U.S. Party/Case Index and provides enhanced search and display capabilities including the ability to:
  • request lists of cases for a specified date range by court type;
  • conduct searches based on chapter, discharge date and dismissal date for bankruptcy cases;
  • access case information for the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation;
  • choose result formats, including HTML, delimited text, and XML which can be easily imported to other programs for analysis;
  • change the sort order of the results displayed; and
  • conduct refined searches within the results of a previous search.
Visit the PACER Case Locator at http://pcl.uscourts.gov. The U.S. Party/Case Index will be available for the next few months to allow you time to become familiar with the capabilities of the new Case Locator. Note that the systems will provide the same results for identical searches.
New PACER Case Locator Launched!

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Merging Three into One: DLA Piper's Docketing Software Success
Chris Gierymski, Director of Docketing at DLA Piper (U.S.). shares his experience in selecting and merging case managment software.

"In 2005, three law firms undertook an unprecedented transatlantic merger to create DLA Piper. The juncture of Dibb Lupton Alsop; Piper Rudnick; and Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich created a global legal services practice with 3,500 lawyers and 3,400 support staff, who operate in 67 offices in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. Of course, the size and scope of this merger created management challenges, including the need to unify our approach to docketing across all of our U.S. offices."

Full Article via Law.com: Merging Three into One

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Implementing PACER & CM/ECF Comes With a Price to Pay (Besides Fees)

From examiner.com: "By installing PACER AND CM/ECF, the US courts introduced a sea change in operations of the courts, with no legal foundation.” In a paper entitled “Notice of Electronic Filing,” Joseph Zernik writes, “The authority for implementation of CM/ECF is often cited as the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which allow Local Rules of Court. However, the implementation....was not via Local Rules of Court.” Zernik goes on to note that “the detailed rules of implementation of PACER and CM/ECF at the Central District of California, for example, were only provided in an ‘Unofficial Manual’...”

“This is the biggest shell-game fraud in the history of the legal process,” states Zernik.

Large Scale Shell Game Fraud by the US Courts Docketing Systems - PACER & CM/ECF

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Implements Mandatory Electronic Filing
From the court's site:
Effective January 20, 2010, electronic filing in all counseled 2010 cases
is mandatory in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. All
documents filed in a case after the opening document - i.e., the notice of
appeal, petition for review, petition for writ of mandamus, successive habeas
petition, or motion for leave to file an appeal - must be filed electronically
in the Second Circuit. See Local Rule 25.1. Specific instructions for filing an opening document, such as a petition for review or petition for a writ of mandamus, are set forth in Local Rule 25.1(c)(2). Attorneys must be registered both with the Court and PACER to file documents electronically. For more information about registration, click here. For PACER information click here.

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Clark County, NV 8th District Court Implements Mandatory Electronic Filing
Beginning February 1, 2010 mandatory e-filing will be enforced for Civil and Domestic cases.

Here's the notice which includes a links to the official order and their e-filing site.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit Finally on CM/ECF
Yes, it's true. Congratulations to the 2nd circuit as being the last federal court in the country to finish implementing CM/ECF. Although the old web-Pacer system is still accessible from their web site, Pacer and the Federal Judiciary sites say the new system is ready for use to retrieve dockets and filings. Now let's see how long it takes them to implement the "ECF" in "CM/ECF".

New CM/ECF Access
Old Web-Pacer Access
Old 5-Digit Access
Nationwide ECF Implementation Progress

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Friday, January 08, 2010

Georgia State Court of Appeals Launches Electronic Filing
All attorneys representing litigants in the Court of Appeals of Georgia are eligible to register with the court to submit briefs electronically. With a cool name like "EFAST", it's gotta be good. To register you must be an attorney in good standing with the State Bar and the Court of Appeals.

EFAST site
Q & As

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit Finally Starting CM/ECF
As one of the last federal courts in the country to implement, the 2nd Circuit is finally going to start using CM/ECF on 1/20/10. See the clerk's new section and information here.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Utah State Courts Begin Electronic Fillings
According to the Davis County Clipper: The eFiling program, which began on Monday in the 2nd District, allows electronic filing, or interface, between the attorney filing the case and the court’s electronic filing system. It will allow attorneys to file initial documents in a case, file documents on existing cases, and download documents filed on a case. Only subscribers to the service are currently able to participate in e-Filing.

It also provides noticing, and three additional court districts—3rd, 4th, and 5th districts—will begin accepting e-Filings in civil cases between January and March of 2010.

2nd District Court now accepting e-Files on civil cases
Utah State Courts eFiling

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Chambers County, Texas District Court E-Filing Implemented
Theanahuacprogress.com reports: Attorneys now have the ability to file civil documents in the District Courts electronically with eFiling for Courts. This service is offered to filers through the Office of the District Clerk, Patti L. Henry and TexasOnline, the official website of the State of Texas.

Chambers County makes electronic filing a reality

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Friday, October 09, 2009

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to Begin E-Filing
According to their web site: The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals will begin offering electronic filing to attorneys on a voluntary basis by the end of 2009.

Registration for voluntary electronic filing began October 7, 2009. Due to the expected high volume of registration requests, court acceptance of electronic filing accounts may take longer than expected. Please be assured that you will receive notification when the court has acted on your request. Your account will be accepted as "Approved - ECF Not Yet Available" because CM/ECF is not yet accessible for testing or filing. If you receive this notification, your account is complete.

5th Circuit CM/ECF Information

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Friday, October 02, 2009

RECAP’s Filings Lack Authenticity, But Will This Change?

RECAP, a plugin for Firefox that helps PACER users build a free repository of public court records, has received lots of press since it debuted for various reasons. I suspect many people are attracted to its principle of increasing government transparency and praise it, yet have never used it. One significant issue that prevents law firms and other professionals from using RECAP is the simple fact that there is no guarantee when you download a filing, it is truly the Pacer filing you intended to obtain.

RECAP clearly states on their site "We rely on RECAP users to donate documents to the repository. If the courts used a technology called digital signatures, we would be able to independently verify the authenticity of documents submitted to us by users. But so far the courts have not done this, so we have no foolproof way to detect forgeries. We believe that all the documents currently in RECAP are genuine, and we’re going to do our best to keep it that way. But we can’t guarantee that vandalism or technical glitches won’t cause problems in the future. So if you need a guarantee that a document is genuine, we recommend you pay for the PACER version."

That's the bad news. But here's the good news: the first digitally-signed judicial order has been issued. The National Notary Association reports "In an event that could transform the manner in which orders are issued throughout the entire judicial system, a U.S. District Judge has issued the nation’s first digitally-signed, all-electronic judicial order.

John M. Facciola, United States Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, signed the order utilizing a digital certificate obtained through services provided by the National Notary Association (NNA) and technologies developed by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), VeriSign, Adobe Systems Inc., SafeNet and Chosen Security.

“The capability to digitally sign an order or other document should create in the people who receive it an assurance that the document was signed by the judge, and eliminate corrupt attempts to use forged, electronically created documents for improper ends,” said Judge Facciola. “It is the next logical development in the transition by the court from paper to electronic filing that will keep the court's way of doing things consistent and contemporary with the actual practices of the society that the court serves,” Judge Facciola added."

So it appears the federal government's digital document authentication process is improving, but just how long it will take to carry over to Pacer, and then benefit RECAP users is anyone's guess.

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit Begins Mandatory Electronic Filing
All cases filed on and after September 1, 2009, will be assigned to the court’s CM/ECF system.

The spokesman for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Dick Carelli, said two other federal appellate courts set up mandatory e-filing earlier this year—the 9th and 10th circuits. The 4th Circuit has been using mandatory electronic filing since June 2008. The 1st Circuit is expecting to require mandatory electronic filing by January 2010.

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Mississippi State Court E-Filing Access using CM/ECF Platform
Public access to electronically filed court documents in Madison County Chancery
Court became available on Thursday, August 27. The interface for the Mississippi Electronic courts (MEC) can be found here. Mississippi is the first state to use a program based on the federal system.

Mississippi Electronic Courts (MEC)

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Courtport Announces its Launch of FreeCourtDockets.com with Free Pacer Docket Access
Anyone with Internet access can now retrieve Pacer dockets 100% free.

Massapequa Park, NY – August 18, 2009 – Courtport, LLC, a legal research and technology company, today announced the launch of its free federal court docket retrieval site, FreeCourtDockets.com, which enables anyone to retrieve full court dockets from any U.S. district civil, criminal, or bankruptcy court, as well as from the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Claims, and the U.S. Court of International Trade.

"The public has been voicing their displeasure with the federal government’s unwillingness to provide free access to court dockets for quite some time, and with the support of sponsors, advertisers, and donations, we are happy to provide a solution to this problem." said Paul Bush, CEO and founder of Courtport.

Free Really Means Free
To manage its data costs the site may at times limit how many dockets a user can retrieve in a single day, but no paid subscription or credit card information is required. As advertising revenue continues to increase this limitation will be increased or eliminated. At this time access is granted by invitation only, and anyone can quickly apply for an invitation on the site.

During this current economic downturn, law firms, businesses, and private citizens are looking to reduce costs and save every penny possible. “If you can get a docket from Pacer, you can get the same docket from FreeCourtDockets 100% free” Bush adds.

Integrated Business Solutions
The site allows dockets to be retrieved and updated using a simple interface, but customers who need greater volumes of court record access with more sophistication, can do so using Courtport’s customized software. "In making FreeCourtDockets for the general public, we now have the software, knowledge, and expertise to continue developing automated aggregating, searching, tracking, and alerting services for larger volume users including law firms, the media, and data resellers." said Gigi Kizhakkechethipuzha, CTO of Courtport.

About Courtport
Courtport, LLC is a privately owned New York based company, focused on being a leading provider of inexpensive public record research and retrieval services for professional researchers and the general public, owns several research sites including Courtport.com, LegalDockets.com, and is actively seeking investors to expand their operations.

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Senate Passes Legislation to Make New York State Court E-Filing Permanent
The State Senate Thursday passed a bill that makes permanent the court e-filing program. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Eric Schneiderman (D-Manhattan/Bronx), modernizes the court filing process by allowing more civil cases to be filed electronically.

The legislation is supported by the Chief Administrative Judge of New York State Ann Pfau.
“E-filing is a fair, efficient and cost-cutting program that works. This legislation extends a successful program that eliminates paperwork and reduces processing time – it brings New York’s courts into the 21st century,” said Schneiderman. “There’s absolutely no reason not to continue e-filing.”

The e-filing program began in 1999, allowing the electronic filing of court papers, or e-filing, in only a small number of cases and in a limited number of courts. Over the last ten years, the program has expanded to include new classes of cases and venues statewide. By May 2009, 360,000 documents and 160,000 cases had been filed through the system.

The bill now goes to the Governor for his signature.

New York State Court Electronic Filing

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Monday, August 03, 2009

TexasOnline Partners with nCourt to Provide eFiling Services for Justice of the Peace Courts
Businesswire.com reports: WOODSTOCK, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--nCourt, LLC, a leading provider of eFiling and payment solutions for lower courts, today announced that its eFiling system was selected through TexasOnline, the official online portal for the state of Texas. nCourt provides Texans and filers worldwide with the ability to file court documents in Texas justice courts, including small claims and eviction proceedings via a secure Web system. As the first state to implement a statewide system supporting an open model for vendors serving attorneys and courts, TexasOnline’s eFiling for Courts service has been optimized for District, County and Probate courts. Through nCourt, filers in the Justice of the Peace courts can finally take advantage of the increased benefits eFiling provides, including the online preparation of documents, saving them time, resources and streamlining the filing process.

TexasOnline Partners with nCourt to Provide eFiling Services Dedicated to Justice of the Peace Courts

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Social Security Numbers Exposed by Government Officials and Social Networking
The Wall Street Journal reports: Consumers who have spent hours locking up their passports, shredding their billing statements and filing away their tax returns may soon learn they've wasted a great deal of time. Their efforts to shield themselves from identity theft by guarding their Social Security numbers are being undermined by government officials and social networking sites.

Originally created as a record-keeping system to manage the Social Security program, SSNs have quickly become the identifier most widely used by creditors, education institutions and health care and other service providers. They've also become a sought-after commodity in criminal circles. Identity fraud claimed 9.9 million victims last year – the highest in five years – and Social Security numbers were among the data most frequently compromised (38% of the time), along with names and addresses (43%), according to a report on identity fraud conducted by the research firm Javelin Strategy & Research.

Is Hiding Your Social Security Number Worth It?

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Virginia's Statewide E-Filing System Making Progress, with Careful Implementation
valawyersweekly.com reports: Virginia Chief Justice Leroy Rountree Hassell Sr. drew applause when he told a roomful of lawyers the state’s planned electronic filing system will be lawyer-friendly. “It’s going to be available to a lawyer who hates computers,” Hassell said.

Hassell said the court hopes to have a pilot e-filing system up and running in the courts of Norfolk in a year.

Nevertheless, Hassell said court officials would move “slowly and methodically” to implement e-filing throughout the rest of the state. “We are not going to roll out this program around the state until we have achieved perfection in Norfolk,” he said.

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