A statewide initiative for e-filing was launched with legislation passed in 2015. Effective March 1, 2016, courts are required to collect an electronic filing system fee, in addition to the civil filing fee, at the time an action is commenced in court. District court electronic filing fees are:
$5 for actions filed in the small claims division;
$10 for all civil actions, including landlord tenant and land contract cases; and
$20 for civil actions if a claim for money damages is joined with a claim for relief other than money damages.
Proceeds from electronic system filing fees go into the judicial electronic filing fund. The fund will be used to develop a statewide system for e-filing, as well as technology upgrades necessary for courts to operate their e-filing systems.
The State Court Administrative Office has identified the goals of the e-filing initiative to include:
To allow for the filing of court documents from anywhere in the state at any time of day, without having to drive to a court office or send large amounts of printed materials, thereby saving time, gas, parking fees, copy costs and delivery charges;
To accommodate electronic notice and service of process, and provide other expanded benefits to improve the efficiency of court interactions with attorneys, parties and the public;
To enhance electronic document management systems so that judges and staff can have ready access to court records at any time and from any place.
In anticipation of e-filing, 54-A District Court plans to develop a document management system in 2016. Our goal is to be poised to join the statewide system, and to take advantage of available funding for technology upgrades, when they become available.
The electronic filing system fee expires on December 31, 2020, and will no longer be collected after that date.