Electronic filing of all pleadings to pending cases will become mandatory for attorneys in all Indiana appellate courts and in the Hamilton County Circuit and Superior Courts on July 1, 2016. The announcement comes after the successful launch of voluntary e-filing last year.
Indiana Supreme Court Justice Steven David and Court of Appeals of Indiana Judge Paul Mathias lead the e-filing initiative. Justice David explained, “Requiring attorneys to e-file in certain cases and counties is simply the next step on the path to statewide implementation by the end of 2018.”
E-filing began in Hamilton County in July 2015 and in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals in November 2015. The Tax Court began e-filing in January 2016 with the announcement it would become mandatory on July 1, 2016.
Since July 2015, the courts have received nearly 10,000 filings through the electronic system. That includes cases filed from the Indiana Public Defender, Marion County Public Defender Agency, and Indiana Attorney General who agreed to e-file documents in all cases where a notice of appeal had already been filed.
On July 1, 2016, attorneys will be required to electronically file all subsequent pleadings in all case types that are eligible for e-filing according to the schedule in Hamilton County and briefs, appendices, petitions for rehearing, transfer, and review in all appellate courts. Unrepresented litigants are not required to e-file at this time, but are encouraged to use the system.
Hamilton County Judge Paul Felix serves on the Indiana Judicial Conference Board of Directors. At the March meeting, he noted the unanimous approval of his colleagues in Hamilton County who are eager to require e-filing. “We’ve considered it an honor to lead the State in this process. It works, it’s easy, and it makes the courts more efficient, reliable, and productive.”
The Indiana Supreme Court adopted trial and appellate rules to implement e-filing. Those rules continue to be adjusted as the e-filing system is rolled out. Rule amendments can be found online at http://courts.in.gov/2784.htm. Clark, Shelby, Harrison, Madison, and Henry counties currently accept e-filings on a voluntary basis. Mandatory e-filing will be in place for those counties later this year. Information about e-filing can be found at courts.in.gov/efile.