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The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wayne County Circuit Court Rolls Out E-Filing

Yesterday, the Wayne Circuit Court joined Oakland and a few other select counties that accept electronic case and document filings.  For the time being, however, only Wayne County's contract case filings, coded with the "CK" case code, are mandatory e-file cases; the rest of the docket still requires old-fashioned paper.

Oakland County has had e-filing for years; it has personally saved me hundreds of man-hours and my clients thousands of dollars.  There are still docket pockets in Oakland County, however, that have resisted the e-filing system.  Divorces with children, for example, have eluded Oakland County's e-file requirement.

An attorney must do a few proactive things to successfully get on board with the e-filing requirements.  First, invest in a good computer system and Internet connection.  Second, go to the training sessions routinely offered by the courts and bring your support staff.

While e-filing is here to stay, some critics assert that e-filing requirements reduce access to the court system for in pro per litigants who lack sufficient computing capital for electronic filing.  For these folks, there is still a paper option, but there are additional hoops to jump through.  Folks just need to get on board.

There can be no doubt that electronic filing is here to stay.  The federal system has been completely electronic via the PACER system for a decade; the Michigan appellate courts have been on an electronic filing system [albeit a different one from the county courts] for years and it works great.

Although we are still several years off from a 100% electronic filing system, it's coming.  The next hurdle for attorneys will be to make the commitment to a completely paperless law office.

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