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NY courts push statewide e-filing.


State court officials in New York are pushing for mandatory electronic filing of documents statewide.

Thomson Reuters reported that litigants have been able to e-file in many parts of the state for the past 10 years, but just two years ago, some New York City courts began requiring electronic documents.

Former Chief Administrative Judge Ann Pfau released a report last June asking the state legislature to pass a bill requiring e-filing in almost all courts in the state, according to Thomson Reuters. She said the move would result in 'hundreds of millions of dollars" of savings for the court system and litigants.

Several New York counties have followed Pfau's lead and recently made e-filing mandatory in their courts. For example, Thomson Reuters reported that:

* All probate and administration proceedings must be filed electronically in Surrogate's Court in Chautauqua, Erie, and Monroe counties.

* All contract, tort, and commercial actions, regardless of the amount of money disputed, must be filed electronically in Manhattan State Supreme Court.

* All cases in Supreme Court in Westchester and Rockland counties must be e-filed, excluding matrimonial, election law, Mental Hygiene Law, and Article 78 proceedings.

* Brooklyn's Supreme Court has gone paperless for commercial actions in which $75,000 or more is in dispute, and all medical malpractice cases in the Bronx must now be e-filed.

Officials also have unveiled voluntary e-filing in a number of courts in recent weeks. As of March, all commercial, contract, tort, and tax certiorari claims in Supreme Court in Onondaga County could be e-filed, Thomson Reuters noted. At least a dozen other counties opened their Supreme Courts to e-filing this past January, including Albany, Nassau, and Suffolk.

Local government is pursuing online access, too. New York recently passed a law requiring town boards, county legislatures, and other public bodies to post proposed laws, resolutions, policies, and other public documents online before discussing them at meetings, the Times Herald-Record reported.

The new state law, which went into effect in February, applies to any government entity with a regularly updated website and high-speed Internet service. Open government advocates say the law gives citizens the same access to public records that officials have.

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Title Annotation:E-RECORDS
Publication:Information Management Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2012
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