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Chief justice: Mandatory e-filing on the way

Chief Justice Pat Roggensack

Chief Justice Pat Roggensack

Mandatory e-filing will be coming soon to Wisconsin’s court system, says Chief Justice Pat Roggensack.

The chief justice said Wednesday during her first State of the Judiciary Address at a judicial conference in Middleton that the court system is moving gradually toward requiring the electronic filing of court documents. The transition, she said, will start by requiring that only certain types of cases be filed electronically.

The adoption of mandatory e-filing throughout the state will not prove to be as large of an undertaking as one might think, Roggensack said. Fourteen of the state’s 72 counties, she explained, have already gone paperless and 44 counties already use some form of electronic filing.

Initially, Roggensack said, she and her colleagues on the Wisconsin Supreme Court were concerned because the 2015-17 budget did not include the $2.2 million they had requested in order to put mandatory e-filing into effect in all state courts. However, she said, the Consolidated Court Automation Program was able to devise a plan that eliminated the need for the additional money.

“We want to and need to move decisively to introduce electronic filing statewide,” said Denis Moran, interim director of state courts.

The justices, he said, plan to consider the petition for mandatory e-filing as early as February, and his office has already started to reassign staff members to put mandatory e-filing into effect. Roggensack said the justices could take up the petition for mandatory e-filing even sooner.

Roggensack also mentioned that the justices are considering a petition from Diane Fremgen, clerk of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, which would  allow for the electronic filing of circuit court records needed in appeals and petitions of review.

About Erika Strebel, [email protected]

Erika Strebel is the law beat reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal and a law school student at UW-Madison. She can be reached at 414-225-1825.

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