Electronic filing in appellate courts to be mandatory effective Nov. 2

TOPEKA—The Kansas Supreme Court announced today that it has a project underway to expand attorneys’ use of electronic filing in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals with the intent that it will become mandatory effective Nov. 2, 2015.

“This is an important step toward more modern courts that allow attorneys to electronically file their documents from anywhere, saving them both time and money,” said Lawton R. Nuss, chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court. “In our experience, many attorneys who bring cases to the appellate courts are open to using electronic filing, especially when they discover how easy it is.”

Since April, the clerk of the appellate court’s office has encouraged more attorneys in certain judicial districts to file new criminal cases electronically, focusing on cases with the Office of the Appellate Defender and county and district attorneys. Private attorneys in those judicial districts are also encouraged to file electronically in criminal cases that do not require paying a fee.

The appellate clerk’s office is also seeking willing parties in specific judicial districts to convert cases that originated on paper into electronically filed ones. Stipulations are that the cases originate in specific judicial districts and that all parties agree to the change. By mid-July, electronic filing in the appellate courts will be open to criminal cases from all judicial districts.

In August, electronic filing will be opened to civil cases. In mid-August, the KanPay online payment feature will be fully integrated into the appellate e-filing system, allowing any electronic filer to begin to file cases that have a required fee. Between August and the end of October, e-filing will be open to attorneys for all case types, including those that require electronic payment. This period of voluntary use will allow attorneys to get accustomed to e-filing before it becomes mandatory Nov. 2.

Last year, more than 200 new criminal cases were electronically filed by appellate defenders and county or district attorney offices in three of the state’s busiest judicial districts. About 2,800 cases are filed with the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals each year. Since 2013, the appellate courts have processed more than 16,000 electronic submissions in the appellate e-filing system.

Nuss encourages attorneys who now have, or will have in the future, cases before the appellate courts to get registered to use the Kansas Court Electronic Filing system and take advantage of web-based training to learn how to use it. Instructions for registering and links to online training are available on the judicial branch website at www.kscourts.org/Cases-and-Opinions/E-filing/default.asp.

To learn more about the appellate courts e-filing expansion project, visit www.kscourts.org/Cases-and-Opinions/E-filing/Appellate.asp.

The mandate for electronic filing in the appellate courts does not affect electronic filing in district courts. The statewide e-filing rollout in district courts will continue into next year.

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