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E-Filing Press Release

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In a move that ultimately will forever change how the courts do business, lawyers may electronically file certain cases starting July 1, 2004.

"This clearly puts the Connecticut Judicial Branch into the 21st century," Chief Court Administrator Joseph H. Pellegrino said. "And while we are starting out with a limited number of cases that may be e-filed, our plan is to create a fully-integrated paperless e-filing system for all civil, family, and small claims cases."

The first phase of the project will allow for statewide e-filing of the following cases: vehicular torts, property damage only; defective premises private, snow and ice; defective premises, private other; defective premises public, snow and ice; and defective premises, public other.

Judge Pellegrino stressed that e-filing is simply another option for attorneys. "No one will be forced to e-file documents, and if someone prefers to file a case through the traditional paper method, they may do so," the Judge added.

Nevertheless, he said, there are several benefits to e-filing. Among them:

  • Electronic filing allows judges, attorneys, litigants and court staff to file and access documents electronically via the Internet, 365 days a year, seven days a week, and 21˝ hours per day (the system will be unavailable from 4 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.).
  • Documents can be filed or accessed in any location, at any time, and with basic equipment and basic computer knowledge.
  • Multiple parties, including judges, attorneys, court personnel or litigants, can access documents at the same time.
  • Electronic filing services are free. The only cost will be filing fees – the same fees that are incurred with paper documents.
  • Electronic filing is ecologically friendly and will greatly reduce the vast amount of paperwork generated by the courts. Additionally, more and more government agencies are allowing access to their business processes through the Internet, as they move away from paper.
  • Electronic filing will help the courts operate with increased efficiency that will directly affect attorneys and their clients.
  • "As e-filing gets up and rolling, we see this as a win-win situation for everybody," Judge Pellegrino added.

    The Judicial Branch has spent the past several months preparing to implement e-filing, following Judge Pellegrino’s directive that the Branch have it online by July 1, 2004. Among the Branch’s top priorities has been the training of court personnel and lawyers statewide, to ensure that e-filing proceeds as smoothly as possible.

    "We can’t expect e-filing to succeed without people knowing how it will work," Judge Pellegrino said. "To that end, we have devoted much time and effort to educating people about the new system."

    Information will be available through various publications and also on the Judicial Branch’s award-winning website, at www.jud.ct.gov.

    E-filing is but one of several e-services offered through the Branch’s website. Others include: case and party lookup for civil, family, small claims, and housing matters; downloadable, fillable forms; online attorney registration and calendar markings; and docket management programs.

    For further information, please contact Melissa A. Farley, executive director of External Affairs, at 860-757-2270.

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