Future Law

Illinois Makes E-Filing Mandatory in Civil Cases

e-filingThe Illinois Supreme Court is going green. Paper will soon be a thing of the past when dealing with civil cases in the Land of Lincoln as the national e-filing movement arrives in our state.

Currently, 46 U.S. jurisdictions have implemented e-filing in some form or another, but only a handful have made it mandatory. In the next few years, Illinois will be one of them.

According to the court order, by July 1, 2017, e-filing of all civil cases will be mandatory in the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois Appellate Court, and by January 1, 2018, all Illinois circuit courts must comply with the same standard.

Back in 2002, the state implemented an initial pilot program with cases in the Supreme Court through M.R. Order 18368, but the usage of e-filing was still fairly slim across the entire state. It also made matters challenging, because the counties and courts who did participate each used different e-filing managers (EFMs).

With this in mind, the Supreme Court also ruled to create one centralized EFM. This EFM will be integrated with the Supreme Court Clerk and the five Illinois Appellate Court Clerk case management systems, as well as those of each Circuit Court in the state.

However, for all of the Circuit Courts that have already been approved and have been using an e-filing program before the filing of this order, these provisions don’t necessarily apply. These Courts may continue using the same EFM or they have the option to adopt the centralized EFM that the rest of the state will be using up until January 1, 2018. After that date, assuming the new authorized EFM is running smoothly, the Supreme Court may designate a future date where these Courts must convert over to the centralized EFM.

At this time, the centralized EFM has not been determined, but as soon as a system is selected, we’ll let you know.

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