E-filing isn’t just mandatory in Illinois. In fact, many courts have implemented electronic filing to some extent. This month, however, that list of courts now includes the Supreme Court of the United States.
Beginning November 13, 2017, the United States Supreme Court will require e-filing of all court documents.
This change has been in the works for a number of years. In fact, according to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 year-end report, Chief Justice John Roberts made light of the future addition to the courtroom experience, stating, “The Supreme Court is currently developing its own electronic filing system, which may be operational as soon as 2016.” However, it became much more plausible following SCOTUS’s website redesign in July of this year.
According to the Court’s press release, the new e-filing system will be accessible from a link provided on the SCOTUS website. Once the e-filing system goes live, all new filings will be available without cost to the public and the legal community.
The Court announcement also noted that “initially” the official filing of court documents will remain on paper for all cases, but parties represented by counsel must submit an electronic version of their documents as well. Pro se litigants, however, get a little more wiggle-room. Their paper filings will be scanned by Court personnel and made available for public access on the electronic docket.
Lawyers expecting to file in the United States Supreme Court will need to register to use the e-filing system. Online registration is expected to open at least a month before the November launch date.
As we receive more information regarding registration and the e-filing requirements, the Commission on Professionalism will keep its readers informed. In the meantime, for more information, please refer to the Supreme Court’s e-filing section on their website.