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That Ticking You Hear? It's the Countdown to Mandatory E-Filing

E-Day is approaching for the Illinois court system. The deadline days for statewide mandatory e-filing, that is.

Attorneys filing civil cases before the Illinois Supreme Court and Appellate Courts will be required to do so electronically as of July 1, and the circuit courts across the state will follow on Jan. 1, 2018, pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Order M.R. 18368 issued on Jan. 22, 2016. This comes 15 years after the court first launched an e-filing pilot program in September 2002.

"This is a crucial shift in policy and practice for the Illinois courts," says Mike Tardy, director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC). "It represents a fundamental cultural change in moving our system of justice into the use of digital technology. This will have access benefits, efficiency benefits, and ultimately, there will be cost savings."

The AOIC and Texas-based vendor Tyler Technologies, which has set up e-filing in part or all of 20 states, are working assiduously to ensure that the centralized electronic filing manager system, known as eFileIL, will be all-systems-go when the date arrives; in fact, it was already live in 59 out of the state's 102 counties by mid-April.

"The system is designed to be a delivery system to allow attorneys to do two things," says Terry Derrick, senior director of e-solutions for Tyler. "One is to electronically file their documents and get them to the court. The second thing it does is provide attorneys and legal professionals the opportunity to electronically serve the documents to opposing counsel, or anybody else on the case. It fills those two primary needs."

How does e-filing work? Find out more in the June Illinois Bar Journal and at our June 13 CLE webcast and our June 16 CLE program at the ISBA Annual Meeting.

Posted on May 24, 2017 by Mark S. Mathewson