Judicial Council to Consider Allowing Superior Courts to Require e-Filing in Civil Cases

SAN FRANCISCO—At its public meeting next week, the Judicial Council will consider a proposal to allow superior courts to require that parties electronically file and serve documents in civil cases. The proposal also recommends approval of two new optional Judicial Council forms to be used by parties to request exemptions from mandatory electronic filing and service and for courts to use in ruling on those requests.

The proposal recommends these changes to the California Rules of Court to implement Assembly Bill 2073. That bill authorized a mandatory electronic filing pilot project in the Superior Court of Orange County and required the Judicial Council to adopt uniform rules to permit mandatory electronic filing and service of documents in specified civil actions.

While the proposal would exempt self-represented parties from any mandatory electronic filing and service requirements adopted by participating courts, it also includes language that would encourage these parties to participate voluntarily. To the extent feasible, courts and other entities would be encouraged to assist self-represented parties to electronically file and serve documents.

The council will hold its public business meeting from 8:30 a.m. to 2:25 p.m. on Friday, June 28, in the Judicial Council Conference Center, Hiram Johnson State Office Building, Third Floor, Ronald M. George State Office Complex, 455 Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco.

A live audiocast of the meeting will be on the California Courts website and the agenda and reports are posted online.

Other items on the council’s meeting agenda include:

Modifications and Revisions Proposed for New Judge Education: The council’s CJER Governing Committee accepted a report from a working group it had appointed to review and evaluate CJER’s new judge education programming. After reviewing the working group’s findings and recommendations, the governing committee endorsed the group’s recommendations and is now presenting these (with some modifications) to the Judicial Council for consideration and adoption. The recommendations respond to the council’s directives arising from the Strategic Evaluation Committee’s final report on the AOC.

AOC Restructuring: Judicial Council Liaisons’ Review of the Legal Services Office: Judicial Council member liaisons to the AOC Legal Services Office propose recommendations relating to: organizational structure and services; the role of the office’s chief counsel; the use of outside counsel; attorney staff housed in AOC field offices; the use of a paralegal classification; and attorney services provided by other offices in the AOC. The recommendations respond to the council’s directives arising from the Strategic Evaluation Committee’s final report on the AOC.

Court Closures: Per statute and its normal meeting procedures, the council will receive an updated report on which trial courts have closed courtrooms or clerks’ offices or reduced clerks’ office hours because of budget reductions. This is the 19th report to date listing the latest court notices received by the council under this statutory requirement. Since the last council report, the Superior Courts of Fresno, Orange, Riverside, and San Mateo Counties have issued new notices of closures or reductions. – See more at: http://www.courts.ca.gov/22581.htm#sthash.q33gRfVE.dpuf

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