Utah District Court
Emailing is Not E-filing
On February 8th, the Tenth Circuit made it clear that emailing is not the same as efiling. The court dismissed the appeal in Le Williamson v. Deluxe Financial, Case No. 05-3312
even thought the Appellant attempted to email a notice of appeal to the clerk.
Le Williamson had thirty days, or until August 5, 2005, to file a timely
notice of appeal. On August 5, Le Williamson apparently attempted to file his
notice of appeal with the district court via e-mail but was unsuccessful. On
August 8, he filed a hard copy of the notice of appeal via a drop box when he
discovered the notice of appeal had not been entered on the district court’s
Le Williamson argues his untimely filing should be excused because he
timely submitted the notice of appeal by e-mail.Unfortunately for Le Williamson,
a generic “submission by e-mail” is not the same as “filing” for purposes of
Rule 4. To be "filed" within the meaning of Rule 4, the document must be
submitted to the clerk’s office by an approved manner. In the District Court of
Kansas, documents can be submitted directly to the clerk’s office, by drop box,
or electronically as specified by court rules. Under the Administrative
Procedure for Filing, Signing, and Verifying Pleadings and Papers by Electronic
Means in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas in Civil
Cases (Administrative Procedure), "[e]-mailing a document to the clerk’s office
or to the assigned judge does not constitute filing the document."
Data Mining Illustrated
As reported in http://www.bespacific.com
has launched a powerful list of many recent court filings, including data mined from Utah's CM/ECF system.
(click image to enlarge)
Besides presenting lists of recent court filings, and direct links to PACER, Justia allows a user to search national court filings for parties or case types.
Sealed Civil Motion Docket Entries Will Appear on the Docket
The Civil Sealed Motion has been changed from a sealed ENTRY to a sealed DOCUMENT. This means that a Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) will go out to all counsel, but the document itself will only be available to limited court staff. Since the Sealed Motion docket entry will appear on the docket, attorneys will now be able to e-file related documents (memorandums in opposition, replies, etc) and link them to the sealed motion. This was not possible previously.
The Criminal Sealed Motion will remain as a sealed ENTRY. No NEF goes out and it does not appear on the public docket.
Release 3.1 Set for Summer 2007
CM/ECF version 3.1, which will have many features of interest to chambers and lawyer users, is scheduled for release in June 2007. Among the new features in this version are hyperlinks between documents in a docket. and the ability to print multiple documents. Other features in version 3.1 include cascadiung menus, case pick lists
, use of debit cards
, availability of certain documents in Social Security Cases
, and hyperlinking between documents
Percentage of Attorney E-Filings Plateaus
For the past nine months, attorney e-filings have been 30-35% of total court filings. It appears that the percentage of documents filed by attorneys has plateaued at that range. As mentioned previously in this blog
, there are many items which cannot be filed by counsel, including notices, minute entries, writs, sealed papers, orders and judgments, and pro se and prisoner papers.
More E-Filer Registrations
At the end of 2006, the court removed all old email addresses
for persons who are not registered e-filers. Many have registered as e-filers simply by virtue of that change, and in some cases, the court has taken a more active role. These file entries show one process that has been followed.January 17, 2007ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that within fifteen days all counsel of record in this case who are not registered e-filers in the court's electronic filing system shall register as electronic filers or shall file an affidavit or declaration stating their reasons for not complying. "As of May 1, 2006, all members of the Court's Bar, active and pro hac vice, must electronically file all civil case filings. All criminal case filings by attorneys must be filed electronically as of November 1, 2005." http://www.utd.uscourts.gov/documents/announce8.htmlSigned by Judge David Nuffer on January 17, 2007. January 31, 2007RESPONSE TO ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE re Order to Show Cause, filed by Plaintiff. [Counsel certified that he was registered and attached a copy of the confirmation of his registration.]February 5, 2007NOTICE FROM THE COURT re Order to Show Cause and Response to Order to Show Cause.The response satisifies the order to show cause. The court greatly appreciates the cooperation of counsel.
A New Look in CM/ECF Version 3.1
District CM/ECF Release 3.1 includes several user interface enhancements to improve common functions, including a new cascading menu system and streamlined case selection.
While it is not as radical as Windows Vista, the cascading menus are a step forward for usability. The effect of the cascade will be to reduce the number of screens that must be navigated before getting to the docketing task at hand.
Similarly, almost every screen with a case number look-up field will be changed to reduce the number of screens presented to the user. All possible case number matches will be displayed on the same screen as the initial look-up field.
Release 3.1 is not currently available but is expected to be released within a few months.
Audio Recordings to Be Posted on Trial Basis?
At the March 2007 Judicial Conference
a proposal will be considered to endorse a pilot project for 6 to 12 months to allow digital audio recordings to be accessible through CM/ECF and to make those audio files available to the public through PACER. Whether audio recordings of court hearings will be available on PACER is therefore at least two years away.