Notice of Conventional Filing Does Not "Reserve" Filing Date
Judge Kimball recently revealed that an attorney was using an e-filed Notice of Conventional Filing to "bookmark" a spot on the docket; stamping document caption pages at the all-night filing box outside the court; and then returning to the court days later to actually deposit the documents in the all-night filing box using the caption cover pages stamped days earlier.Chronology:
2/16/2007 at 9:53 PM - Notice of Conventional Filing e-filed
2/16/2007 at 10:11 PM - Date stamp on face of documents
2/21/07 (morning) - Documents retrieved by court staff from all-night filing box, found in between other documents bearing 2/20/07 date stamp
The caption pages stamped 2/16/07 were attached to the documents pulled from the all night filing box on February 21st. If they had actually been deposited on the 16th, they would have been pulled from the box on the morning of February 20th, after the Presidents' Day Holiday. But the documents were not in the stack of documents pulled from the box that date. They were pulled from the box the morning of February 21st.
Judge Kimball ordered the documents to be docketed as of February 20th, the day before they were actually found in the all-night filing box, not as of the February 16th date of the face page stamp which was also the date of the electronically filed Notice of Conventional Filing. Judge Kimball also ordered that "counsel for both parties are hereby notified that they are not to electronically file any 'Notice of Conventional Filing' until after the document actually has been filed with the court." (The timing of the Notice is not specifically state in the court's Administrative Procedures.
Judge Kimball also gave notice that serious sanctions would apply to such conduct in the future:
"Accordingly, counsel is hereby notified that, if any such conduct is again observed by court staff, the court will strike the document(s) at issue and therefore will not consider the document(s) in deciding any related motion."Endnote:
The February 16th Notice of Conventional Filing was itself strange, reciting the documents were conventionally filed January 19th
. Review of the record in the case shows another Notice of Conventional Filing was e-filed on January 19th. But the documents referenced in that Notice were not actually docketed until January 23rd, even though they would have been expected to be in the all-night filing box the morning of January 22nd.