Newswire: Aug. 4, 2017.
The U.S. Supreme Court will adopt electronic filing for all new cases beginning this November, completing a promise to do so made three years ago by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.
The move means that, beginning Nov. 13, the public can access legal filings for all future cases free of charge. From that date forward, lawyers representing parties before the court are required to upload digital copies of their paper filings. Court staff will make electronic uploads for parties representing themselves.
In 2014, Roberts said the court would offer a fully electronic online filing system by as soon as 2016. At the time, Roberts noted that courts moved with considerable speed adapting evidence rules and making decisions based on technological advances, but have moved more slowly in the adoption of them for their own operations.
The change, applauded by researchers and archivists as well as lawyers and journalists, comes as PACER, the vast electronic records system for the U.S. federal courts, is facing a lawsuit contending that the fees it charges violate a 2002 law that require it collect fees only to pay for the maintenance of the system. The plaintiffs in the PACER case say the fees it collects have been used to subsidize other costs in the federal court system.
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