Kentucky Court of Justice
Court cases statewide may now be filed electronically
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Kentucky attorneys may now file court documents in any of the commonwealth’s 120 counties without having to make a trip to a courthouse, Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. announced at a news conference Nov. 13 in Louisville.
The news conference was to recognize the recent rollout of electronic case filing in Jefferson County and mark the successful implementation of eFiling statewide. The event took place at the Jefferson County Judicial Center.
“Implementing eFiling statewide is an enormous achievement and one that puts Kentucky in the company of the federal courts and only a few other state courts that offer electronic filing on a statewide basis,” Chief Justice Minton said. “We’re already seeing the benefits of eFiling, with attorneys across the state embracing it in their daily practices. The state’s entire legal system will become more efficient as we process cases electronically.”
With eFiling, Kentucky attorneys can file civil and criminal case documents from a computer 24/7.
The Administrative Office of the Courts launched eFiling in December 2013 and completed its statewide rollout late last month when it made the program available in Jefferson County. The AOC’s goal was to have eFiling in every Kentucky county by the end of 2015.
Attorneys are putting the program to use, filing during normal business hours, after hours and on weekends. Since the start of eFiling as a pilot program in December 2013, nearly 1,500 attorneys and other users, such as sheriffs, have electronically filed more than 75,000 documents amounting to more than 370,000 pages.
In Jefferson County, attorneys and other users have filed more than 1,500 documents of more than 7,000 pages since eFiling went live Oct. 21. Nearly 190,000 paper-based cases were filed in Jefferson County last year.
The AOC is training judges, circuit court clerks, attorneys and others throughout Kentucky on how to use eFiling. More than 6,200 attorneys and their staff members have been trained.
The next steps are for the AOC to offer eFiling for confidential matters and cases involving small claims, evictions and probate. It will also make the program available to self-represented litigants.
In addition to Chief Justice Minton, speakers at the eFiling news conference were Jefferson Chief Circuit Court Judge A.C. McKay Chauvin, Jefferson Chief Family Court Judge Paula Sherlock, Jefferson Circuit Court Clerk David L. Nicholson and Louisville Bar Association President Angela Edwards.
The AOC introduced eFiling to Kentucky state courts in December 2013, when it accepted the first electronic case filing at its test site in the Franklin County Office of Circuit Court Clerk.
Franklin County was the proof-of-concept site, which means that limited functions were tested there before the full eFiling program was rolled out in the pilot phase.
The AOC piloted eFiling in 17 counties between January and December 2014. Pilot sites initially processed only civil cases filed in Circuit Court and then began accepting criminal cases in October 2014. In January 2015, the AOC began implementing the program regionally across Kentucky.
A map of the statewide implementation schedule is available at http://courts.ky.gov/efiling/Documents/eFiling2015map.pdf.
eFiling is part of the Judicial Branch’s comprehensive, multiyear eCourt program. The goal is to update Kentucky’s aging court technology to meet the demands on the court system and enable the courts to stay current with the mainstream of law and commerce. The eCourt program will also upgrade the court system’s technology infrastructure (hardware and software), replace its case management systems for the trial and appellate courts, and acquire a document management system that will electronically store and index court documents.
The Judicial Branch cleared a major hurdle on its eCourt program with the signing of House Bill 238 in March 2013. The legislation authorized the Judicial Branch to issue $28.1 million in bonds to fund a new case management system and bring eFiling to Kentucky.
This eFiling milestone followed quickly on the heels of another major court technology rollout. In March 2013, the AOC launched CourtNet 2.0, which replaced the outdated CourtNet application and provides real-time, online access to Kentucky court case information.
Administrative Office of the Courts
The AOC is the operations arm for the state court system and supports the activities of 3,300 court system employees and 403 elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks. As the fiscal agent for the state court system, the AOC executes the Judicial Branch budget.