Please let me know what you think about these first three issues.
October 26, 2011 · Filed Under Uncategorized
3 Responses to “Part 1 e-Court issues”
Please keep in mind that certain areas do not require a filing fee and these same areas at the least should not have a transitional fee. Cases that are criminal or domestic violence can result in denial of due process if an indigent party is unable to pay a transitional fee.
Also, court is becoming more expensive so not only the poor but also the middle-class cannot afford to seek redress in the courts. Between the filing fees, mediation fees, GAL fees, etc. court is becoming a luxury for only those who can pay. Adding a transitional fee will only exacerbate that situation.
Finally, e-filing is supposed to cut costs so there is no need to add a fee to cover it. The courts will save money once orders, etc. are e-mailed to parties instead of using the postal system. The savings on postage, paper, copies and staff time will make up for whatever cost there is in the start-up of e-filing.
E-filings absolutely should not be mandatory for pro se litigants. Indeed, such a requirement might very well be unconstitutional in particular instances. Moreover pro se litigants who lack easy access to e-filing technology should not be required to travel to courts to scan in their documents electronically. Some pro se litigants are impoverished and/or would find travel requirements to be extremely burdensome if not utterly unfeasible (e.g., due to inability to walk or to drive, or due to being imprisoned, or due to living at a considerable distance from the court). I would not be averse to seeing experimentation with reasonable incentives for pro se litigants to do e-filing, such as waived fees/charges, or reasonable disincentives for pro se litigants to submit paper filings (disincentives which could be waived in appropriate instances), such as putting non-e-filing plaintiffs/petitioners on a somewhat slower track for hearings.
Thanks you for your thoughts.
We expect that e-Filing fees would be waived under criteria similar to the current exceptions made for indigent litigants.
The e-Court Team is focused on providing the same or better level of access and service to pro se litigants. We understand that many of these litigants do not have means to own a computer. We also understand that travel to a court could be a burden. But is seems that this is about what an indigent pro se litigant faces now. If a pro se litigant needs a form, they either travel to a court or go to a library for web access and print it off. They then go to or mail it to the court.
We do need a process to address hand written pleadings and forms mailed to the court. We expect to make provisions for e-Filing from the prisons.
We highly value public input. The E-Court project will proceed with openness and transparency. We are at a very high level now but as details emerge they will be posted on this site for your review.
Thanks for your help.
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