The Clerk of Court for Cuyahoga County is on the verge of going live with a brand-new e-filing system. According to an Order (First Amended Temporary Administrative Order) issued by Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Administrative Judge Nancy Fuerst, voluntary e-filing in selected civil cases will start on October 14th-just 6 days from now. That includes cases involving: professional torts (filing codes 1311, 1312, 1313, 1315, 1316, 1317), product liability (1330), other torts (1310, 1314, 1350), workers compensation (1550, 1531), the commercial docket (1386, 1387), administrative appeals (1540, 1551) and other civil (1382, 1384, 1388, 1391, 1501, 1502, 1503). Beginning on November 12th, e-filing will be mandatory for foreclosure cases (filing codes 1460, 1465, 1466, 1467, 1470, 1480, 1481). Although criminal e-filing is coming, it will be addressed by a separate administrative order.
According to the Order, filers must remove all personal and private information from documents they file, including, but not limited to, SSN's, financial account numbers, names of minor children, information protected by law from disclosure, and other PIN information like driver's license numbers. All documents except proposed orders that must be filed in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), are required to be filed in PDF format, and no document can exceed 20MB. Although documents can be submitted electronically 24x7, they will only be "deemed filed...24 hours a day, five days a week." The Clerk will accept paper filings until e-filing becomes mandatory. Even then, pro se litigants will still be able to file paper documents or use a computer terminal at the court to register and e-file. The Court promises that training will be provided for attorneys who are going to be using the new system. Lawyers and other filers will also have to register with the Court and sign an Electronic Filing System's User Agreement, which should hopefully become available soon. Once users are registered, the Clerk will send out electronic notifications of notices, orders, and other documents. The Judge's Order, with more specifics on e-filing, can be found here. In addition, click here for the Court's e-filing announcement.