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  • InsideTrack
  • August 15, 2018

    Circuit Court E-Filing: E-Signature and Other Changes Coming Sept. 1

    Aug. 15, 2018 – Currently, e-filing is mandatory statewide for civil, family, small claims, paternity, criminal, and traffic cases. Starting Sept. 1, lawyers filing court documents in Wisconsin will be required to file electronically in a number of new case types.

    Judgments, liens, guardianships, and mental commitment case types will require mandatory e-filing starting Sept. 1 in all counties currently participating on a voluntary e-filing basis for those case types, which now includes all 72 Wisconsin counties.

    The Wisconsin Court System’s Consolidated Court Automation Program (CCAP) is also in the process of expanding mandatory e-filing for additional case types, including juvenile guardianships, juvenile commitments, adoptions, and juvenile ordinances. Currently, a number of counties are participating on a voluntary basis for those cases.

    In this video, Jean Bousquet, chief information officer for the Wisconsin Court System, also notes a proposal (which was approved) that will change the formatting requirements for e-filed documents that require signatures by a court official.

    The e-signature changes will also take effect on Sept. 1 (with a sixth-month grace period), so attorneys will need to update their filed documents moving forward to comply with the new requirements.

    Specifically, filed documents will require a blank three-inch margin at the top of the first page of any document submitted for signature by a court official, and the usual case caption will move three inches down. Signatures will be placed in the top margin.

    Bousquet says the biggest reason to change the e-signature placement on e-filed documents is to limit confusion for filers and for judges who must sign the documents.

    “There’s a lot of confusion for filers on what type of signature line or signature template should be submitted on a document,” she said. “It’s currently a decision the filer has to make, based on whether it’s a PDF or Word document,” Bousquet said.

    With the change, Bousquet said, filers don’t have to worry about technical parts of a document and can focus on the substance. “It will be easier for people to use,” she said.

    CCAP will have court forms updated with the new requirements by Sept. 1. Attorneys will be able to file old, nonconforming forms for a six-month grace period, but will need to convert all filed documents to the new requirements by March of 2019.

    If attorneys have technical questions about any e-filing changes, they should call the e-filing support line at (800) 462-8843, or use CCAP’s online chat or email features.

    Looking for more information on E-filing Changes?

    Wisconsin Court System Chief Information Officer Jean Bousquet and Circuit Court Legal Advisor Marcia Vandercook discuss the upcoming changes and provide an e-filing update in the latest issue of Wisconsin Lawyer. Read it now.

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