The Nebraska state trial courts eFiling system has processed its one millionth electronically filed document. The court motion, filed by Lincoln attorney Susan Kirchmann of the law firm Recknor, Wertz & Associates, marks a major milestone in Nebraska’s development of court technology.
“I started eFiling when I joined my law firm,” said Ms. Kirchmann. “The process is efficient and I am able to confirm the receipt of my filing electronically, rather than having to run to the courthouse to file stamp my court documents.” Kirchmann added, “I often use the feature designed to send a message to the clerk’s office so there is no confusion about my material.”
The Nebraska eFiling system allows attorneys to file civil, criminal, probate and juvenile case documents in any of the 189 trial courts state-wide.
Planning for the Nebraska Judicial Branch eFiling system began in 2007 following the establishment of a court case record search service. The addition of web-based eFiling is a major component in the development of a complete online suite of services linking attorneys to the court system. With the addition of eFiling, Nebraska’s system is one of the most comprehensive in the nation, creating a seamless process for attorneys to get information from, and deliver information to, any trial court in the state. Designed to ensure confidentiality of sensitive information and the efficient transmittal of records, the court’s technology system saves time and money for the court system which results in tax savings for Nebraskans.
Technology in the Judicial Branch is managed through the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). According to Janice Walker, State Court Administrator, it is appropriate that this milestone filing was received in Lancaster County, noting that Lancaster was one of two counties that volunteered to experiment with the court eFiling process five years ago. Walker commented, “Electronic filing in our state courts represents a monumental shift in the way court services are delivered to the citizens of Nebraska. Court documents can be seen online and filings can be made at any time, not just when the courthouse is open. Electronic filing exemplifies how government will operate in the 21st century.”
The growth of eFiling has been exponential year-over year:
- 2009: 45,000 eFilings processed
- 2010: 155,000 eFilings processed
- 2011: 225,000 eFilings processed
- 2012: 350,000 eFilings processed
- 2013 projection: 500,000 eFilings processed
The Nebraska Supreme Court and Nebraska Court of Appeals are also on the list for development of eFiling. The rules governing appellate court eFiling are expected to be approved by the Supreme Court this summer. In the meantime, work is moving forward on a new service to allow online appellate court case record searches.
The Nebraska eFiling project was recently featured by the National Association of Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) in its Collaboration Series as an example of best-practices in cross-jurisdictional collaboration. http://www.nascio.org/publications/documents/eFiling-for-District-and-County-Courts-in-Nebraska.pdf.
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