Supreme Court approves final step in system-wide eFiling program

On Feb. 21, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued an order and revised interim rule for a phased transition to mandatory eFiling (electronic filing) in Supreme Court cases over the next four months. The transition period will begin April 1, 2023 with the expansion of a voluntary eFiling pilot program, and end June 30 with mandatory eFiling effective July 1.

The transition to mandatory eFiling in the Supreme Court will complete mandatory eFiling at each level of the Wisconsin courts. With very few limited exceptions, eFiling has been required in the circuit courts since 2017 and in the Court of Appeals since July 1, 2021.

“eFiling is reliable, efficient and convenient. We have already realized the benefits in the circuit courts and Court of Appeals, and we will now take full advantage at the Supreme Court,” said Chief Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler. “Judges, court clerk staff, and attorneys all benefit, with quicker delivery and immediate access to documents accepted for filing.”

The transition to system-wide eFiling formally began in 2016, when Justice Patience Drake Roggensack served as chief justice, and the Court approved rules for mandatory eFiling in the circuit courts. A working group consisting of judges, attorneys, and staff was formed in 2019 to guide the transition to eFiling in the Court of Appeals and to help implement a pilot project in the Supreme Court.

“The fact we had eFiling in place in the circuit courts and Court of Appeals helped us maintain court operations during the pandemic. Without that, we wouldn’t have been able to keep cases moving through the system,” said Director of State Courts Randy R. Koschnick. “This puts the Wisconsin courts and legal community on a much better footing for the future.”

During the expanded voluntary pilot program, any party in a case with an initial filing in the Supreme Court after April 1 can request participation by obtaining agreement from all other parties and permission from the Clerk of the Supreme Court via e-mail. The Court’s order and interim rule on mandatory eFiling does not apply to judicial discipline and attorney regulatory proceedings at this time.

Information about eFiling in the Supreme Court can be found in an article published by the State Bar of Wisconsin’s InsideTrack newsletter and on the court system’s Appellate eFiling website. Additional information will be posted as it becomes available. A copy of the order and revised interim rule (Order 19-02C and 20-07C) can be found here.

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