Wisconsin court system eFiling program expands to appellate courts

Madison, Wisconsin - June 25, 2021

On July 1, electronic filing (eFiling) will become mandatory for attorneys who practice in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court will launch an eFiling pilot program on a select set of cases by invitation.

The move toward eFiling in the appellate courts is the result of recent Wisconsin Supreme Court administrative orders, and the court system's commitment to increasing convenience and efficiency for attorneys and the courts, said Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler.

"We have been realizing the benefits of eFiling in the trial courts for years, and the appellate courts are now beginning to take advantage of those benefits," Ziegler said.

eFiling in the Court of Appeals began while Justice Patience Drake Roggensack served as chief justice, with a pilot program in District IV (headquartered in Madison) in 2019. Since then, the office of the Clerk of Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, and CCAP (Consolidated Court Automation Programs) have worked with judges, attorneys and other court staff to develop and refine the eFiling process and procedures.

"We created a broad-based working group to guide us as the pilot project moved along. With that knowledge and successful experience, we are extending this service statewide," said Director of State Courts, Hon. Randy R. Koschnick.

eFiling allows attorneys to file documents in the Court of Appeals without having to arrange delivery or travel to the clerk’s office in Madison. Attorneys registered for eFiling can also more easily access court documents in Court of Appeals’ cases they are handling.

The appellate eFiling system has the same look and feel as the eFiling system established for circuit courts under a Supreme Court rule approved in 2016, said Clerk of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Sheila T. Reiff, who previously served as Walworth County Clerk of Circuit Court.

Many of the requirements associated with filing multiple copies of paper documents will be eliminated when eFiling becomes mandatory in the Court of Appeals. Interim rules adopted by the Court also provide the necessary directions for filing of paper documents in the Supreme Court until electronic filing becomes mandatory. The Supreme Court has not yet set a date for mandatory eFiling in the Supreme Court. Self-represented parties may use the eFiling system if they choose or may continue to file and be served with paper documents.

In addition to Reiff, members of the Appellate eFiling Committee included former Chief Justice Patience Drake Roggensack; Court of Appeals Chief Judge Lisa S. Neubauer; Court of Appeals Judges M. Joseph Donald, Paul F. Reilly, Lisa K. Stark, Brian W. Blanchard; attorneys James Goldschmidt, Eric Pearson, Winn Collins and Katie York; Supreme Court Commissioners Nancy Kopp, Julie Rich, and David Runke; retired Court of Appeals Chief Staff Attorney Jennifer Andrews; Chief Information Officer Jean Bousquet; and legal advisor Marcia Vandercook.

Since 2009, attorneys have been required to eFile a copy of briefs and petitions for review with the Supreme Court, in addition to filing and serving multiple paper copies. Attorneys who are not participating in the Supreme Court testing phase should continue to file these electronic copies, Reiff said.

The Supreme Court's order of June 15, addressing the filing process for Supreme Court cases until mandatory eFiling begins, can be found here. A copy of the Supreme Court's April 23 order, establishing a comprehensive appellate eFiling system, can be found here. Additional information about appellate eFiling is available on the court system's website.

Tom Sheehan
Court Information Officer
(608) 261-6640

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