The Court of Common Pleas and Clerk of Courts Office of Hamilton County, Ohio are announcing their going to be requiring all civil suits—more than 11,000 last year -- to be filed electronically beginning in January 2012. Eventually, criminal cases will be filed that way too. (See posted article )
Hamilton County’s domestic relations, juvenile, probate, and municipal courts are not involved in the project at this time. Self-represented litigants are also being exempted from the requirement for now.
E-filing is not a new concept and has been around at least since around 1999. Many federal courts, including the U.S. 6th. Circuit and Southern District courts, already use these systems.
The Montgomery County Clerk of Courts was the first clerk's office in Ohio to go paperless - or almost paperless – in common pleas courts beginning Jan. 1, 2010. Brush calls his system "paper on demand" because some still can file using paper. That includes people who file suits without having a lawyer, without the equipment to file electronically and/or “technologically challenged” attorneys who can’t pick up or understand the process. In those cases the old system is reverted to.
Hamilton County will be the first jurisdiction in Greater Cincinnati to try it. Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Winkler reported that the Clerk’s new c-filing system is already up and running along with a detailed guide, with l prints of each screen explaining how to use it available on the Clerk’s website