Effective April Fool’s Day, lawyers can start electronic filing of documents in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Richmond-based appellate court has served notice of its proposed adoption of Administrative Order 08-01 for a case management/electronic filing system. ECF systems already are in place in federal district and bankruptcy courts in Virginia.
The e-filing system is available for voluntary participation April 1, with electronic filing by counsel becoming mandatory on June 1, 2008, subject to certain exceptions. Exemptions from mandatory e-filing include case-initiating documents such as petitions for review and mandamus, appendices, formal briefs and Criminal Justice Act vouchers.
According to the court, an attorney may move for an exemption from e-filing for good cause shown. Lawyers and litigants are responsible for removing personal data identifiers and other sensitive information from public documents prior to filing.
The proposed order takes effect April 1, subject to amendment in light of comments received. Comments must be submitted by March 14.