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Fee would help pay for e-filing

When the digital age comes to your local courthouse, you may be asked to pay an extra $2 if you haven’t followed suit.

The General Assembly has approved a bill to allow circuit court clerks to charge a $2 fee for paper filing once they have established an electronic filing system. The money would be used to pay expenses of the e-filing system.

House Bill 1652 won final approval Monday with a 34-to-6 vote in the Senate.

Three courts already are accepting electronic filing. Wise, Accomack and Scott Counties are on board now, according to Wise County Circuit Clerk Jack Kennedy.

Petersburg should be ready in about a month, and Montgomery and Albemarle Counties and Charlottesville are in the queue for late spring/early summer, Kennedy said.

Sen. John Edwards, D-Roanoke, opposed the bill in committee, but told fellow senators he changed his view. “I’ve done a little looking into it further, and I’m a convert. I think this is a good bill,” Edwards said on the Senate floor.

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