July 21, 2008
Court of Common Pleas E-Filing Begins Aug. 4
Effective Aug. 4, 2008, litigants in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, will be permitted to file documents electronically. Commonly known as "e-filing," the program is optional until Jan. 5, 2009, at which time all filings must be made in electronic form.
The new civil e-filing system is modeled after the successful program that has operated in Orphans' Court since Jan. 1, 2005, and may be accessed through the First Judicial District's Web site at courts.phila.gov. The court welcomes input from the bar, and requests that comments and suggestions be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To access the e-filing process, counsel and pro se parties must electronically apply for a user name and password. After registering, users will log on to the court's Web site with their user names and passwords, and the filing process begins. "The process is as simple as attaching a document to email," said attorney Daniel J. Siegel, a member of the court's E-Filing Planning Committee.
Once a document is filed, it will be integrated into the court's case management and document management systems. The court will immediately serve notice to all counsel that a document has been e-filed. Counsel can then review the document online and save it on their own computers or servers. The only documents that the court will not serve are initial process such as complaints and writs of summons, which must still be personally served according to the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure. The court also will issue and serve other court notices and orders electronically.