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In re Temporary Electronic Filing Rules

Supreme Court of Montana

October 3, 2017

IN RE TEMPORARY ELECTRONIC FILING RULES

          ORDER

         On November 19, 2014, the Supreme Court adopted Temporary Electronic Filing Rules. Subsections (4) and (5) of Rule 12 contain provisions regarding electronic filing of briefs on appeal to this Court. We have determined that certain amendments to those subsections of Rule 12 are necessary.

         Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, effective immediately, Rule 12(4) and (5) of the Temporary Electronic Filing Rules are amended as follows (new language is underlined):

4. When filing briefs, electronically file the original. For the electronically filed brief, the color requirements for the cover under Rule 11(6)(a), M. R. App. P., shall not apply. Once the electronically filed brief is checked for deficiencies and approved, the clerk will notify the e-filer to submit seven paper copies of the electronically filed brief. The seven paper copies of the Appellant's Opening brief must comply with Rule 12(1)(i), M. R. App. P., including copies of the orders and judgments from which the appeal is taken. Upon notification, paper copies must be submitted promptly within seven days or within such specific time as directed by the Court. For the paper copies, the color requirements for the cover under Rule 11(6)(a), M. R. App. P., shall apply.
5. When filing an Appendix, electronically file the original. The Appendix shall include a table of contents and a separate title page for each document, labeled "Appendix A" or "Appendix 1" and so forth. The Court encourages the electronic bookmarking of each document to its corresponding reference in the table of contents to make the appendix readily searchable. Other than those documents required to be filed under Rule 12(1)(i), M. R. App. P., paper copies of appendix documents need not be filed.

         The complete text of the Temporary Electronic Filing Rules, as herein amended, is attached to this Order.

         The Clerk is directed to provide copies of this Order to the Montana State Law Library, the State Bar of Montana, the Appellate Defender's Office, the Attorney General's Office, and to each member of the Supreme Court Commission on Technology.

          MIKE McGRATH, BETH BAKER, MICHAEL E WHEAT, JAMES JEREMIAH SHEA, LAURIE McKINNON, DIRK M. SANDEFUR, JIM RICE

         Temporary Electronic Filing Rules

         Electronic Filing

         (1)DEFINITIONS:

(a) "Clerk of court" means the official custodian of the court record for the case in question, which may be the clerk of the Supreme Court, clerk of district court, or the appointed clerk in a justice court, municipal court, city court, water court, or workers compensation court.
(b) "Document" means a pleading, form, notice, motion, order, affidavit, paper exhibit, brief, judgment, writ of execution, or other filing. For purposes of this rule, a document includes the transmittal information submitted with the filing.
(c) "Electronic filing system" means a web-based system established by the Office of the Court Administrator for the purpose of filing documents with or by a court, integrating them into the court's case management system, and electronically serving notice to the parties who have registered with the electronic filing system. "Electronic filing" does not include alternative methods of filing, such as electronic mail, facsimile, floppy disks, or other electronic methods.
(d) "Electronic filing system administrator" means an individual appointed by the Supreme Court Administrator to receive information and take action as necessary to administer the electronic filing system.
(e) "Electronic signature" means an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a document, that can be executed or adopted by the user with the intent to sign the document.
(f) "Initiating document" means a summons and complaint, information, petition, notice of appeal, application, citation, criminal complaint, or any other document filed to commence a court case.
(g) "Lodged" means placing a document in a court file without officially filing it.
(h) "Traditional methods" means those methods of filing and serving documents, other than electronic filing, provided under statutes and local rules.
(i) "Transmittal page" means a document generated by the electronic filing system containing the case management information necessary to transmit and file a document.
(j) "User" means an individual who has registered to use the electronic filing system under section 3.

         (2)SCOPE:

(a) The Supreme Court Administrator shall implement an electronic filing system for Montana courts.
(b) Use of the electronic filing system is voluntary. Courts choosing to participate in the electronic filing system shall make formal application to the Office of the Court Administrator. The application shall be made in writing by the Chief Judge and, if applicable, the elected clerk of court. Parties or their attorneys may choose to participate in the electronic filing system unless the court has designated a certain case type for mandatory electronic filing. Parties or attorneys who choose not to participate shall file, serve, and receive documents by traditional methods.
(c) Any action that may be brought in court may be brought using electronic filing, subject to the ability of the electronic filing system to accept the documents. This section does not guarantee anyone the right to file electronically.
(d) The procedures in these rules shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with existing court rules.
(e) An exception will be permitted for certain governmental agencies to file documents and transfer data by a Supreme Court-approved alternative method of transferring the document or data from the agency's electronic system to the court's electronic case management system. For example, interfaces have been created to allow electronic filing of Montana Highway Patrol citations.

         (3) REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS:

(a) The following individuals may register to use the electronic filing system:
1.Licensed Montana attorneys and ...

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