Indiana's top courts are pushing ahead with adopting an electronic-filing system that state officials say will eventually give the public free access to online court records statewide.
The Indiana Supreme Court and the state Court of Appeals began offering e-filing in November, and the Indiana Tax Court, will follow in January. The goal is for trial courts in all 92 counties to offer e-filing by the end of 2018; one county has already instituted it and six others will follow in the first half of 2016.
Attorneys can still file paper versions of briefs and other legal documents for the two top state courts, but they're already starting to embrace e-filing because it eliminates the costs of photocopying, binding, mailing and hand-delivering voluminous amounts of documents, high court spokeswoman Kathryn Dolan said.
It's a "modernization of how we do business," she said, noting it will lessen the state's need to store reams of legal documents. Dolan said the Supreme Court alone is asked to consider about 1,000 cases each year and each can generate multiple banker boxes' worth of documents, all of which must be stored in Indiana's downtown Indianapolis government complex and other locations.
"Sometimes we have to request the old documents from storage, or offer attorneys the ability to look at things on microfilm, so this is certainly modernizing the process to just accept the electronic document in the first place," Dolan said.