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According to David Iaccarino and DJ Peak of CT’s Judicial Branch, there’s even more e-filing advancements coming soon. Before we begin seeing any additional changes on the user end of things, the Judicial Branch has a mainframe overhaul in the works, which should be completed by the end of 2011. By the Fall of 2012 the Judicial Branch hopes to be able to open up the e-filing system to self-represented parties. Finally, by the Winter/Spring of 2013 the Judicial Branch hopes to enact mandatory e-filing for attorneys in family cases (optional e-filing for self-represented parties).
Self-represented parties who wish to participate in the e-filing system will receive a username and password which will allow them access to the e-filing system only in their individual case(s).
The availability of family pleadings and filings on the internet has always been a concern because of the highly sensitive nature of the information contained in these filings. However, Connecticut, unlike other states, currently only allows access to electronic court files outside of the courthouse to attorneys who have an appearance in the file.
Considering a statistic cited by Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers earlier this week—that 84% of Family cases filed in Connecticut involved at least one self-represented party–it will be interesting to see if the Judicial Branch’s computer systems and e-filing help lines will be able to support the onslaught of pro-se e-filers.