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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
New York State Courts
Posted: September 18, 2015

Use of State E-Filing Continues to Grow

For those of us who practice in the Commercial Division, e-filing has been a part of our lives for some time now. And it continues to expand in other court parts.

I have pasted below part of an e-mail sent by NYSBA President David P. Miranda to NYSBA members regarding recent expansions of e-filing:

On August 31, 2015, Governor Cuomo signed into law Chapter 237 of the Laws of 2015 (Chapter 237), in relation to E-Filing.

Chapter 237 amends numerous provisions of law relating to electronic commencement of an action or special proceeding and filing of papers—E-filing. E-filing has been of great interest to the Association since pilot programs were initiated by Chapter 367 of the Laws of 1999. Indeed, the State Bar has called for the implementation of mandatory electronic filing with uniform procedures in all New York State courts. I am gratified that Chapter 237 takes steps toward making that goal a reality.

Specifically, Chapter 237 makes permanent the authorization for the use of mandatory E-filing in Supreme Court civil parts. It also gives the Chief Administrative Judge authority to implement mandatory E-filing in a county and in most types of cases. However, no expansion of mandatory E-filing may be undertaken without the approval of the local County Clerk. This authority lends flexibility to the process of rolling out E-filing in counties that are ready and allowing other counties the time to make appropriate arrangements. Lawyers will continue to be able to opt out of mandatory E-filing. In addition, self-represented litigants will be exempt from mandatory E-filing, but they will be able to elect E-filing as an option.

Chapter 237 continues the present use of E-filing in criminal superior courts and Family Court. It also continues permanently E-filing in Surrogate’s Court and the New York City Civil Court; and consensual E-filing in the Court of Claims.

In addition, Chapter 237 authorizes the use of E-filing in the Appellate Divisions at the discretion of the Judicial Department. This would be subject to the same case exclusions for mandatory E-filing as are applied in the trial courts.

Finally, Chapter 237 relocates statutes governing E-filing from the State’s Unconsolidated Laws to the Consolidated Laws–like the Judiciary Law, CPLR, CPL, etc.– where they are far easier and convenient to locate.

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