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Milestone Reached in E-Filed Appeals - Appellate Practice News

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Appellate Practice News

Posted on: Jan 13, 2016

From a press release filed on January 6, 2016:

An Appeals Court panel has received the first Indiana appeal in which all briefs were electronically filed.

Anthony Middleton v. State, a criminal case on appeal from Marion Superior Court, was assigned to the three-judge panel on Dec. 28, after the court received the appellant’s e-tendered reply brief. Other e-filed documents in the case include the appellant’s brief and two-volume appendix, and the appellee’s brief.

Each document bears a file-date notation from the Clerk of Appellate Courts, similar to the traditional file-date stamp on paper documents. The notation indicates the exact date and time the document was filed and the Clerk’s name and title.

The filings follow an Indiana Supreme Court order establishing a pilot electronic filing program for itself and the Court of Appeals, effective Nov. 9, 2015. The Indiana Tax Court will join the program this month.

The order mandates e-filing in specific instances and provides for optional e-filing in all others. The mandatory cases are those in which the Indiana Public Defender or the Marion County Public Defender represent one party and the Indiana Attorney General represents the other.
Middleton v. State fits that category.

The order also establishes an Indiana E-Filing System through which all electronic documents must be filed with the courts and can be served on users. According to the order, “E-Filing does not include transmission by facsimile or by email.”

The appellate courts pilot project is part of a larger initiative that will involve all Indiana courts by 2018. A pilot trial court project began in Hamilton County in 2015 and will expand to at least six more counties this year.

“The promise is huge,” Court of Appeals Chief Judge Nancy H. Vaidik said. “It means greater public access to court documents, greater ease of use by practitioners, and cost-saving paper reductions. It’s win, win, win.”


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