The judicial branch’s move to electronic information instead of paper has been awarded a 2014 State Government Innovation Award. The eCourtMN Initiative will be recognized at a ceremony at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs on Thursday, Aug. 7 at 4 p.m.
The eCourtMN Initiative began in 2011, and is being completed in four phases, each lasting approximately one year. The initiative will replace paper-based court files with an electronic information environment that will allow electronic filing, service, and transfer of court documents. Through eCourtMN, court documents will be filed and served electronically, while judges and court staff will be given new tools to review, sign, and process court documents on their computers. Through this process, the delivery, processing, and transfer of court documents will be done almost entirely electronically, producing considerable efficiencies in court operations and faster results for court customers.
In addition, the move to electronic court records has made it easier for the public to access certain court documents without having to travel to county courthouses to view paper documents.
The Minnesota Judicial Branch has completed the first two phases of the initiative, including an 11-county pilot project where electronic filing and service of court documents was tested and refined. The branch currently is testing the electronic tools that judges and court staff will use in the courthouse, and will begin the process of expanding electronic filing and service of court documents to the rest of Minnesota’s 87 counties next summer. A full, statewide transition to eCourtMN is expected by the end of 2015.
The 2014 State Government Innovation Awards are sponsored by the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center.