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Branch continues push to reduce paper

New rules mean Supreme Court reduces paper intake

The Minnesota Supreme Court won’t have as much paper to kick around anymore.

That is because late last month, the Judicial Branch decreed that litigants whose cases are scheduled to go before the Supremes must no longer file in excess of a dozen copies of their paper briefs.

Now they need file only five paper copies, says Judicial Branch communications specialist Kyle Christopherson.

That is because the court is modernizing, he says. Of the five paper briefs the court now requires, two must be submitted in loose-leaf form. That pair will be electronically scanned — one by the court, the other by the State Law Library, Christopherson says.

For several years now the Judicial Branch has been moving lower courts in 11 counties through an e-filing pilot project. That project includes both Hennepin and Ramsey counties and allows litigants to file their entire cases with district courts electronically — at least within a certain range of case law areas.

The Supreme Court is not ready to go quite that far, Christopherson says. However, by scanning submitted paper briefs, it is taking a tentative step in that direction by creating the beginnings of an electronic case file record, he says.

The other three required paper briefs must be submitted according to the Judicial Branch’s existing rules pertaining to bound copies, Christopherson says.

The new brief-submission rules apply only to Supreme Court filings, Christopherson says. Appellate court litigants are not currently bound by those rules, while lower district courts do not take in brief submissions at all, he says.


-By: Kevin Featherly

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