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Electronic Filing Comes to the Supreme Court

August 2, 2010

According to a release sent to Georgia Bar members this morning, the Supreme Court of Georgia will now accept electronic briefs and other filings.  The registration details and how-to videos are now located on the Supreme Court’s SCED site.

The Supreme Court rules had been previously amended on May 5, 2010 to allow for electronic filing with the permission of the Clerk’s office.

UPDATE: Still no details on the Court’s website, but an additional attempt on the online registration was successful at 8:27 am.  The terms of service indicate that attorneys are able to file and view docketed items, and that attorneys consent to electronic service.  We checked a case on the calendar for argument on the first day of argument in September, and all briefs of all parties are posted and available.  This is great news for those litigating in the appellate courts, and will vastly improve our site’s coverage of the Court and cases.

UPDATE: Details are now posted on the Supreme Court’s home page regarding its electronic filing policies.  The Court will accept electronically-filed briefs in lieu of paper copies.

According to Chief Justice Hunstein, “What we’re talking about here is a revolutionary change that is a win-win situation for the Court and for the litigants. The parties will save time and money by no longer having to print, copy and deliver paper documents. No more fighting Atlanta traffic to get those documents into our Clerk’s office by the 4:30 filing deadline.”

Details about eligibility, registration, and a series of “how-to” videos for attorneys are available at the SCED (Supreme Court E-filing/Docket) site.  An “e-file” link has also been added to the top of the Court’s navigation bar on its home page, replacing the “News” link.

After a review of the system after registering this morning, it provides a straightforward approach to accessing dockets and allow access to all appellate documents filed in a case, similar to the federal court’s ECF system.  This is great news for all participants in the appellate process.

UPDATE: The Georgia Criminal Appellate Law Blog has a post collecting news coverage of the move to efiling by the Supreme Court.

  1. August 2, 2010 8:23 am

    I had the same experience in trying to register. Readers should defer registering until there is an announcement that the court’s staff has worked out this glitch.

  2. August 2, 2010 8:33 am

    Just got word from Lynn Stinchcomb that it was fixed. I successfully registered.

    • Bryan Tyson permalink*
      August 2, 2010 8:42 am

      Charles, thanks for the updates on your experience – I found the issue was fixed as well, and full details are now on the Court’s website. Looks like a great system!

  3. August 2, 2010 9:17 am

    This system works very much like the Court of Appeals system, which is quite good. It looks like it comes from the same programmers.

    There is one technical issue though. When I clicked the link “View My Cases,” the system did not appear to respond. Initial thinking was that this might be a browser issue (it would work for IE, but not firefox). While on the phone with Lynn Stinchcomb a minute later or so later, however, it popped up a display of my cases that went back to 2000, showing the oldest cases first, so that I had to go to the bottom of the next page to get current cases.

    I’ve made the suggestion to change the display so that the most recent cases are displayed first rather than last.

    I would be curious if you or your readers who have a large number of cases in the supreme court have the same experience of delay in presenting the data, and with different browsers. It is quite possible that this is a problem with going back to 2000 for cases.

    • J. Clifford Head permalink
      August 3, 2010 9:14 am

      They have a little graphic that’s supposed to show that the javascript tool is working (ever so slowly) to pull up your cases, but it’s in the wrong spot on the screen (upper right hand area) so you don’t notice it. That should be an easy fix, but sometimes there tends to be a disconnect between programmers and intended users.

  4. J. Clifford Head permalink
    August 2, 2010 9:48 am

    I have used the Supreme Court’s system for about a month now. While the Supreme Court and more limited Court of Appeals systems are facially similar, there are differences:

    1. Unlike the Court of Appeals, my understanding is the Supreme Court expects you to e-file 100% of the time once you start.

    2. Unlike the Court of Appeals’ system, the Supreme Court’s system does not send an immediate confirmation e-mail pending approval of the filing. When you finish uploading a pleading, print your confirmation number. If you leave that screen without taking note of the confirmation number, you’ll have no way of knowing what that number is until the Supreme Court accepts or rejects your filing. Frankly, the Court of Appeals practice is more consistent with e-commerce standards and expectations.

    3. For appellees, if the appellant has not already named you as an appellee the system will not automatically add the e-filing party as an attorney as the Court of Appeals system apparently does. This information is supposed to be input manually, but at the moment it does not happen consistently. Appellate specialists will need to stay on top of this in the short run.

    4. The biggest advantage of the Supreme Court’s system relative to the Court of Appeals system is that all non-e-filed documents are scanned as PDFs by the Court. There is no hit and miss so long as the pleading was filed within the past several months. This feature may well turn out to be more significant to you in the long run than dispensing with the drudgery of paper filing. In other words, if you just hand over the e-filing keys to your administrative assistant you’ll definitely be missing out.

  5. August 2, 2010 3:47 pm

    I cited to your post on my blog. Another problem I just noticed is that they do not have a system up for paying a filing fee yet. They are still working on it. Though, the ability to file interlocutory, discretionary, and certiorari applications is going to be great.


  6. Bryan Tyson permalink*
    August 3, 2010 8:33 am

    Thanks all for the thoughts and insights, and thanks especially for the cross-post, Scott. This is definitely a good thing, and hopefully the kinks (like online payment and no email confirmations) will be worked out soon.

  7. August 3, 2010 4:57 pm

    I just had the pleasure of uploading a cert petition. There are instructional videos on how to do this, and other filings, at:

    The video was a good idea; it gave me a lot of confidence on how to do it correctly.

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