Court e-filings come to Upper Shore
CENTREVILLE — Courts on Maryland’s Upper Shore have taken another big step for ward in the technological world.
As of July 18, electronic case filing was extended to Queen Anne’s, Cecil, Kent, Caroline, and Talbot counties, which means that e-filing will be mandatory for attorneys filing civil and criminal cases in Circuit Court, District Court and the state’s appellate courts, according to the Maryland Judiciary. It also means that such filings can be done 24/7 from any place that has an Internet connection.
Maryland Electronic Courts (MDEC) modernizes court processes and makes it easier for litigants to file cases, and is fast, easy, and cost-effective., according to a statement from the Mar yland Judiciar y.
“This system is helping us eliminate our reliance on paper files, it’s improving the transfer of records as cases progress through the system and it’s making our courts more accessible to our litigants,” said Mary Ellen Barbera, Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, in the statement. She is overseeing the Judiciary’s Technology Oversight Board as MDEC is expanded throughout the state.
The courts will no longer accept paper filings from attorneys in areas where MDEC is in place, the Judiciary statement said.
“Judge (Thomas) Ross and I are ver y pleased with our transition to Maryland Electronic Courts, and especially the on-site support being provided by
our Judiciary,” said Scott MacGlashan, Clerk of the Queen Anne’s County Circuit Court. “Chief Judge Barbera, (District Court) Chief Judge (John) Morrissey, and State Court Administrator Pam Harris are to be commended for the excellent planning and training that they have supported and continue to provide.”
MacGlashan said his Chief Deputy Katherine Hager and Queen Anne’s Court Administrator Sandra Smith are working with the court’s staff to “insure our total success and transition.”
Cheryl Miller, Administrative Clerk of the Queen Anne’s County District Court, said her staff is very excited about MDEC coming to the county.
“This will save attorneys in Maryland who practice in (Upper Shore) counties time, as they have remote access to court filings and documents through this new automated case management system,” she said. “Our local courts can collect, store, and process case records electronically, and they will be able to access complete records instantly as cases travel from District Court to Circuit Court and on to the appellate courts.”
Miller said it is a “paper-on-demand” system and paper documents will be made available when requested.
“We’re proud to be among the first jurisdictions where MDEC is implemented,” she said.
The Maryland Electronic Courts program began in October 2014 in Anne Arundel County, and the goal is to eventually have it in all Maryland jurisdictions.
MacGlashan said that once it is in operation in all Maryland jurisdictions, “all citizens and users will benefit from the overall goal of improving access to justice and improved communication with our justice partners.”
The staff of the Queen Anne’s County Circuit Court display their T-shirts hailing the expansion of the Maryland Electronic Courts system to the Upper Shore. Holding his T-shirt in the center is Circuit Court Judge Thomas Ross.