Missouri Chief Justice Mary R. Russell announced the state courts soon provide vastly increased public access to case documents in the Missouri eFiling System.
She made the announcement during a luncheon speech to lawyers and judges gathered at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia for the joint annual meetings of the Judicial Conference of Missouri (the organization of all the state’s judges) and The Missouri Bar (the organization of all the state’s lawyers).
Russell explained that electronic filing – first introduced two years ago – now is being used in the Supreme Court of Missouri, all three districts of the Missouri Court of Appeals, and the trial courts in 15 counties plus the city of St. Louis. She said that 12 more counties will begin using e-fling later this year, with 30 additional counties expected to join the eFiling System next year.
She then noted that e-filing can be an important means of increasing public access to the courts.
“And that is why I am so excited to announce a new feature of our eFiling System that is a step in that direction,” Russell said. “Currently, the public only can see electronic case documents by using the public access terminal at the court in which those documents were filed. But we anticipate that, by the end of next month, anyone will be able to come into any courthouse and use the terminal to see any public case document in the Missouri eFiling System.”
Russell further noted, “Increasing public access to – and understanding of – the courts is essential to the long-term success of our judicial system.”
Like the award-winning Case.net feature, which allows for dynamic searches of public case information from any state court in Missouri, the Missouri eFiling System is unique to Missouri and is being built entirely in-house by the technology staff at the state courts administrator’s office. Media are advised to stay tuned for an announcement of when this new access becomes available in local courthouses.