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Judicial Branch Update on Maine eCourts Implementation
The Maine Judicial Branch today announced upcoming events and reported on progress in implementing Maine eCourts.
"Maine eCourts" is the Judicial Branch's eFiling, digital court records, online payment, and electronic case management system. The system was implemented first in traffic cases in Maine district courts statewide in the fall of 2018. In the fall of 2020, eFiling and Maine eCourts launched for most civil case types in Bangor courts and for the statewide Business and Consumer Docket.
Maine eCourts coming to Lewiston and Auburn Courts
Starting October 23, 2023, the Lewiston District Court and Androscoggin Superior Court will implement eFiling for most civil case types: family matters, child protection, small claims, evictions, and other civil matters (except for civil violations and protection from abuse/protection from harassment orders).
Attorneys, governmental agencies, and parties who file more than six court cases in a year will be required to eFile when the system launches. To prepare for eFiling, live, webinar training sessions are currently being offered through Tyler Technologies. A link to register for an upcoming session is located on the Maine eCourts web page. See also the Release on the Expansion of Maine eCourts to Lewiston and Auburn Courts, 6/5/23.
Change to online access to digital court records
Starting September 15, 2023, pursuant to Administrative Order JB-20-03 (A. 9-23) (Order), users of the Maine eCourts Portal (which currently provides public access to electronic case information) will have online access to a list of court events, called the Registry of Actions (ROA), for any court that has implemented eFiling. The ROA is equivalent to the docket list in the Judicial Branchs current case management system, the Maine Judicial Information System (MEJIS).
In addition to the ROA, the court may provide Maine eCourts Portal users with access to other nonconfidential documents in individual cases. Other nonconfidential documents will be accessible only at a courthouse that has implemented eFiling. The change described in the Order treat[s] MEJIS courts and courts that have implemented eFiling the same in terms of access to nonconfidential documents.
During the interim period, there will be no charge for paper copies of public, electronic documents that are requested at courts that have implemented eFiling. Copying charges for paper documents in MEJIS courts remain unchanged.
Conventional filers responsible for redacting nonpublic information in paper court filings
Under the Maine Rules of Electronic Court Systems (MRECS) promulgated with the first eFiling implementation in 2020, parties filing documents in Odyssey courts in the case types listed above are responsible for redacting or omitting nonpublic information, as defined in MRECS 4-7, from public documents filed in the court. In a civil case such as an FED, for example, full names of minors, residence addresses, telephone numbers, financial account numbers, drivers license numbers, and social security numbers should be omitted where possible and redacted where they are necessary to the document. See, MRECS 4(E).
Administrative Order JB-20-03 (A. 9-23) confirms and clarifies that conventional filers are responsible for redacting nonpublic information from any documents they file. Conventional filers are self-represented litigants (those without attorneys) who file paper court documents that are then scanned and entered into the Maine eCourts case management system as electronic documents. Beginning on September 15, conventional filers may be required to provide a redacted and unredacted version of court documents they are filing in courts that have implemented eFiling if the case type is nonconfidential. The Order provides that while self-represented litigants have the responsibility for redaction, filings that are not redacted will not for that reason be rejected.
We do not want to impose any unnecessary requirements on self-represented litigants, said Barbara Cardone, Director of Legal Affairs and Public Relations. On the contrary, we want to encourage self-represented litigants in courts that have implemented eFiling to protect their sensitive, nonpublic information. Failure to redact may result in nonpublic information being accessible online.
Upcoming trainings on eFiling
A schedule of training sessions can be found here on Tylers website: https://odysseyfileandservecloud.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/8971375644429-Live-Webinar-
A recording of past trainings and additional resources can be found on the About eFileMaine web page.