Brooklyn Bar Association News

Posted by: Robert Abruzzese on Feb 2, 2021

The Office of Court Administration announced on Tuesday a new set of recommendations for expanding the e-filing system and enhancing remote court operations during the remainder of the COVID pandemic and afterward.

The Commission to Reimagine the Future of New York's Courts, which was created last year and is headed by Henry Greenberg, the immediate past president of the New York State Bar Association, released two reports on Tuesday — one that called for the expansion of the court's e-filing system, and another that contains proposals for enhancing remote operations more generally.

“E-filing has proven a reliable, efficient way to expand access to justice, also serving to promote public health and safety throughout the pandemic by reducing courthouse traffic," said Chief Judge Janet DiFiore in a statement. "The report issued today by the Commission’s Structural Innovations Working Group highlights e-filing’s integral role in building a better, more accessible justice system, offering thoughtful proposals that serve to accelerate the expansion of the courts’ e-filing system."

Along with the reports, the Commission's Structural Innovations Working Group has called upon the State Legislature to amend the current law to allow for Chief Judge Janet DiFiore to make e-filing mandatory in all cases, with exceptions for pro se litigants. 

The Commission's Technology Working Group surveyed over 1,900 judges and their staffs and recommended banning the use of personal electronic devices to conduct official court business, scanners and printers be provided for judges, avoiding the use of fax machines and to use email as an alternative, and training for court employees on the efficient and secure use of mobile devices, as well as case and data management features and platforms that have been or will be implemented by the Court System.

“The recommendations in these two reports are necessary steps for the further development and enhancement of New York’s virtual court system. I am grateful beyond measure to the hard and inspired work of the Commission’s working groups on Structural Innovations led by Judge Leslie Stein and County Clerk Idoni, and Technology led by Mark Berman and Sharon Porcellio,” said Henry Greenberg.

Click here to read the report on e-filing.

Click here to read the report the technology survey.

Click here to read the press release regarding this announcement.