Civil Case eFiling Now Available in State CourtsPosted on Feb 18, 2020 in News & Reports, Press Releases
HONOLULU — The Hawaii State Judiciary has expanded its efiling capabilities to include civil cases in the district and circuit courts, and the Land Court and Tax Appeal Court. Previously, efiling was available for appellate (Intermediate Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court), criminal, and traffic cases only.
The transition from in-person to efiling occurred last October to November.
With the new e-filing capabilities:
• Court documents can be filed almost 24 hours a day, even when the courts are closed.
• Cases can be initiated online, with filing fees paid using a credit card.
• The system can automatically send electronic notice of case filings to all parties, thereby eliminating costs and delays associated with physically serving documents.
• Users receive email notification of efiled documents, with online access, typically within 30 minutes of e-filing.
• Efiled documents can be accessed simultaneously by multiple individuals, including judges, court staff, and attorneys.
Gary Okuda, a partner in Leu Okuda & Doi, shared a host of reasons he is pleased with the ability to efile.
“It is much more efficient by reducing the time and costs of paper filings,” he said. “It minimizes errors, which can waste a lot of time, and it enables us to work remotely.”
Okuda added that he can serve his clients better and also save them money because he and his staff are working more efficiently.
Solo practice attorneys say efiling helps them save not only in time, but on operational costs as well. One said, “I save on basic office supplies, especially paper and toner cartridges. I also don’t need as much storage space for all the paper records. And it makes it so easy to find the file I’m looking for.”
“We are excited to make e-filing available in all of our civil courtrooms across the state. This added capability is thanks to the hard work and diligence of Judge Gary Chang, who led an outstanding team of judges and judiciary staff, with significant input from civil attorneys,” said Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald.
The Judiciary provided in-person and online training for attorneys statewide and created a web page with training resources, including videos, training documents, court rules, and much more. The Hawaii State Bar Association played a vital role in disseminating information to attorneys and in facilitating the various training sessions for different sections of the bar.
The Judiciary will continue to transform the way state courts conduct business by moving from paper-based systems to electronic filing and processing. The migration of civil court records to the Judiciary’s integrated statewide case management system (JIMS) will be complete when Family Court civil records are transferred within the next few years.