• June 17, 2015

Minnesota Litigator - federal rule changes 

I thought I was up-to-speed on the new appellate e-filing requirements.  I had read the materials online, passed the little quiz you need to take with flying colors, and registered.  So I knew all the basics.

But I went to the training session offered by the courts and learned some new things.


A few highlights:

When you submit a document electronically, it’s like putting it in a mailbox.  That doesn’t mean the court has accepted it.  The filing could be rejected by the staff if it’s not up to snuff.  But it may be too late to correct things.  Which is why you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to file (whether by e-filing or traditionally) to leave time to correct any unforeseen problems.

If, for example, you file a brief with an appendix instead of an addendum (which must be shorter), your filing will be rejected.

You can’t upload documents from any version of Word older than 2007.  If you are using an older version, you can convert your document to a PDF and e-file it that way.

You can pay fees by credit card if you e-file.  But not if you file at the counter.  (Your credit card payment is processed instantaneously.  Your payment must go through for your filing to be accepted.)

If your opponent has not registered and doesn’t have an e-filing account, you must serve that party traditionally, via US mail or by courier.

If your opponent has not registered for e-filing, you may want to encourage them to do so.  This will enable you to serve electronically, and be easier for them too.  (And also easier for the court.)

A few more things:

You don’t need to file an affidavit of service any more (unless you are serving by mail rather than electronically). The system detects that you have served your opponent electronically.

You still need to file a certain number of briefs in paper form as well as electronically.  You get a few extra days to file the paper copies.  Court orders on the court’s website will tell you how many paper copies are required for the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.  The number of paper briefs needed may change over time.

More information on e-filing is found on the courts’ website.

There is one more training session on appellate e-filing on Friday, June 19.  (Details here.)  The topic is a bit technical.  I recommend that you go to the training if you do appeals.


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