Government Technology

Delaware Courts Lead Nation in Use of Electronic Filing

January 9, 2008 By

The Delaware Court of Chancery has expanded its required use of e-filing for legal documents in all new cases and the Superior Court of Delaware has expanded the required use of e-filing for legal documents in several key areas of litigation.

These significant expansions -- together with use of e-filing for all civil, criminal and family cases in the Delaware Supreme Court -- establish Delaware courts as a leader in the use of e-filing technology.

LexisNexis File & Serve, is the technology used by both court systems to facilitate previous e-filing needs, as well as the newly expanded requirements.

Court of Chancery
The Delaware Court of Chancery Announced that all cases filed within the Court must be electronically filed. The change means the Court of Chancery is the first court in the state to use e-filing for 100 percent of all new and old cases. It also means that more than 270,000 court documents will now be electronic -- making the Court more efficient in managing them, as well as saving costs associated with storing and maintaining paper documents. It is estimated this will save more than 3 million pieces of paper annually -- enough to stack as high as a 100-story building each year.

"With help from LexisNexis, the Delaware Court of Chancery is now a completely paperless court," said William Chandler, chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery. "Expanding upon existing e-filing capabilities, LexisNexis has ensured a smooth transition of the Court's guardianship and trust docket to electronic filing with careful planning, hands-on assistance and training to minimize the disruption of day-to-day operations of the court."

Superior Court
According to administrative directive number 2007-4 issued by the president judge of the Delaware Superior Court on November 29, 2007, all new civil complaints, mechanic's liens, and mortgage cases filed with the prothonotary in any county, whether subject to alternative dispute resolution or not, shall be filed and/or served electronically using the LexisNexis File & Serve e-filing system. This requirement does not include civil appeals, involuntary commitments or civil miscellaneous proceedings.

Delaware Superior Court was the first in the state to adopt e-filing in 1991, and this change means that more than 1.8 million Court documents annually will be electronic. This is expected to save an estimated 9 million pieces of paper annually.

"In both of the expansions of electronic filing undertaken by Delaware's Superior Court this year, the assistance provided by LexisNexis has been excellent, and as a result the transition to electronic filing is taking place flawlessly and without any interruption of Court operations," said President Judge of the Delaware Supreme Court, James T. Vaughn, Jr. "The Court looks forward to completing its move to electronic filing for all civil cases, with the help of LexisNexis, in the near future."

About File & Serve and E-Filing
Electronic filing from LexisNexis File & Serve is paid through transaction fees, so there are no charges to the Court.

In addition to Courts, litigants benefit from e-filing with more control over case file management, quicker and more cost efficient filing and service, improved access to information and enhanced case monitoring. The public also benefits by a Court's ability to more efficiently manage documents and reduced costs for document storage and administration.

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