“The court is the setting for the first full “e-court” in the state and is part of efforts by more than a dozen court systems nationally to move toward a paperless future that has come slowly to state courts, where old habits die hard. (Federal courts, and much of the rest of the world, have been online for more than a decade.)
For the past year, New York State has for the first time been requiring lawyers in about 6,000 cases dealing with commercial disputes in the Manhattan courthouse to “e-file” their cases over the Internet. Clerks and judges then process the documents from the first gripe, through the spiteful arguments and on to the final rulings, all the while providing full public access — and all, at least theoretically, paperlessly.
Some courts in Westchester and Rockland Counties have followed Manhattan’s pilot project to require mandatory electronic filing over the last year. And last month the Legislature authorized a wide expansion of electronic courts to a broad array of civil cases and to courts in every borough and several upstate counties. New York is not yet handling criminal cases electronically.
All of which has made this old-style court something of a pioneer. “We have momentum to really eliminate the paper,” said Jeffrey Carucci, the first deputy chief clerk of the Manhattan court.”
Here it comes. We need to fully wire the judiciary in the next 10 years. It’s not just about digitizing paper, though. We need to reboot the whole judicial system.