High-tech filing to be permitted in federal courts, if all sides agree

Tuesday, December 4th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Competing federal court litigants now have permission to e-mail or fax their filings, if both sides agree.

Starting this month, parties in federal court lawsuits can file their arguments electronically. An initial lawsuit would have to be filed in traditional paper form, but other filings, like briefs and motions, could be done electronically. Both sides in a case would have to agree to the method.

The change was approved by the Supreme Court and the Judicial Conference, which sets policy for the courts.

It applies to federal trial and bankruptcy courts. Rules changes are being considered for appellate courts in late 2002.

The policy is unrelated to a recent Supreme Court decision to allow electronic filings in cases affected by anthrax. No direct deliveries are allowed at the court because of anthrax concerns.