The Ohio Supreme Court's e-Filing Portal is now open to self-represented litigants.
Attorneys have been able to file electronically since Jan. 5, 2015, and about 2,900 documents, or 72 percent of all attorney filings, have been sent through the portal since then. New rules approved by the Supreme Court justices go into effect today to allow for non-attorney electronic filing.
Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor said allowing non-attorneys to file electronically gives them parity with lawyers: "Everybody who comes before the court comes on equal footing and has to be treated alike, and this allows them to be treated equally and to have equal access to our services."
Chief Justice O'Connor added electronic filing is also a convenient, cost-efficient way to file.
Supreme Court Clerk of Court Sandra Grosko said there is a slight difference for establishing e-filing accounts: "Attorneys use their attorney registration number to establish their account, and non-attorneys use an email address."
Grosko pointed out several guidelines that non-attorneys should know if they're filing electronically.
"They can only prepare documents on their own behalf, the filing requirements in the Rules of Practice apply to all filings, whether by the e-Filing Portal or otherwise, and the 5 o'clock deadline is enforced for e-filings," she said.
Specifically, users of e-filing should remember:
- Documents received after 5 p.m. through the e-Filing Portal will not be considered for filing until the next business day.
- Items received through the portal will be reviewed in the order in which they are received by the Clerk's Office. Due to high volume, review of documents for compliance with the Rules of Practice can take up to one business day.
- Use of the e-Filing Portal does not alter the filer's obligation to serve the other parties to the case.
The Supreme Court website offers video tutorials, a user guide, and other helpful information and links.