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Chautauqua County to begin e-filing in Supreme Court

MAYVILLE — Chautauqua County Clerk Larry Barmore has announced e-filing of Chautauqua County Supreme Court cases began recently on a consensual basis.

All litigants in the majority of civil actions will be able to file documents electronically, saving both time and money for those involved. The e-filing system will also help to further streamline processes in the County Clerk’s office, which will benefit taxpayers and customers.

“This is a project we’ve been working on for a couple years with Office of Court Administration in Buffalo and we’re excited we will finally be able to offer e-filing for Supreme Court cases,” said Barmore. “We’re the third Supreme Court in our county clerk region and judicial district to begin e-filing, behind Erie and Niagara counties, and only the 27th in the state, so, we are ahead of the curve, but with the majority of our attorneys located on separate ends of the county, e-filing is going to be a huge help to them as well as their clients.”

E-filing is generated through the New York State Courts Electronic Filing system. The only cases that are not approved for e-filing in Chautauqua County Supreme Court are matrimonial matters (divorces), mental hygiene law cases and election law cases.

While many Chautauqua County attorneys may already be familiar with e-filing, staff in the Chautauqua County Clerk’s Office and the Chautauqua County Supreme Court Chief Clerk’s office will assist the local Bar with guidance and training prior to and throughout the implementation of the program. The NYSCEF Resource Center training staff held free CLE training for attorneys and will also be available to assist filers as the process is implemented.

E-filing is available to unrepresented litigants as well as attorneys. Neither the County Clerk’s office nor the Chief Clerk’s office can give legal advice, however, they can assist the public in procedural issues associated with using the e-filing system.

“Our staff has been working with the Niagara County Clerk’s office for more than a year to prepare for e-filing and they’ve also received training from the NYSCEF Resource Center. They are ready and available to assist with general filing information or questions about filing fees.” said Barmore. “As a general rule, our staff can’t advise what documents to file as they relate to a specific circumstance or assist in filling out documents, but the nycourts.gov website has a lot of information to help people who don’t have attorneys.”

While e-filing is rolling out on a consensual basis, meaning litigants choose whether or not to e-file their documents, eventually e-filing will become mandatory for all attorneys. Unrepresented litigants will still be able to file their documents in paper even after e-filing becomes mandatory.

“We’re encouraging all of the Chautauqua County attorneys to use the e-filing system when it becomes available,” said Barmore. “This is the wave of the future and local attorneys will eventually have no choice but to e-file. The sooner they begin taking part, the sooner they will realize the benefits.”

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