Civil Court Filings Go High Tech

The age of high tech has finally made it to ALL the district and civil courts in Harris County. Attorneys can now file all their court documents on-line. Jim Bell explains.

It's called eFiling and it's been in use in all the Criminal and Civil District Courts for several years, and now it's been extended to the county's four Civil Courts at Law.  Harris County Clerk Beverly Kaufman says it's making work easier for everybody.

"It helps us help the bar do its job easier, because they can submit pleadings to us 24 hours a day. And those are considered filed at the time they send them to us."

This service is made available to attorneys through Texas Online, the official website of the state of Texas.  It allows filers to send legal documents through a secure website any time of day or night from any location with Internet access.  Kaufman says filing papers online benefits everybody.

"It's beneficial to the community and it keeps cars off the roads. The attorneys are not either driving over and using their time, or paying delivery services to take those pleadings to the office, and so it's just a cleaner, seamless, more practical way to do things."

Kaufman predicts in a few years as much a third of all the documents filed in the Civil Courts at Law will be filed online. 

Jim Bell, KUHF, Houston Public Radio News.