Judicial system in Texas – “A glimpse inside eFiling process”

By | August 1, 2015

Wondering how your legal information and documents get filed to the court online? Let’s try to know inside of the whole eFiling process and have better understanding about how the legal documents are processed in e- filing system.

Basically eFiling process includes one or many filers or users who are in need of legal assistance, number of Electronic Filing Service Providers (EFSPs) like US Legal PRO, a Electronic File Manager (EFM), a clerk filtering the registered legal files and cases and number of Case Management System (CMS) which stores the legal documents and case files in corresponding courts. Filer can be individual or law firm/s, EFSPs can be any web application who serves as mediator between court and filer, EFM is a database system for analyzing the case and the legal documents and CMS is the final database which stores the digital copy of the case and the documents submitted.

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Fig: eFiling Process

Filer

Filer or user can be an individual or law firm/s in need of the legal help from the court who has to submit all the legal documents along with the personal information and the case information to file the case in the court. Filer or user, with the help of EFSPs, can file the case in the court online and is alerted with latest updates about his/her case. It a challenge in pro se point of view as he/she has to know all the specific requirement of the court and may feel difficulties in preparing the correct documents of the case. Pro se requires to know the whole eFiling process.

Electronic Filing Service Providers

Electronic Filing Service Providers (EFSPs), the online medium through which the filer or user can file the case to the court, are the eFiling service providers which are the web application designed to provide the user friendly interface to file the case with ease and reliability. US Legal PRO, one of the ESFPs, is Office of Court Administration (OCA) certified Free EFSP for Texas. With the help of EFSPs filer can register personal and case information to the court and can get informed about the status of the registered case online. EFSPs forward the case information and the documents to the EFM in a secure way and provide the feedback about the case after receiving the latest updates like hearing dates and latest progress of the case to the corresponding filer or user. EFSPs provide the connection to EFM where the legal documents regarding the cases are directed to the case number identifying the filing type.

Electronic File Manager

Electronic File Manager (EFM) is the central database which receives and holds the electronically filed documents. For Texas, the EFM is http://www.efiletexas.gov where all the case documents resides temporarily so that the clerk can check the fillings’ validity and transmit the valid legal documents to the Court Management System (CMS) of the corresponding court.EFM also stores the firm registration database i.e. user name and passwords and other credentials about the user and the case which makes the login of the filer valid irrespective of the EFSPs used to file the case.

Case Management System

Case Management System (CMS) is the database system where the exact copies of the legal documents regarding the cases reside. The clerk, after reviewing the filing in EFM, sends to the corresponding CMS of the court notifying the filer about the successful registration of the case through EFSPs. If any error is detected in the filing it rejects the case filing with the proper reasoning to the filer.

eFiling, revolutionizing technology in the field of justice, has surely put forward the new perspective in the judicial system which can provide the advanced e-services that meet the need and the expectation of the people in this technology era.

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