What is MEC?
Beginning in 2005, the Mississippi Supreme Court began a measured and comprehensive move to evaluate, test, and implement electronic filing and case management in Mississippi courts. Beginning with the Madison County Chancery Clerk’s office in May 2008, local courts have been testing a version of the federal Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system, now referred to as the Mississippi Electronic Courts (MEC) system. The MEC system is a comprehensive, internet‐based document filing and case management system that allows courts to maintain electronic case files and offer electronic filing. Courts can make all case information immediately available electronically through the Internet. The design of CM/ECF provides for low‐cost user access to the system. Any modern PC with Internet access and Web browser software can access MEC.
BENEFITS of MEC
The MEC system is based on the federal CM/ECF system developed by the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts and has been in use for more than ten years.
The system is currently used in 200+ federal district, and bankruptcy courts.
The system is a proven case management and electronic filing system that was created by the courts for use in the courts.
Because the system is based on the federal CM/ECF system, many attorneys are already proficient users of the system.
MEC is based on technical standards developed through the National Center of State Courts and is a product developed with the active participation of the Mississippi Department of Information Technology.
Judges, court staff, attorneys, and the public will have the capability to access electronic docket information, view and download documents, access case management data, and obtain other case information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Attorneys will have the capability to file documents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Documents are automatically docketed as part of the filing process and are immediately available electronically through an established account.
When a document or pleading is electronically filed, an automatic e‐mail notice of the case activity is sent to all attorneys of record in the case as well as the assigned judge.
There is no cost associated with the filing of documents in the system.
The system is a donation from AOUSC to the courts of Mississippi.
The system speeds delivery of documents and allows for easier tracking of case activity.
The system reduces the physical storage space needs and document processing times for not only the courts but attorneys as well.
The system will reduce the amount of postage and courier fees incurred by attorneys related to court filings. Likewise, the system will potentially reduce similar costs incurred by the courts.
Using one login, attorneys will be able to electronically file in any court which is a participant in the system.
Using one login, the public will be able to access docket information, view and download documents, and obtain other case information in any court which is a participant in the system.
Creation of PDFs
What is a PDF document?
Documents in Portable Document File (PDF) format do not require a copy of the word processing program used to create them in order to be viewed. They can be viewed by anyone with a free viewer such as Acrobat Reader, a product of Adobe Systems, Inc. In addition to its cross platform advantage, a PDF document matches very closely the format of the original document in which the PDF document was created. All of the pleadings in the MEC system are stored in PDF format. To view PDF files, you must have a PDF viewing software such as Acrobat Reader, which you may download free from the Adobe website http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html. You will view PDF documents the way they were created, and you may save and print them in that format.
How do I make a PDF document from a word processing program?
There are several ways in which you can get a document from a word processing program into the PDF format. The newer versions of some common word processors include the ability to publish a document to PDF built right into the word‐processing software. In WordPerfect 9 and 10, you can click on File and then "Publish to PDF" to convert your WordPerfect file (.wpd) to PDF. MS‐Word (up to version XP) does NOT have this capability. Adobe, the inventors of the PDF format, can be found at http://www.adobe.com, where you can find both the free reader version of the software, which can be used to retrieve documents from MEC, and the writer version, which can create documents for posting. When you've installed Acrobat, you can make PDF files right out of your word‐processing software simply by "printing" the document, and selecting the "printer" called "Acrobat PDFWriter" from the drop down list of available printers. That process will actually save a file in PDF format, with a ".pdf" file extension, on your hard drive. There are many other vendors besides Adobe who provide software to create PDF documents. Please note that MEC does not endorse or recommend any specific PDF software. Since there are so many different applications, and we could not depict instructions for all, we have chosen to depict all our instructions with reference to Adobe.
Tips for making a PDF document using a scanner.
• Use 200dpi when scanning documents.
• Set image type to black and white bitmap, text (image only), or line art.
• Do not use OCR or Textbridge. These options scan the document for altering or word processing. For filing purposes, we need only an image of the document.
• Use black ink, if possible. Blue ink and pencil do not scan well. If necessary, make a copy of the document before scanning it and darken using the copy machine settings.
• For large documents that require a wet signature, where only the last page has a signature, consider converting the document to PDF in your word processor and only scanning the signature page. Use Adobe Acrobat Writer to combine the two pdf files.
• Request depositions on floppy disk and convert them to pdf using a word processor.
• Use Adobe Acrobat Writer software on the scanning computer to simplify the scanning process. Scan documents directly into Adobe by clicking File > Import > Scan on the menu bar. (Note: you can still use pdfFactory on other computers to convert word processed documents).
• Check the size of a scanned document before uploading it to MEC. The size limit is 5 MB per document. To check the file size, locate the file in Windows Explorer, right click on the file and choose Properties.
• If a scanned document is larger than 5 MB, use Adobe Acrobat Writer to extract pages from the document to a separate file. Or use pdfFactory to print the pages to two separate files. This prevents you from having to re‐scan the document.