Supreme Court docket goes on the Internet

The case docket of the Mississippi Supreme Court is now available for viewing on the Internet. The on-line docket was activated Friday, March 30.

The electronic docket is part of a series of technology advances intended to make the Supreme Court more accessible and accountable to the public, said Chief Justice Edwin Lloyd Pittman.

The Supreme Court broadcast oral arguments live on the Internet for the first time today.

By summer, the court is expected to begin accepting electronic filing of motions and briefs in appeals. The Supreme Court's decisions have been available on the Internet since 1996.

The Supreme Court's web site is courts.ms.gov.

To view oral arguments on the Internet, go to the web site and click on the DOCKET CALENDAR icon. This links to the live broadcast schedule. When a broadcast is in progress, the user can click on the scheduled argument to tune in to the audio and video feed. The audio/video player on the user's PC will engage automatically. The viewer must have a web browser, audio/video player such as Real player and/or Microsoft Media player, and an Internet connection.

To view the docket, click on the GENERAL DOCKET icon. This will take the viewer to a search page with instructions. The docket of a case may be located by searching by case number, party name or attorney name.

The court's docket is the chronological listing of events in each case on appeal. The docket notes the filing of notice of appeal, records, briefs, motions and decisions. It lists the attorneys representing parties.

Docket entries are brief notations. Anyone wishing to look at records must still contact the clerk's office and request to see the file.

Acting Supreme Court Clerk Betty Sephton said Internet access to the court's docket will be helpful to litigants by enabling them to track the status of cases on appeal.

"It's just going to be a great thing for the public. With a click of the mouse they will know the status of their appeal," Sephton said.

When the court begins using electronic filing later this year, lawyers may transmit motions and briefs to the court via the Internet. Files may be linked to docket entries so that a person viewing the docket via the Internet will be able to point and click on a file and read it.

Assistant Court Administrator Kevin Lackey said electronic filing is expected to save money, staff time and storage space. The technology could speed up appeals, Lackey said.

"It will be much more efficient," Lackey said.

Paper is not expected to become a relic. Paper documents will continue to be accepted. Lackey said paper documents can be scanned and stored electronically.

For more information, contact Beverly Pettigrew Kraft, public information officer for the state court system, at 601-354-7452.