Electronic filing presentation scheduled Oct. 14 in Gulfport
October 10, 2011
South Mississippi attorneys will get an overview of the planned electronic filing system for state court records during a presentation to the Harrison County Bar Association at noon Oct. 14 at the Great Southern Club atop the Hancock Bank Building in Gulfport.
Mississippi Supreme Court Presiding Justice Jess H. Dickinson, Mississippi Electronic Courts (MEC) Counsel Clint Pentecost and MEC Program Director Calvin Ransfer will present the pilot program.
Members of the media are welcome to watch the presentation.
The Harrison County Circuit, County and Chancery Courts as well as the Chancery Courts of DeSoto, Holmes and Yazoo counties were recently added to the MEC pilot program. Work to implement e-filing in Harrison County will begin with the Circuit Court. Training for Circuit Court staff is scheduled for Oct. 11 and 12 in Gulfport. A start date for electronic filing will be announced in the near future.
Courts which currently use e-filing are the Chancery Courts of Madison, Warren and Scott counties; Circuit Courts of Madison and Warren counties; and the County Courts of Madison and Warren counties.
MEC so far has dealt only with civil case filings. Work is underway to adapt the system to Circuit Court criminal records.
The electronic filing system allows attorneys to file documents or read court records via the Internet 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Judges can work on cases any time from any location with Internet access.
Members of the public may view electronic documents via the Internet. The public access portal, Public Access to Mississippi Electronic Courts (PAMEC), is similar to the federal court records subscriber-based access portal known as PACER.
Harrison County Circuit Clerk Gayle Parker said she is eager to join the pilot project.
Parker said, “We are very excited about it. I give it my full support. We are all committed to making sure it is going to work. We want to make this work because it’s a better system. It will be more efficient and the public will have better access to our court system.”
MEC charges 20 cents per page to view electronic court records in participating jurisdictions. The annual registration fee is $10. Registration and other details about MEC are available at this link: http://courts.ms.gov/mec/mec.html.
The MEC e-filing system is modeled on the one used in the federal courts. The Mississippi Supreme Court in June 2007 entered into an agreement with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to study the feasibility of adapting the federal trial court case management and electronic filing system for use in state courts.