Michigan Supreme Court Implements Prisoner E-filing Pilot Program

On November 2, 2016, the Supreme Court ordered implementation of a Prisoner Electronic Filing Program between the Supreme Court’s Clerk’s Office and the Michigan Department of Corrections to enable electronic transmission of authorized documents between the Court and the MDOC.  See Administrative Order 2016-3. Initially, two correctional facilities, the St. Louis Correctional Facility and the Carson City Correctional Facility, will participate in the pilot program; additional facilities may join later.

During the initial phase of the program, filings by prisoners will be limited to applications for leave to appeal in criminal cases.  The U.S. Postal Service will be utilized for future filings in a case if a prisoner is transferred from a facility with e-filing capability to a non-capable facility.  For filing documents, a prisoner will present the filings to MDOC staff to be scanned and sent to the Court; the original documents will be returned to the prisoner, who must keep the documents in their original form in case the Court later requires them to be produced.  If an electronically filed document is accepted by the Court, the Clerk’s Office will e-serve TrueFiling registered parties to the litigation.  If a pleading is rejected by the Clerk’s Office, either due to lack of jurisdiction or because the pleading does not substantially comply with the court rules, the MDOC will be notified, given the reasons for the rejection, and it must then notify the prisoner as soon as practicable.

Link to AO-2016-3:  http://courts.mi.gov/Courts/MichiganSupremeCourt/rules/court-rules-admin-matters/Administrative%20Orders/2002-37_2016-11-02_FormattedOrder_MSCPrisonerEFilingPilot.pdf.

by Neil Leithauser
Associate Editor