The Summit County Clerk of Courts office has launched a new electronic filing system.

The new $1.9 million online program will allow attorneys and those who want to represent themselves in court the ability to file documents, pleadings and motions online beginning today.

Clerk of Courts Daniel Horrigan said he would receive calls from attorneys asking him to keep the doors open another half hour or so or even be open on holidays to accept court filings. With the new system, filings can be made anytime and the old 4 p.m. filing deadline when the office closed its doors for the day is now 11:59 p.m. for online filings.

“This is the next generational change for our office, the courts and the legal and justice community, the transition from a paper to electronic work flow,” said Horrigan. “It’s not new, but Summit County is one of only a few counties to use it. Federal courts have been doing it for years and it works, so why reinvent the wheel? It is more efficient and will save time and space.

“It’s a green initiative. We won’t have to print everything.”

He said all electronic submissions will receive a digital timestamp after a review by the clerk’s staff for the court’s official record. The timestamp will be based on when it was submitted not when it was reviewed.

Filings can be made at the clerk’s website at www.cpclerk.co.summit.oh.us on the Internet. The standard filing fee remains $325, which is set by the court. Credit cards are accepted.

Horrigan hopes to make e-filing mandatory by Sept. 1 unless someone gets permission to file by paper over the counter by the court.

“I liken the process to a shopping cart. There is a flat fee, but you pay extra for different attachments, such as an additional charge for more than one person served,” he said. “It creates receipts for the person who files and one for our office. We do require an email address from the person filing so we can easily contact the person if there is a problem with the filing.”

Marilyn Miller can be reached at 330-996-3098 or mmiller@thebeaconjournal.com.