On Monday, August 3, a voluntary eFiling pilot program will begin in Wisconsin Court of Appeals District III, which serves the northern half of Wisconsin. Attorneys who want to try out appellate eFiling can use their existing eCourts accounts to file new cases or opt in to pending cases to file new documents.
Appellate practitioners already use the appellate eFiling website to file briefs and appendices with the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. The website is now expanded and upgraded to allow filing and service of all documents in appellate proceedings. The case types available for eFiling include civil and criminal appeals, no-merit appeals, pre-appeal motions, writs, and discretionary appeals filed in the Court of Appeals.
Please note that a party filing a notice of appeal should continue to file it in circuit court as they do now. The notice of appeal should clearly request (preferably in bold) that the case is intended to be part of the voluntary eFiling pilot program. Participation in the eFiling pilot program eliminates the need to file multiple copies of paper briefs and the use of colored covers. Respondents who receive a notice of appeal and parties on existing cases can opt in to eFiling by sending a request by fax or mail to the office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. The $20 eFiling fee is currently being waived.
Appellate eFiling incorporates the same technology and user experience as circuit court eFiling, so circuit court practitioners will find it familiar. The pilot program has been tested with a small number of cases across the state, but District III will be the first time that appellate eFiling is open for general use. A smooth rollout is expected, and a phone line and online chat feature are available to assist filers.
The plan is to roll out voluntary eFiling in Court of Appeals District II 2-4 weeks later, District IV 2-4 weeks after that, and finally District I. Please check the appellate eFiling website for 1) when each district will be open for eFiling, 2) a map of the Court of Appeals districts, 3) rules governing the appellate eFiling pilot, 4) user guides and training materials, and 5) virtual and in-person training opportunities.
A committee of judges and practitioners is currently drafting a permanent rule to guide appellate eFiling. The draft rule will be available for review and comment later this year. The rule is expected to make appellate eFiling mandatory for attorneys on July 1, 2021, and voluntary for self-represented parties.
For other questions, please contact the office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals at (608) 266-1880 or at [email protected].