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Madison County court to officially go paperless this month

CANTON — The County Court of Madison County will officially become a paperless system for filing civil court records June 29.

The transition to electronic records in the County Court marks another milestone for Madison County, where Chancery and Circuit Courts served as the state’s first testing grounds for developing the Mississippi Electronic Courts system. Civil cases in all three courts are now filed, docketed and accessed electronically. Work is underway to convert criminal case filings to electronic format.

As Madison County enters the final stages of implementing an e-filing system, work is beginning in Chancery Courts in Hinds and Rankin counties.

“The focus right now for the project is the Jackson metro area,” said Clint Pentecost, MEC counsel for the Mississippi Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court’s MEC implementation team began analyzing the Hinds Chancery Court system in April, and is training the clerk’s staff. Analysis of the Rankin County Chancery Court began earlier this month. A timetable for implementation has not been finalized.

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.

Attorneys must use electronic filing in Chancery, Circuit and County Courts in Madison, Harrison and Warren counties, and in the Chancery Court of  DeSoto County. The Holmes County Chancery Court utilizes some parts of the MEC program, but has not reached the stage of accepting electronic filing of documents.

E-filing is currently utilized only in civil cases. Development of the criminal records component is underway. Circuit and County Courts in Harrison, Hinds, Madison, Rankin and Warren counties are expected to be the first to utilize the MEC system for criminal cases, Pentecost said.

As of June 8, 2,794 attorneys and 966  non-attorneys were registered users of the MEC system. MEC charges 20 cents per page to view electronic court records in participating jurisdictions. The annual registration fee is $10.

For more information, visit courts.ms.gov/mec/mec.html.


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