Electronic filing (e-filing) is the creation, submission, sharing, and accessing of structured digital documents or forms via online channels. Paper documents are converted to Extensible Markup Language (XML) digital files that can be read by both machines and humans. Electronic submission permits the court to make documents available through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system.
In an article written in the Justice System Journal published by Louraine C. Arkfeld titled Life as a Wired Judge: Reflections on the Use of Technology by Courts, Arkfeld states:
“Technology is a tool, not an end in itself. It should give us the ability to do our same job, only better or at least faster. Our job is still managing and adjudicating cases… I would urge you to reflect on what this technology means for how we function in our judicial roles.”
There are many benefits of e-filing and converting paper files into electronic files, including:
Saves Money: salary time spend manually indexing paper documents is tedious and time consuming while paper, printer inks, toners and maintenance can be very expensive.
Provides Accessibility: paper documents are difficult to store, organize and search while e-filing enables easy search capabilities compared to finding and sifting through a paper documents or cases.
Saves Time: storing and organizing digital files is expedited via XML data management, unlike traditional paper filing, reduces delays in retrieving court records.
Promotes Accuracy: when the data is transferred directly from the document that contains the information, the data doesn’t have to be entered again manually, compared to paper filing methods that often result in transcription errors.
Saves Space: traditional paper-based filing systems such as filing cabinets, drawing cabinets, shelves and folders require considerable space, maintenance and can ben resource-intensive.
Environmentally Friendly: eliminates the use of paper, toners, and inks for printers that use environment-damaging materials.
This process can be expedited even further through the use of automated indexing. Extract’s intelligent automated indexing feature can automatically read through unstructured documents, regardless of the source. Although hand writing is difficult for our machine to analyze, our rulesets use clues to determine what the information is, without requiring the use of standard layout, design or formatting.
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About the Author: Chantel Soumis
Chantel Soumis represents the Marketing Department at Extract as Marketing Manager. Chantel studied marketing communications and business administration at Franklin University and proceeded to work in a fast, ambitious environment, assuring client delight in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Passionate about project productivity and streamlining workflows through the use of technology, Chantel strives to inform organizations of Extract’s advanced OCR solution by mastering communications and messaging while delivering helpful information and supporting resources.