E-filing to expand to state trial courts - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

E-filing to expand to state trial courts

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By Ashley Conroy - email

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -- Accessing public court records will now be just a few mouse clicks away in Mississippi.  

The Mississippi Electronic Courts (MEC) started as a pilot program in Madison, Warren, and Scott counties.

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. spoke to the Jackson Rotary Club on Monday at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum.

Chief Justice Waller says Mississippi is now the first state in the nation to obtain access to a federal license to use the program.

"It has electronic filing, it has public access, and it has management by the trial judges," Waller said.

MEC is modeled off of the federal court filing system known as "Pacer."

To obtain records, someone would have to register, then pay an annual fee.

Waller also says each page costs a fee.

"The registration fee will be $25 dollars, the access fee, I think will be 25 cents a page."

Waller also says documentation will include all civil cases, and soon criminal cases will be online as well.

However, he says there will exceptions so that someone's privacy isn't invaded in certain instances.

"Abuse of females, children obviously will be excluded. Anything confidential now will be confidential in the electronic filing process."

MEC is not mandatory for chancery, circuit, or country courts to use, rather Waller it's voluntary.

"If they want to be in the program they've got to meet certain qualifications that we have." Waller continued, "Obviously they got to have Internet access and they've got to have data lines that will support the program."    

The State Supreme Court reports 1,510 attorneys registering for the program, and about 440 citizens from the general public.

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