April 30, 2021 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has unanimously approved Rule Petition 20-07, introducing a comprehensive system of electronic filing for the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and Wisconsin Supreme Court.
In the court of appeals, eFiling will become mandatory for attorneys on July 1, 2021. As of that date, all new cases and all new documents in pending cases must be filed through the appellate eFiling system. If you have a pending case, you must opt-in by July 1.
The appellate eFiling system is built on the model of circuit court eFiling and will look and feel familiar to attorneys and staff. Attorneys will use the same log-in information to access cases and can toggle between the circuit and appellate court systems.
The core changes needed to implement appellate eFiling are adopted as new Wis. Stat. § 809.801, posted on the court website. This section is built on the circuit court eFiling rule and is parallel in structure, language, and procedure. The goal is to provide a consistent experience for filers in terms of both rules and technology.
The rule petition also makes a number of changes throughout the Rules of Appellate Procedure, Wis. Stat. ch. 809, to take full advantage of the efficiencies that electronic documents have to offer. The revisions to chapter 809 include:
- the notice of appeal, docketing statement, and statement on transcript are served electronically using the circuit court eFiling system
- duplicate filings in the circuit courts and court of appeals are eliminated
- the record on appeal will use the circuit court document numbers
- printing and service of briefs and appendices are eliminated except for single copies served on self-represented parties
- current requirements for document appearance (margins, fonts, spacing, pagination) are updated
- the certifications for briefs and appendices may be electronically signed as a single document
- electronic briefs may include bookmarks and hyperlinks, but these are not required
- there is no additional eFiling fee for appellate eFiling
The petition was developed by the Appellate eFiling Committee, a committee convened by the clerk of the supreme court and court of appeals with representation from the supreme court, court of appeals, practicing attorneys, and court staff.
No date has been set to begin mandatory eFiling in the supreme court. The court is currently converting a few select cases from paper to electronic to test the software and adjust internal procedures. Once testing is nearing completion, the court will set an implementation schedule. Until then, the requirement to file both electronic and paper copies of briefs is still in effect in the supreme court.