By Kathryn Dolan, Chief Public Information Officer | Office of Communication, Education & Outreach
E-filing available in all 92 counties!
Electronic filing in court cases is now available in all trial courts across the state’s 92 counties and all three appellate courts.
A celebration to mark the occasion took place in Sullivan County in September. The milestone was celebrated in the county southwest of the state capital because it was the final county to join the system. Sullivan County had intended to join e-filing sooner, but a decision was made that the county would also begin using Odyssey (the state’s case management system). The most efficient way to make the improvements prompted deployment of Odyssey first with e-filing to follow.
Hamilton County leads the charge
In July 2015, Hamilton County initiated e-filing. In August 2015, Chief Justice Loretta Rush and other court leaders traveled to Hamilton County to thank court and clerk staff, attorneys, and judges in person. At the time, Chief Justice Rush said, “This is a major step toward all 92 counties accepting electronic filings rather than paper.”
It was a joy to serve as a resource for other clerks, court staff, and judges as they made their first steps into this whole new world. That joy came in part from good old Hoosier hospitality but also from being able to share with others the positive differences e-filing had made in our day-to-day professional lives.
—Judge William Hughes, Hamilton County
First 100 days
Once Hamilton County began the project, it quickly became apparent that efficiencies and paper reduction would be enormous. More than 4,000 documents were filed electronically within the first 100 days. Supreme Court Justice Steve David said, “The Indiana Supreme Court is committed to the most effective use of technology to ensure that courts operate with efficiency and fairness. E-filing is a key component of our modernization plans.”
17 million documents later
The Supreme Court’s technology team traveled from county to county over the next few years implementing e-filing. In each trial court, e-filing first became voluntary, and 60 days later, mandatory for attorneys. By August 2019, all counties were part of the e-filing initiative and 17 million documents had been filed.
Before the statewide e-filing system was conceptualized and implementation began, e-filing did not exist in the large majority of Indiana counties. [Statewide e-filing] is an accomplishment that all Hoosiers can rightfully be proud of.
—Judge Paul Mathias, Court of Appeals
Enthusiasm for e-filing was widespread and contagious, leading to efficiencies in courthouses and law offices that would have been inconceivable without e-filing.
—Bob Rath, Director of Appellate Court Technology
E-filing and Odyssey
E-filing is just one part of the Court’s comprehensive plan to bring efficiencies to courts across the state through technology. A companion piece of the puzzle is Odyssey, the state’s case management system. Odyssey is being used in 334 courts in 76 Indiana counties—that’s nearly 85% of the state’s caseload in Odyssey with public cases and documents available at mycase.in.gov. Going paperless through e-filing allows courts and clerks to avoid scanning documents manually for submission to Odyssey.
The Supreme Court is committed to bringing further efficiencies and modernization to courts across the state. The 92-county milestone is not a moment to rest on laurels, but rather an opportunity to note what is possible with great partners. “With support from the Legislative and Executive branches, as well as attorneys, judges, clerks, court staff, and bar associations, we have worked together to modernize the judicial branch and make it more accessible to our customers,” said Chief Justice Rush. The technology team will continue to roll out e-filing in city and town courts and manage the many e-filing service providers, including the state’s free provider, which provides access to justice for all.