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News from the Arizona Supreme Court:

The Arizona Supreme Court is pleased to announce that Pinal County Superior Court is now accepting electronic filings of civil case initiation and civil subsequent documents through the eFileAZ and AZTurboCourt efiling applications. eFiling is currently available using both applications in Yavapai County, Mohave County, Santa Cruz County, and Maricopa County Superior courts. Plans are underway for the remaining Superior Courts in the State to begin accepting civil documents via efiling in the coming months.

AZTurboCourtBoth efiling applications bring with them the ability to file both civil initiating and subsequent cases electronically, the ability to attach more than one lead document per submission, issue summons and subpoenas, generate the civil cover sheet, and other functionality that will allow for faster filing of court documents.

Your firm may already be using AZTurboCourt eFiling application to file documents in Pima and Maricopa Counties, however, there are several differences between the applications and IT HIGHLY ENCOURAGES YOU TO ATTEND TRAINING! For information on how to register, set up a payment method, information on how to use the application, and training dates and locations please contact the AOC Support Center at 602-452-3519 or 800-720-7743 or visit here for more information.

eFileAZ

AZTurboCourt e-filing logoToday I share the following item from the Arizona Supreme Court about their next step in making Arizona an e-filing state. As they say, the automated case system launched on Tuesday in Pima County.

The next generation of court automation has arrived in the Superior Court in Pima County. AZTurboCourt is available for civil case initiation and civil subsequent filing in the Pima County Superior Court beginning February 17, 2015. Opening a civil case and submitting additional materials related to the case used to require a visit to the Clerk of the Superior Court. In-person trips to the Clerk to file a Pima County civil case will be a thing of the past with the launch of AZTurboCourt.

Law offices will need to establish an account in AZTurboCourt before making their first filing. Please be aware that it may take three to four days to set up your payment account. For information on how to register and set up a payment account please go here and click on the “Training Manuals” or “Tutorial Videos” link.

Live and online training classes will be available starting February 9. The training sessions will include step-by-step instructions on launching an account, e-filing a case, attaching documents, and other tips to ensure that an electronic submission is not delayed due to errors.

A training manual and self-paced training videos are available on our website here. There are several differences between the Maricopa County application and the Pima County application, so training is highly encouraged. To sign up for an in-person or WebEx training class, please visit here.

Breaking News:

The State Bar of Arizona CLE Department has just added a final training on AZTurboCourt for civil subsequent filing. It’ll be held Friday, September 9. More information and registration are here.

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Lawyers are deadline-driven. And this week, a big one approaches.

This Thursday, September 1, e-filing will be mandatory for most filings in the Arizona Superior Court in Maricopa County.

Civil cases must still be initiated on paper; but beginning Thursday, civil subsequent filings will no longer be accepted in paper form in that court (eFiling applies to general civil cases, not the subcategories of civil cases such as probate and family cases.). The rule went into effect months ago, but the Arizona Supreme Court’s Administrative Order 2011-87 removes the paper option this week.

To read the order, click here.

And for a well-written description of the process and answers to your likely questions, click here for a blog post by Michael Jeanes, clerk of the Superior Court of Maricopa County. (Kudos to the Maricopa County Bar Association for running his article.)

If all of your questions are answered and you’re ready to get started, click here. (Don’t wait until you have to file something to get registered, because the process may take more than one day to complete.)

I have heard some concern expressed about the thus-far lackluster use of e-filing by lawyers in Maricopa County. Apparently, since it has been available, AZTurbocourt has seen far fewer than the tens of thousands of filings that could have been made digitally. Some have wondered whether not enough was done to get the word out.

(Click here to read a roundtable we ran on the topic in Arizona Attorney Magazine back in 2009.)

My guess is that lawyers know the change is coming and will be required on September 1—so why adhere to a new regime when it is merely recommended and before it is mandatory?

Law practice is complex and difficult and time-consuming enough without adding recommended changes. I would imagine that as soon as the new requirement is in place, they will get on board. After all, lawyers understand deadlines—and Supreme Court rules.