Thursday, May 19, 2016

Doxpop's E-Filing system does not yet support filings on confidential cases. Here's why:

Update: The problem described below has been resolved to our satisfaction, and Doxpop now allows confidential filings of any type through our system, including:

  1. Initial filing of confidential cases.
  2. Subsequent filings on existing confidential cases.
  3. Filing of confidential documents on otherwise public cases.


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Recently the State Court Administration began allowing electronic filing on confidential cases through their system.

At least one eager Doxpop user tried to use our system for filing on confidential cases and was disappointed because our system doesn't support this function yet. We're sorry to dissappoint, and our users deserve an explanation when that happens.

In general, Doxpop tries to keep pace with the State Court on introducing new features, but in this situation, we are holding back because the rules have not been clearly communicated to EFSPs yet, and in one situation, the rules we are aware of create a conflict.

Because of the sensitivity of confidential cases, we will not offer this particular electronic filing feature until the rules are clear and without conflict.

Specifically, here are the outstanding questions we have so far:

1) How to identify existing confidential cases. We believe that any case where the caption has been replaced by the string '**Confidential**' is certainly confidential, but we have not yet received an answer to the question "If we don't see this string, are we safe in treating the case as public?"

2) What is the list of all case types designated as confidential? We believe based on experience that the complete list is MH, AD, JC, JD, JS, JT, JM and PO (With PO details being hidden in this context due to Federal law rather than State Court rule.) However, we haven't been able to locate a definitive list in Administrative Rule 9 or elsewhere, and we really need this in writing in order to proceed with confidence.

3) In addition to cases designated confidential due to their type, some cases of types that are typically public may be closed by order of the court. If an electronic filer is initiating a case in which the first action is to seek a confidential designation, how does the filer, through the EFSP, indicate to the clerk that details other than the filed documents must also be kept confidential pending the court's ruling?

4) When filing a document, every filer is required to designate the filing party. Since the names of all parties are hidden for confidential cases, the filer has no way of supplying this required information if more than one party has the same role. (For instance, if there are two petitioners- without names, how does the filer indicate which petitioner is doing the filing?)

As soon as we obtain clear answers to these questions, Doxpop will move to quickly provide this feature for our subscribers. In the meantime, please be patient with us as we exercise due diligence.