801.18(1)(j) (j) “Initiating document" means a summons and complaint, petition, application, citation, criminal complaint, or any other document filed to commence a court action.
801.18(1)(k) (k) “Mandatory user" means a user who is subject to sub. (3) (a).
801.18(1)(L) (L) “Paper party" means a party who is not subject to sub. (3) (a) who chooses not to participate in the electronic filing system as described in sub. (3) (c).
801.18(1)(m) (m) “Traditional methods" means those methods of filing and serving documents, other than electronic filing, provided under statutes and local rules.
801.18(1)(n) (n) “User" means an individual who has registered to use the electronic filing system under sub. (3). Users of the electronic filing system shall be individuals, not law firms, agencies, corporations, or other groups.
801.18(1)(o) (o) “Voluntary user" means a party who is not subject to sub. (3) (a) who voluntarily registers to use the electronic filing system under sub. (3) (b).
801.18(2) (2)Effective date; applicability.
801.18(2)(a)(a) The director of state courts shall implement an electronic filing system for the Wisconsin circuit courts. The requirements of this section shall govern the electronic filing of documents in all types of actions and proceedings in circuit court.
801.18(2)(b) (b) Mandatory use of the electronic filing system shall be phased in according to a schedule set by the director until the system has been fully implemented. The director shall make information about the transition schedule readily available to the public in advance of its application.
801.18(2)(c) (c) Subject to the schedule set by the director under par. (b), mandatory users shall be required to use the electronic filing system for all new filings covered by the schedule. Electronic filing shall be required for all new actions brought in circuit court and for all new documents submitted in previously filed cases, except as otherwise provided in this section.
801.18(2)(d) (d) After July 1, 2016 and prior to the date that electronic filing becomes mandatory under par. (b), parties may choose to electronically file actions and documents under the provisions of this statute or may continue to file by traditional methods.
801.18(2)(e) (e) Electronic filing is limited to methods specifically approved by the director. The director may enter into an agreement with any state agency to allow electronic filing through a custom data exchange between the court case management system and the agency's automated information system. Parties using a custom data exchange are considered mandatory users and are subject to the requirements of this section.
801.18(2)(f) (f) The procedures in this section shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with existing procedures. This section is not intended to limit the director's approval of new technologies that accomplish the same functions.
801.18(2)(g) (g) The judges of the circuit court, the clerk of court, and all court staff shall cooperate and assist with the implementation of electronic filing.
801.18(2)(h) (h) This section does not address documents required by law to be filed with court officials that are not filed in an action before the court. These documents may be filed by traditional methods unless otherwise required by the director of state courts.
801.18(2)(i) (i) This section does not apply to filing of documents or transcripts with the court of appeals or supreme court.
801.18(2)(j) (j) Prior to the effective date of this section, the director may require that electronic filing be mandatory in one or more pilot counties for purposes of testing and improving the mandatory electronic filing system.
801.18(3) (3)Registration requirements.
801.18(3)(a) (a) Subject to the schedule set by the director under sub. (2) (b), the following individuals shall register for access to the electronic filing system prior to filing documents in circuit court:
801.18(3)(a)1. 1. Licensed Wisconsin attorneys, other than those who are representing only themselves.
801.18(3)(a)2. 2. Attorneys appearing under SCR 10.03 (4).
801.18(3)(a)3. 3. High-volume filing agents.
801.18(3)(b) (b) Parties who are not subject to par. (a) may voluntarily register to use the electronic filing system.
801.18(3)(c) (c) A party not subject to par. (a) who does not choose to participate in the electronic filing system under par. (b) shall file, serve, and receive paper documents by traditional methods.
801.18(3)(d) (d) All users shall register through the electronic filing system by executing a user agreement governing the system's terms of use. To register, users must have the capability to produce, file, and receive electronic documents meeting the technical requirements of the electronic filing system. The electronic filing system shall make information on the technical requirements for filing readily available. By registering, users agree to electronically file all documents to the extent the electronic filing system can accept them.
801.18(3)(e) (e) Upon completion of a properly executed user agreement under par. (d), the electronic filing system shall provide the user with a confidential, secure authentication procedure for access to the electronic filing system. This authentication procedure shall be used only by that user and by any agents or employees that the user authorizes. Upon learning that the confidentiality of the authentication procedure has been inadvertently or improperly disclosed, the user shall immediately report that fact through the electronic filing system.
801.18(3)(f) (f) Users shall notify the electronic filing system within 10 business days of any change in the information provided for registration. Attorneys shall notify the electronic filing system within 10 business days of beginning representation of a formerly self-represented party. Entities appearing by a filing agent shall notify the electronic filing system within 10 business days of any change in the identity of a filing agent.
801.18(3)(g) (g) Nonresident attorneys shall register following court approval of a motion to appear pro hac vice under SCR 10.03 (4).
801.18(3)(h) (h) After registering to use the electronic filing system, a user shall also register as an attorney or party on any previously filed cases in which the user intends to continue to participate. The same authentication procedure shall be used for all cases on which the user is an attorney or a party. The electronic filing system may reset authentication procedures as needed for administrative and security purposes.
801.18(3)(i) (i) Voluntary users who wish to stop using the electronic filing system in a particular case must notify the electronic filing system or the clerk of court. The electronic filing system shall indicate that traditional methods must be used for this party for future filings and service.
801.18(3)(j) (j) The electronic filing system may provide a method for filing documents by individuals who are not parties to the case. It may also provide a method for professionals and agencies associated with the case to receive information and file reports.
801.18(4) (4)Time and effect of electronic filing.
801.18(4)(a)(a) The electronic filing system is an agent of the circuit courts for purposes of filing, receipt, service, and retrieval of electronic documents.
801.18(4)(b) (b) When a document is submitted by a user to the electronic filing system, the electronic filing system shall transmit it to the appropriate clerk of court in the county where the case is filed. The electronic filing system shall issue a confirmation that submission to the electronic filing system is complete.
801.18(4)(c) (c) If the clerk of court accepts a document for filing, it shall be considered filed with the court at the date and time of the original submission, as recorded by the electronic filing system. Upon acceptance, the electronic filing system shall issue a confirmation to serve as proof of filing. When personal service is not required, the confirmation shall also serve as proof of service on the other users in the case.
801.18(4)(d) (d) The electronic filing system shall receive electronic filings 24 hours per day except when undergoing maintenance or repair.
801.18(4)(e) (e) A document is considered filed on a particular day if the submission is completed by 11:59 p.m. central time, as recorded by the electronic filing system, so long as it is subsequently accepted by the clerk of court upon review. Documents filed after 11:59 p.m. are considered filed the next day the clerk's office is open. The expanded availability of time to file shall not affect the calculation of time under other statutes, rules, and court orders.
801.18(5) (5)Commencement of action.
801.18(5)(a) (a) A user seeking to initiate an action shall first register with the electronic filing system as provided in sub. (3). The user shall then file an initiating document in the county where the action is to be commenced and provide the additional information requested by the electronic filing system to open a case.
801.18(5)(b) (b) If a filing fee is required, the clerk of court may reject the document unless it has been submitted as provided in sub. (7) (b). At the written or oral request of the filer, the clerk of court may reject the document for filings made in error, if the request is made before the clerk of court has accepted the document.
801.18(5)(c) (c) If the clerk of court accepts an initiating document for filing, the clerk of court shall assign a case number and authenticate the document as provided in sub. (10). The case shall then be available through the electronic filing system. If the clerk of court rejects an initiating document, the filer shall be notified of the rejection.
801.18(5)(d) (d) Initiating documents shall be served by traditional methods unless the responding party has consented in writing to accept electronic service or service by some other method. Initiating documents shall be served together with a notice to the responding party stating that the case has been electronically filed and with instructions for how to use the electronic filing system.
801.18(5)(e) (e) A mandatory user who represents a responding party shall register to use the electronic filing system as provided by this section. After registering to use the electronic filing system, the user shall also register as a user on the particular case. The electronic filing system will note the new user on the case.
801.18(6) (6)Filing and service of subsequent documents.
801.18(6)(a)(a) The electronic filing system shall generate a notice of activity to the other users in the case when documents other than initiating documents are filed. Users shall access filed documents through the electronic filing system. For documents that do not require personal service, the notice of activity is valid and effective service on the other users and shall have the same effect as traditional service of a paper document, except as provided in par. (b).
801.18(6)(b) (b) If a document other than an initiating document requires personal service, it shall be served by traditional methods unless the responding party has consented in writing to accept electronic service or service by some other method.
801.18(6)(c) (c) Paper parties shall be served by traditional methods. The electronic case record shall indicate which parties are to be served electronically and which are to be served by traditional methods.
801.18(6)(d) (d) Paper parties shall file documents with the court by traditional methods. The clerk of court shall image the documents and enter the imaged documents into the electronic filing system promptly. The notice of activity generated by the entry shall constitute service on the users in the case. Paper parties must serve other paper parties by traditional methods.
801.18(6)(e) (e) If a notice sent to a user is returned undeliverable, the electronic filing system shall automatically notify the user who filed the document. The filing user shall then serve the document on that party by traditional methods. That party shall be treated as a paper party until the party corrects the problem and reregisters with the electronic filing system.
801.18(6)(f) (f) For cases that were originally filed by traditional methods:
801.18(6)(f)1. 1. Subject to the schedule set by the director in sub. (2) (b), all mandatory users shall register as electronic users on each case for which they continue to appear. Mandatory users who do not register for a case will not receive notices of activity or service of documents.
801.18(6)(f)2. 2. For all cases that are in open status at the time electronic filing is mandated, the clerk of court shall send a notice by traditional methods to each unregistered party stating that the case has been converted to electronic filing. Mandatory users shall promptly register for these cases unless the user informs the court that the user is no longer appearing on behalf of the party.
801.18(6)(f)3. 3. For all cases that are in closed status prior to the time electronic filing is mandated, no action is required until there is a subsequent filing or the court initiates further activity on the case, subject to all of the following:
801.18(6)(f)3.a. a. A mandatory user who initiates electronic activity on a closed case shall register as a user on the case and shall serve any paper parties by traditional methods. Any mandatory user so served shall promptly register as a user in the case or shall notify the court that the user is no longer appearing on behalf of the party.
801.18(6)(f)3.b. b. A voluntary user who chooses to initiate electronic activity on a closed case shall register as a user on the case and shall serve any paper parties by traditional methods. Any mandatory user so served shall promptly register as a user in the case or shall notify the court that the user is no longer appearing on behalf of the party.
801.18(6)(f)3.c. c. Service on a party who might be a voluntary user shall include a notice stating that the case has been converted to electronic filing and giving instructions for how to use the electronic filing system if the party chooses to do so.
801.18(7) (7)Payment of fees.
801.18(7)(a) (a) Users shall make payments due to the clerk of court through the electronic filing system unless otherwise ordered by the court or unless arrangements are made with the clerk of court. The electronic filing system shall deposit the fees due to the clerk of court in the clerk's account.
801.18(7)(b) (b) A document that requires payment of a fee is not considered filed until the fee is paid, a waiver of the fee is granted, or other arrangements for payment are made. The user may submit a petition or motion for waiver of costs and fees, including the electronic filing fee, under s. 814.29 (1), using a form provided by the court for that purpose. If a document is submitted with a petition or motion for waiver, it shall be considered filed with the court on the date and time of the original submission if the waiver is subsequently granted by the court or other arrangements for payment are made.
801.18(7)(c) (c) Users shall be charged a fee for use of the electronic filing system, as provided under s. 758.19 (4m) and established by the director of state courts. The fee is a recoverable cost under ss. 799.25 (13) and 814.04 (2). The electronic filing fee shall not be charged to Wisconsin state and local government units.
801.18(8) (8)Format and content of filings.
801.18(8)(a)(a) The director shall make information about the technical requirements of the electronic filing system readily available to the public. Users are responsible for keeping up with these requirements and providing the necessary equipment, software, communication technology, and staff training.
801.18(8)(b) (b) Users shall provide any case management information needed to transmit and file documents. The electronic filing system shall reject a document for failure to include information in any one of the mandatory fields identified by the system.
801.18(8)(c) (c) Users shall format the appearance of all electronically filed documents in accordance with statutes and local rules governing formatting of paper documents, including page limits.
801.18(8)(d) (d) The electronic filing system may set limits on the length or number of documents. Documents rejected by the system for this reason shall be filed and served by traditional methods. Leave of court may be granted for traditional filing and service in appropriate cases.
801.18(9) (9)Official record.
801.18(9)(a) (a) Electronically filed documents have the same force and effect as documents filed by traditional methods. The electronic version constitutes the official record. No paper copy of an electronically filed document shall be sent to the court.
801.18(9)(b) (b) The duties of the clerk of court under ss. 59.40, 851.72, and 851.73, and all other statutes, court rules, and procedures may be fulfilled through proper management of electronic documents as provided in this section. The requirements of statutes and rules that refer to paper copies, originals, mailing, and other traditional methods may be satisfied by transmission of documents through the electronic filing system.
801.18(9)(c) (c) Subject to the schedule set by the director in sub. (2) (b), the clerk of court shall maintain the official court record only in electronic format for all cases commenced after that date. Documents filed by traditional methods shall be electronically imaged and made part of the official record. The clerk of court may discard the paper copy pursuant to SCR 72.03 (3). Any official court record containing electronically filed documents must meet the operational standards set by SCR 72.05 for electronic records.
801.18(9)(d) (d) If a document is filed in a case in closed status, the clerk of court shall file the document electronically and convert that case to electronic format within a reasonable time. If conversion of the case would be unusually burdensome, the clerk of court may maintain the record in paper format with the permission of the court.
801.18(9)(e) (e) The clerk of court shall make the public portions of the electronic record available for viewing at the clerk of court's office. The clerk of court shall make nonpublic portions of the electronic record available for viewing by authorized persons.
801.18(9)(f) (f) The clerk of court may provide either paper or electronic copies of pages from the court record. The clerk of court shall charge the per-page fee set by ss. 814.61 (10) and 814.66 (1) (h) for electronic court records.
801.18(9)(g) (g) Certified copies of an electronic record may be obtained from the clerk of court's office by traditional methods, as provided by s. 889.08. The electronic system may also make available a process for electronic certification of the court record. The seal of the court may be applied electronically. No use of colored ink or an impressed seal is required.
801.18(9)(h) (h) Except as provided in par. (i), parties filing by traditional methods shall file a copy of any document and not the original paper document. The court may require the submitting party to produce the original paper document if authenticity of document is challenged. If the court inspects the original paper document, it shall be retained as an exhibit as provided in SCR 72.03 (4).
801.18(9)(i) (i) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, a will deposited for safekeeping under s. 853.09 may not be electronically filed. The original paper will shall be deposited with the court.
801.18(9)(j) (j) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, a person submitting a will to the court under s. 856.05 shall file the original paper will in the proper court. The register in probate shall image the will and create an electronic case file. The register in probate shall maintain the paper copy of a will in a separate file for the time period provided by SCR chapter 72.
801.18(9)(k) (k) Pleadings may be submitted during a court proceeding by traditional methods. Pleadings submitted in court shall be imaged and the imaged copy entered into the court record by the clerk of court.
801.18(9)(L) (L) For documentary exhibits, parties shall submit a copy of the exhibit and not the original. The clerk of court shall image each documentary exhibit and enter the imaged document into the court record. Copies of documentary exhibits so imaged may be discarded as provided in SCR 72.03 (3). If inspection of the original document is necessary to the court proceeding, the court may order that the original document be produced. Any original document so produced shall be retained as an exhibit as provided in SCR 72.03 (4).
801.18(9)(m) (m) An administrative agency submitting a record for judicial review in compliance with s. 227.55 shall image the administrative record and submit the imaged copy electronically using a method provided by the electronic filing system. The electronic record shall be the official record in the circuit court. If inspection of an original document is necessary to the court proceeding, the court may order that the original document be produced.
801.18(10) (10)Authentication. Electronic placement of the court filing stamp and the case number on each copy of an initiating document constitutes authentication under the statutes and court rules. An authenticated copy may be printed from the case management system by the clerk of court or from the electronic filing system by the user.
801.18(11) (11)Notarization and oaths.
801.18(11)(a) (a) Notaries public who hold valid appointments under ch. 137 may issue certificates of notarial acts for electronically filed documents as provided in this section.
801.18(11)(b) (b) Court officials authorized by law to perform notarial acts may do so by application of their electronic signatures provided through the electronic filing system.
801.18(11)(c) (c) Unless specifically required by statute or court rule, electronically filed documents are not required to be notarized.
801.18(11)(d) (d) Documents notarized by traditional methods may be filed through the electronic filing system if a handwritten signature and physical seal appear on the original document. The user shall submit an imaged copy of the notarized document to the electronic filing system, and the court shall maintain the imaged copy as the official court record. The court may require the submitting party to produce the original paper document if the authenticity of the notarization is in question.
801.18(11)(e) (e) Notwithstanding s. 706.07 (8) (c), an electronically filed complaint under ch. 799 may be verified by applying the electronic signature of the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney to a written oath attesting that the facts of the complaint are true, without swearing to the oath in front of a notarial officer.
801.18(11)(f) (f) The director, in his or her discretion, may approve the use of an electronic notary technology compatible with the existing electronic filing system.
801.18(12) (12)Signatures of users.
801.18(12)(a) (a) A document requiring the signature of a user is deemed to have been signed by the user when it is electronically filed through the court electronic filing system. The signature shall use the format “Electronically signed by" followed by the name of the signatory, and shall be placed where the person's signature would otherwise appear. This signature shall be treated as the user's personal original signature for all purposes under the statutes and court rules.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 18 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on August 19, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after August 19, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 8-19-19)