I mentioned earlier this month about Michigan’s HB 4064, which would effectively clear the way for e-filing in the state’s courts had been approved on a 105-3 vote. Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly reports (paywall) the bill “should be through the Senate and signed by Gov. Rick Snyder by summer.”
With HB 4064 on its way, the House is now set to take up a package of bills to effectively rewrite the state’s statutes regarding paper documents. To take but one example, currently law (MCL 600.1427) reads:
All writs, process, proceedings and records in any court within this state, shall be in the English language (except that the proper and known names of process, and technical words, may be expressed in the language heretofore and now commonly used), and shall be made out on paper, in a fair, legible character, in words at length, and not abbreviated; but such abbreviations as are now commonly used in the English language may be used, and numbers may be expressed by Arabic figures, or Roman numerals, in the customary manner.
HB 4412 accounts for the move to digital court records, electronically filed court papers, and electronic signatures on court documents thusly:
All writs, process, proceedings and records in any court within this state shall be in the English language, except that the proper and known names of process, and technical words, may be expressed in the language heretofore and now commonly used, and shall be made out in the manner and on any medium authorized by supreme court rules. If a signature is required on any document filed with or created by a court, that requirement is satisfied by an electronic signature as prescribed by supreme court rules.
HB 4412 is “tie-barred” (meaning for one to be enacted, they ALL must be enacted) with several other bills to make the transition to electronic courts in the state:
HB 4413 Allows for reproduction of digital court records and electronically filed court papers in all state courts.
HB 4414 Allows courts to provide electronic access to court records, pleadings, and practice. Provides for “enhanced access” for a reasonable fee.
HB 4415 Allows for digital court records and electronic filing of testimony given in probate court.
HB 4416 Allows for digital court records and electronically filing of probate court papers.
HB 4417 Provides for validity and enforceability of certain judgments. Allows a registry or a certified reproduction to serve as a complete replacement.
The entire package of bills has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.