Baltimore County is the latest jurisdiction to implement the state’s electronic filing system, known as Maryland Electronic Courts or MDEC, the largest expansion of the program to date, the Maryland Judiciary announced Friday.
MDEC was implemented in the county on Tuesday, making electronic filing mandatory for attorneys representing clients in district court and circuit court and for any appellate filings that start in the county for both civil and criminal cases.
Electronic filing is still optional for litigants representing themselves, the Judiciary said.
“I commend the judges and staff who have been preparing for months behind the scenes to provide improved services for the public. Thanks to their efforts, the transition to the new system has been seamless. They have made a giant technological leap on behalf of the people of Baltimore County and Maryland,” Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera said in a news release.
With the addition of Baltimore County, nearly 90 percent of the state’s jurisdictions are now using the electronic filing system. The Judiciary aims to get every court in the state on the system by 2021 and is on track to meet that goal, according to the news release.
The Judiciary’s automated system requires attorneys to transition from a paper-based process to an electronic filing system.
“It has taken coordination and intensive effort to launch the new system while maintaining full daily operations,” said District Court of Maryland Chief Judge John P. Morrissey. “Administrative and associate judges, court leadership, and staff members have been dedicated to this effort, which has included in-depth training and updating court facilities.”
Electronic filing began as a pilot program in Anne Arundel County in October 2014. As of this week, MDEC is operational in Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, St. Mary’s, Talbot, Washington, Wicomico and Worcester counties.
Montgomery County courts are to launch MDEC in November 2019, the Judiciary said.
Baltimore city courts have not yet adopted the electronic filing system.
More information about MDEC is available on the Judiciary’s website at www.mdcourts.gov/mdec/about.html.