STATE — The Judiciary has expanded its electronic filing system, JEFIS, to include foreclosure cases in order to accommodate a 200 percent increase in foreclosure filings since 2005, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner announced Thursday.
“Electronic filing provides a technological solution for our growing caseloads, and right now, foreclosures are one of our fastest growing case types. As resources allow, we will continue to seek solutions through technology to ensure high quality service to the public,” Rabner said.
Since 2000, JEFIS has been used statewide to file and store certain types of special civil cases. Those cases, sometimes called “DC-docket-type” cases, are civil cases involving amounts of $15,000 or less. Nearly 4 million DC-docket-type cases have been filed using JEFIS since it was introduced.
“Those involved in foreclosure disputes come to the court seeking a just and efficient resolution of their case. JEFIS-Foreclosure will enable us to rise to the challenge of handling the high volume of work we face in this time of economic crisis,” said Judge Glenn A. Grant, acting administrative director of the courts.
JEFIS offers significant benefits to attorneys, litigants, the public, judges and staff. Attorneys who register to use JEFIS can view the contents of their case jackets from their office. Moreover, the JEFIS application allows attorneys to view their daily balances in their collateral account with the Judiciary, from which attorneys pay court fees. Registered JEFIS attorneys also have the ability to access the court’s Automated Case Management System (ACMS) database online for calendar and case inquiries.
Through JEFIS, multiple users will have instant and simultaneous access to electronic case jackets, including all filed documents, from any computer with JEFIS access. For example, a judge may be reviewing a foreclosure file at the same time it is being viewed at a public access terminal in a county courthouse and being reviewed by staff in the Superior Court Clerk’s Office in Trenton. Files can be supplemented when the need arises without having to transfer the case jacket to different offices or buildings.
The JEFIS application also allows court notices to be sent to attorneys electronically, including notices of deficient filings, thereby reducing costs and staff time to print and mail out papers, as well as expediting communication between the court and attorneys.
Members of the public can visit their local courthouse to view JEFIS cases filed anywhere in the state. This enhancement eliminates the need to drive to Trenton to review foreclosure files or to drive from one county courthouse to another to view cases filed in another county.
JEFIS also will help the Judiciary resolve the increased volume of foreclosure matters without increasing staff. The application improves timeliness and accuracy of data entry. It also will reduce the need for storage space. For example, foreclosure files from 2006 to June of 2009 occupy 3,700 square feet of space in the Superior Court Clerk’s Office.
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