Mower courts expected to add electronic filing

Published 9:23 am Friday, September 25, 2015

Mower County court users will be able to electronically file and serve documents starting Nov. 9, and in all 87 Minnesota district courts by the end of 2015, under a plan detailed this week by the Minnesota Judicial Branch.

The move to electronic filing and service of case documents — known as eFiling and eService — is part of the Minnesota Judicial Branch’s eCourtMN initiative, which is transforming the state’s court system by replacing paper-based court files with electronic records.

The goal of the eCourtMN initiative — which received a 2014 State Government Innovation Award from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs — is to make the state’s court system more accessible, more efficient and more convenient for court customers.

Email newsletter signup

One of the key elements of the eCourtMN initiative is the establishment of eFiling and eService — giving case participants the ability to submit documents to the court and serve documents to opposing parties electronically, through an online portal. This allows court customers to file documents without traveling to the courthouse or paying for postage or courier costs, allows filers to submit documents immediately and outside of courthouse business hours, and allows court documents to be sent to filers electronically.

Currently, eFiling and eService is available in 11 counties across the state: Cass, Clay, Cook, Dakota, Faribault, Hennepin, Kandiyohi, Lake, Morrison, Ramsey and Washington. These counties were part of a multi-year pilot project aimed at testing and refining the eFiling process and related policies. Based on the success of that pilot, electronic filing and service became mandatory for attorneys, government agencies, guardians ad litem and sheriffs filing documents in those 11 pilot counties on July 1, 2015.

Throughout the rest of 2015, the Minnesota Judicial Branch will begin allowing filers in the other 76 counties in the state to use the eFiling and eService system. The Minnesota Judicial Branch has laid out a tentative rollout schedule, which can be viewed on the Judicial Branch’s website at

Mower County courts are expected to allow eFiling as of Nov. 9.

Upon implementation, eFiling and eService will be voluntary for filers in the 76 non-pilot counties, meaning filers will still be able to file documents using the traditional, paper-based method. Electronic filing and service in these counties will continue to be voluntary until July 1, 2016. Under recent amendments to Minnesota’s Rules of Court, use of the eFiling and eService system to file court documents will become mandatory for attorneys, government agencies, guardians ad litem, and sheriffs in all district courts statewide on July 1, 2016. Use of the eFiling and eService system will remain voluntary for other filers, such as self-represented litigants.

The Minnesota Judicial Branch has posted informational resources, training materials, and a three-step guide to starting eFiling and eService at The Minnesota Judicial Branch also operates an eFile Support Center for filers with questions about the eFile and eServe system.