Citizens statewide who represent themselves in small claims cases may now skip trips to the courthouse to file documents and instead file them electronically. The Administrative Office of the Courts expanded the availability of eFiling for self-represented litigants in small claims cases this week from three pilot counties to statewide.
“This is a significant milestone for our eFiling program,” AOC Director Laurie K. Dudgeon said. “We’re happy to be able to offer this service to the public. People representing themselves in small claims cases will get to experience the convenience of being able to file court documents electronically. Most people do represent themselves in small claims instead of using an attorney so accepting electronic filings in these cases is the logical first step in expanding the use of eFiling to all case types for the public.”
The AOC first offered small claims eFiling for self-represented litigants in September, piloting the program in Fayette, Hardin and Kenton counties. This was the first time any part of the state court system’s eFiling program was available to the public.
To begin eFiling for small claims, users must register as a first-time user. During registration, users will be asked to specify an account type and should select Self Represented Litigant from the drop-down menu. For assistance with eFiling and information about handling small claims, visit eCourts Help and use the tab titled Self-Represented Litigants.
EFilings are received by Offices of Circuit Court Clerk, which maintain records for Circuit Court and District Court and operate in all 120 Kentucky counties.
Investing in court technology became one of Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton’s main goals when he became chief justice in 2008. Kentucky was operating as a paper court system and was years away from joining the federal courts and other state courts in offering electronic filing.
Today, eFiling is at the heart of KYeCourts, the court system’s sweeping, multiyear initiative to update court technology and transform how the judicial, legal and law enforcement communities do business. The aim of KYeCourts is to update Kentucky’s court technology to meet the demands on the court system and enable the courts to stay current with the mainstream of law and commerce.
Administrative Office of the Courts
The AOC supports the activities of nearly 3,300 court system employees and 404 elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks. As the fiscal agent for the state court system, the AOC also executes the Judicial Branch budget.