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MiFILE Frequently Asked Questions






 

Integration and Technical Details

​Integration and Technical Details

 

Q.  My court does not have an electronic document management system (EDMS). Will we still be able to participate in the MiFILE program?

 

A.  SCAO will be offering a cloud-based EDMS that your court can use if you do not already have an EDMS.

 

Q.  My court already has an EDMS. Will we have to use the state system?

 

A.  SCAO will provide you with information on what your court will need to do to integrate its EDMS with the MiFILE system. You will also be given the opportunity to convert to the statewide cloud-based EDMS system.

 

Q.  Will MiFILE be integrated with my court’s case management system (CMS)?

 

A.  MiFILE may be integrated with each court’s CMS to improve efficiencies and reduce errors. Integration will vary depending on the court. A MiFILE Integration Guide will be available for courts and the CMS vendors to use as a guide for building the court’s side of the integration.

 

Fees and Funding

​Fees and Funding

 

Q.  Can you explain how the new fee system works to fund MiFILE implementation?

 

A.  MCL 600.1986 authorized an electronic filing system fee that, upon commencement of a civil action, is charged to the party filing the case.  The money collected from the electronic filing system fees will fund the e-Filing system.

 

Q.  Will MiFILE affect the process for requesting a waiver of filing fees?

 

A.  Yes, it will impact the process for requesting a waiver of fees because the request may be made through the e-Filing system (unless the party is exempted from e-Filing). E-Filing will not change a filer’s ability to request a waiver or a court’s authority to grant a waiver.

 

Q.  Does the court charge the electronic filing system fee when a motion, garnishment, or subpoena is filed in a civil action?

 

A.  No, the electronic filing system fee is only charged once, when a civil case is commenced. It does not apply to subsequent filings after the civil case is initiated. 

 

Q.  What is the cost of the required technology (i.e., hardware, cabling, network capacity, etc.) for courts to implement MiFILE?


A.  Michigan’s 243 trial courts each operate under different circumstances (i.e., caseload volume, processes, one or numerous court locations, staffing, equipment, etc.). As such, it is not possible to identify an accurate cost that encompasses all situations in all courts.

 

SCAO understands that good government means vigilant monitoring of the fiscal impact of all projects. Rather than project a single cost for an electronic file system that may not accurately reflect capacity or limitations of all individual trial courts, SCAO has identified the MiFILE process and system requirements for the current scope that courts may use to estimate their future costs: www.courts.mi.gov/efmr.

 

For courts that do not have a JIS case management system (CMS), there will be other integration costs in addition to these minimum requirements. Please refer to the next FAQ question for information regarding SCAO’s approach to these costs. 


Q.  Will SCAO fund individual costs for courts?


A.  SCAO is paying for the costs of developing, licensing, and maintaining the MiFILE software and the statewide EDMS.  Currently, SCAO is working with the model courts to determine the budget necessary for an individual court's CMS integration.  Until SCAO is able to determine the actual integration costs, we cannot speculate the extent to which SCAO might be able to assist with those courts.  SCAO is committed to working in partnership with the courts and vendors to accurately estimate costs and determine how they will be funded.


Q.  What can courts do to begin budgeting for MiFILE?

 

A.  SCAO is determining the value and cost of the integrations referenced above.  This process will take time because of the large number of variables (different case management systems, vendors, electronic document management systems, levels of integration, etc.). To begin budgeting for MiFILE implementation, you should review the minimum system requirements and ensure that they are met. The requirements may be found at www.courts.mi.gov/efmr. In addition, if your court does not already maintain electronic files, you will need to budget for an appropriate means to convert paper documents to an electronic format. However, you do not have to go back and convert all existing paper documents to electronic format. When MiFILE is implemented, your court will need to have the ability to store documents in electronic format and convert any newly filed paper document to electronic format.​

 

 

Access to Records and Document Retention

​Access to Records and Document Retention

 

Q.  Are you concerned about issues that could accompany the ability to access legal documents online, such as children reading their parents’ divorce files or the dissemination of mental health information?

 

A.  E-Filing and document access are different and distinct issues. An e-Filed document does not have a different status than a paper-filed document. MiFILE will provide attorney filers access only to documents their firm has filed and been served, and will provide pro se litigants with access to what they have filed and been served. The Supreme Court will be establishing a work group in the near future to make recommendations regarding access to records in an electronic environment

 

Q.  Will e-Filed documents be stored at the local level or at the state level?

 

A.  It depends on the EDMS chosen by the court. If a court chooses its own vendor to provide an EDMS, the documents will be stored in accordance with the agreement between the court and the vendor. If a court selects the statewide EDMS, the documents will be stored in the statewide platform. Regardless of where they are stored, the documents are the responsibility of the court in which they are filed and can be accessed only in accordance with MCR 8.119(H) by that court.

 

Ways to Get Involved

​Ways to Get Involved

 

Q.  Will there be a forum to discuss the implementation strategy, how it will affect the courts, and to provide feedback on how to facilitate the transition to MiFILE? Can I be a part of this forum?

 

A.  Yes, SCAO has established an advisory work group to provide feedback on specific issues and challenges related to the transition to MiFILE. In addition, the Michigan Supreme Court has published changes to the court rules to accommodate e-Filing. We encourage you to review the published rules and provide feedback. We anticipate that the rules will require modification during the development stages of the software and also in response to implementation issues. We will ask the advisory group for input on those issues as well. If you are interested in serving on this group, please e-mail the MiFILE team at efiling@courts.mi.gov.

 

Q.  Where can I get the latest information on the progress of the MiFILE project?

 

A.  You may access the latest information here.

 

 

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