From The Wilmington News Journal, March 6, 2005
All civil and criminal paperwork in U.S. District Court in Wilmington now has to be filed electronically or on a computer disk.
The new filing system, which went into effect last week, was mandated in an order signed by all four U.S. District judges early this year. It is designed to save the courts money and time, and attorneys said it will make their work easier, too.
"I think it is a great idea," said attorney Gregory B. Williams of the Fox Rothschild firm. Not only will the system make filings more convenient, it will help judges see pleadings and other documents more quickly.
At least 66 of the 96 other federal court districts already use an electronic filing system, and most of the remainder are working to bring one online, said Peter T. Dalleo, court clerk for the Delaware district.
The new system, which has been in the works at least a year, also will allow authorized users to conduct legal research over the Internet rather than having to visit the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building.
Publicly accessible computers still will be available at the court for research, and in many cases backup paper copies will be maintained.
Dalleo said officials expect to eliminate the paper backup once the system proves itself.
One downside of the new system is that federal courts have adopted new privacy rules that eliminate certain previously available information from all public court records.
That information includes the home addresses, dates of birth and other personal information that news organizations and others often use to identify criminal defendants.
Court officials in Delaware have trained more than 768 people on the new system since October.