§ 15-6-11. Electronic filings of pleadings and documents; electronic payments and remittances; access; public disclosure.

CODE OF GEORGIA

Title 15. COURTS

Chapter 6. SUPERIOR COURTS

Article 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Current through 2019 Chapter 321

§ 15-6-11. Electronic filings of pleadings and documents; electronic payments and remittances; access; public disclosure

(a) Pursuant to rules promulgated by the Criminal Case Data Exchange Board, on and after January 1, 2019, a superior court shall provide for the filing of pleadings in criminal cases and any other document related thereto and for the acceptance of payments and remittances by electronic means.
(b)
(1) On and after January 1, 2019, except as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, all pleadings and any other document related thereto filed by an attorney to initiate a civil action or in a civil case in a superior court shall be filed by electronic means through the court's electronic filing service provider. Except as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, once a court has commenced mandatory electronic filings in civil cases, a clerk shall not accept, file, or docket any pleading or any other form of paper document related thereto from an attorney in a civil case.
(2)
(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, a court's electronic filing service provider may charge a fee which shall be a recoverable court cost and only include a:
(i) One-time fee for electronically filing pleadings or documents in a civil action and the electronic service of pleadings, regardless of how many parties shall be served, which shall not exceed $30.00 per filer, per party. Such fee shall be paid at the time of the first filing on behalf of a party; provided that when filings are submitted via a public access terminal, upon the first filing not using such terminal, such fee shall be paid;
(ii) Supplemental fee of $5.00 for each filing made in a civil action after a party has made ten electronic filings in such civil action; and
(iii) Convenience fee for credit card and bank drafting services, which shall not exceed 3.5 percent plus a 30¢ payment services fee per transaction.
(B) No electronic filing service provider shall charge a fee pursuant to this paragraph for the filing of:
(i) Pleadings or documents filed by the Department of Law, the Office of Legislative Counsel, the Office of the Secretary of State, a district attorney in his or her official capacity, or a public defender in his or her official capacity;
(ii) Pleadings or documents filed on behalf of municipal corporations or county governments; or
(iii) Leave of absence or conflict notices filed pursuant to the Uniform Rules for the Superior Courts.
(C) With respect to the fee charged pursuant to division (i) of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the clerk of superior court shall retain $2.00 of the transaction fee and remit it to the governing authority of the county. No other portion of the transaction fee shall be remitted to any other office or entity of the state or governing authority of a county or municipality.
(D) An attorney, or party if he or she is pro se, shall be allowed unlimited access to view and download any pleading or document electronically filed in connection to the civil action in which he or she is counsel of record or pro se litigant, and an electronic service provider shall not be authorized to charge or collect a fee for such viewing or downloading.
(3) This subsection shall not apply to filings:
(A) In connection with :
(i) A pauper's affidavit;
(ii) Any validation of bonds as otherwise provided for by law;
(iii) Pleadings or documents filed under seal or presented to a court in camera or ex parte; or
(iv) Pleadings or documents to which access is otherwise restricted by law or court order;
(B) Made physically at the courthouse by an attorney or his or her designee or an individual who is not an attorney; provided, however, that the clerk shall require such pleadings or documents made physically at the courthouse by an attorney or his or her designee be submitted via a public access terminal in the clerk's office. The clerk shall not charge the fee as set forth in division (2)(A)(i) of this subsection for such filing but when payment is submitted by credit card or bank draft, the clerk may charge the convenience fee as set forth in division (2)(A)(iii) of this subsection;
(C) Made in a court located in an area that has been declared to be in a state of emergency pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 3 of Title 38. The Judicial Council of Georgia shall provide rules for filings in such circumstances; or
(D) Made prior to the commencement of mandatory electronic filing for such court, wherein the filer shall continue to pay fees applicable to the case on the date of the first filing; provided, however, that a party may elect to make future filings through the court's electronic filing service provider and pay the applicable fees.

(4) The Judicial Council of Georgia shall make and publish in print or electronically such statewide minimum standards and rules as it deems necessary to carry out this Code section. Each clerk of superior court shall develop and enact policies and procedures necessary to carry out the standards and rules created by the Judicial Council of Georgia.
(c) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to prevent a clerk's acceptance of payments and remittances by electronic means under the clerk's own authority.
(d) A superior court judge to whom the case is assigned and his or her staff shall, at all times, have access to all pleadings and documents electronically filed and such access shall be provided upon the physical acceptance of such pleadings and documents by the clerk.
(e) Any pleading or document filed electronically shall be deemed filed as of the time of its receipt by the electronic filing service provider. A pleading or document filed electronically shall not be subject to disclosure until it has been physically accepted by the clerk. Upon such acceptance as provided for in this subsection, such pleading or document shall be publicly accessible for viewing at no cost to the viewer on a public access terminal available at the courthouse during regular business hours.

Cite as OCGA § 15-6-11

History. Amended by 2019 Ga. Laws 271, §6-1, eff. 5/7/2019.

Amended by 2018 Ga. Laws 416, §1-1, eff. 7/1/2018.

Added by 2016 Ga. Laws 369, §2, eff. 7/1/2016.