British Columbia’s Court of Appeal formally launched electronic filing (e-filing) yesterday. According to the news release, e-filing is now available 24/7 through Court Services Online. Examples of items that may be filed electronically include notice of appeal, leave to appeal, appearance, notice of motion and affidavit, among others.
E-filing has been a pilot project in B.C.’s lower courts since 2007. With the Court of Appeal coming online, all levels of court now participate in the e-filing system.
In contrast to B.C.’s embrace of e-filing, the Ontario civil justice system has been reluctant to go online. I recall that for a brief period litigants were allowed to serve court documents via email (though filing still required personal attendance). However, service by email was scrapped shortly afterward because of security concerns.
In Ontario, to this date, even service by fax in civil and family law matters is restricted regarding length of transmission and time of day, while all filings require personal attendance either by the litigants or their process servers, adding to the cost of litigation.
This blog is provided for educational purposes and for your reference. It is not intended as legal advice and should not be regarded as such. The law may have changed since the publication of this article.