KUALA LUMPUR: Litigants will be able to file their court documents directly via a new e-filing system to be implemented in the peninsula soon.
Court papers can be filed online without having to go to the court registry to manually hand them in.
For a start, the new initiative would cover only civil and commercial matters including bankruptcy and family cases at the lower courts, High Court and the Appellate and Special Powers Courts, court officials said.
Since March 1, the e-filing facility has been made available to ligitants and their lawyers at the civil courts at the Jalan Duta court complex here.
“The facility will be expanded to Johor, Penang, Putrajaya, Ipoh and Shah Alam in two months,” a source said.
Litigants will be able to submit their court papers via an e-filing portal or get help from the service bureau, which is basically a “scanning centre” for those who do not have Internet facilities, now available at the Jalan Duta court complex.
“We will have 18 service bureaus in Kangar, Kota Baru, Alor Setar and Kuala Terengganu, among others, to help litigants, lawyers and law firms to file their documents.
“When you go to one service bureau, you can file any civil document directly to any court in the other places (KL, Johor, Penang, Putrajaya, Ipoh and Shah Alam) which have the same facility,” said the source.
It is understood that to enjoy the facility, law firms would need a digital certificate to verify the electronic filing of court documents and a roaming ID for digital signature purposes.
“Once the e-filing system is successful, we will extend it to the criminal courts. This is like a pilot project for civil courts. We want to see the response from the parties concerned first,” said the source.
Sources said the e-filing was designed to improve efficiency in terms of online registration of cases, verification of documents, submission of court papers and allow lawyers to carry out a file search online.
According to information provided to The Star, the e-filing facility was expected to allow lawyers engaged in litigation to correspond online and eliminate incidents of missing files or documents.
The e-filing facility is scheduled to be officially launched on Friday.
Since last Tuesday, there were several briefings on the matter at the Jalan Duta court complex.
The service bureaus, which will operate from 8am to 5pm on work days, will offer their services free of charge for three months.
“Certain charges will be imposed later,” the source said.
Prominent lawyer Datuk K. Kumaraendran welcomed the initiative to implement an electronic filing system but noted that court staff should be sufficiently trained.
“At present, there appears to be a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the implementation of the system.
“In Kuala Lumpur, some courts are still relying on the physical court filing system, and due to e-filing, filed documents are not before the court,” he said.
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