Mandatory electronic case initiation for civil cases begins May 1

The Oakland County Circuit Court is pleased to announce that, effective May 1, 2012, electronic case initiation will be mandatory for all cases on the court's civil docket. This means that all civil cases started in the Circuit Court must be done through the Odyssey File & Serve application at This is the same application as the award-winning eFiling pilot currently used for the court. Voluntary electronic case initiation on civil cases will continue to be available through April 30, 2012.

"The court continues to expand the eFiling program, and now with the enhancement to electronically file summonses and complaints, and other case initiating documents in civil cases, it will save valuable time and money for those filing a new civil case in Oakland County," said Circuit Court Chief Judge Nanci Grant.

"This program will also save additional court resources and will make filing all pleadings in civil cases completely paperless."

Previously, the civil eFiling pilot project did not allow for case initiating documents to be electronically filed. Beginning in November of 2011, petitioners in civil cases were given the opportunity to voluntarily eFile case initiating documents such as a summons and complaint, a claim of appeal, an application for leave to appeal, or a petition for writ of habeas corpus. Petitioners have had the option to either eFile or file through the traditional paper method all initiating documents until April 30, 2012, after which time it will become mandatory. This time period was given to allow parties an opportunity to adapt to the change.

"Our E-Services Center is ready for this next development. It has been a resounding success and in the first six months has already helped nearly 6,000 people with eFiling--both attorneys and ordinary people representing themselves," stated Oakland County Clerk Bill Bullard Jr. "I am pleased the court is taking this next step, and I am confident our staff will continue the excellent service."

Initiating documents on those participating case types in the Family Division of the Circuit Court, as well as those in the Probate Court, will continue to be filed in the traditional paper form.

Training in eFiling is available in the courthouse on a regular basis. See for more information. Additional assistance with the technical aspects of eFiling is available in the E-Services Center, which was recently opened by Bullard. The E-Services Center is located on the ground floor of the courthouse. Users have access to a computer and scanner, as well as technical support, to eFile their documents.

The eFiling pilot has been successful and widely accepted by filers and court users alike. Since its inception, there have been 350,000 documents electronically filed, saving filers time and other resources previously required to file legal documents. Oakland County Circuit Court is the first court in the state to offer a complete electronic filing solution.

Published: Wed, Apr 11, 2012


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