Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) for use in the Court system has been available in Victoria since the 90's and was a world first at the time.
Legal firms can issue the following Magistrates' Court documents electronically:
· Default order requests;
· Warrants to seize property; and
· Summons for Oral Examination.
It is anticipated that this technology will be expanded to cater for other Court documents and jurisdictions in the future.
The details required on a civil complaint can be entered into a computer at the solicitor’s office. Upon completion of the day’s entries, the data may be transmitted to Compucourt for validation and translation to UN/Edifact file format for transfer to the Magistrates’ Court’s computer (via electronic mailboxes). The data is validated by the Court overnight. The next morning, Compucourt will receive messages which contain the Court case number and the date of filing (or a rejection message). When a complaint is successfully issued, a paper copy can then be printed and forwarded for service on the defendant(s). A paper copy of the complaint only needs to be filed at the Court when requested (usually when the matter is set down for hearing).
After service of the complaint, if the mandatory time period for filing a notice of defence has lapsed, service details can be entered and then sent to Court for a default order request. The following day, a "Notice of Order Made" can be printed.
Once a notice of order made (judgement) has been obtained via EDI, execution proceedings can be issued. Warrants to seize property can be issued overnight and paper copies printed for forwarding to the Sheriff’s Office. Oral Examinations automatically scheduled to the nearest Court to the defendant can also be issued via EDI overnight.
Based on many years of experience, the following advantages are immediately apparent:
· Attendance at Court is not required.
· The complaint issue process is entirely paperless.
· Postage costs and staffing levels are reduced.
· Documents are issued overnight (instead of taking days or weeks).
· Preparation, receipting and/or reconciliation of cheques or duty stamps is not required.
· Documents can be issued for any Magistrates’ Court in the State using the one process.
· Rules regarding required information are better defined and more consistent to minimise annoying rejections.
If you require further information about the Court’s EDI service or how to become an EDI participant, please contact Andrew Leslie at Compucourt
The entire process offers the highest levels of security due to the messages initially being encrypted, sent to the Compucourt private network that requires an individual login account and password. They are then transferred to the Court mail-box in edifact language. The return message is sent back in the reverse order ensuring the same levels of high security.