Login | February 19, 2019

Stow Muni Court offers e-filing for criminal/traffic divisions

Legal News Reporter

Published: February 9, 2018

Less than one year after making e-filing mandatory for attorneys in civil cases, Stow Municipal Court’s e-filing portal is now activated for criminal and traffic cases on a voluntary basis.

The court, which serves 16 communities in Summit County, first opened up criminal/traffic e-filing to the city of Tallmadge before officially launching courtwide Jan. 1.

“We slowly started telling practitioners it was open,” Stow Municipal Court Clerk of Courts Diana Colavecchio said. “As they were faxing in their documents, we send them an FYI email saying, `Just so you know, the portal is now open for traffic and criminal cases too.’ ”

Unlike with the civil division, attorneys are not required to file criminal paperwork electronically – at least for the time being.

“Faxes are still OK for criminal and traffic,” Colavecchio said. “But more and more practitioners are saying e-filing is more convenient. The goal is that more attorneys will get used to it. My staff loves it. We save at least a minute’s worth of a clerk’s time with e-filing vs. a fax. When it comes through the portal, you’re done with a few clicks of a button. With faxing, you’re always hoping your fax went through on a deadline. E-filing is way more efficient with respect to our time and the user’s time. We’re getting great feedback from attorneys so far. They love the convenience over faxes. When I was practicing law, I loved e-filing.”

Another benefit of e-filing is that it puts all an attorney’s cases in one window that they can view on their end, the clerk added.

More than 600 attorneys now use the e-filing portal for civil, traffic and criminal cases, she said.

“We also have 148 pro se filers,” said Colavecchio. “In 2017, our caseload increased by nearly 10 percent. E-filing could have had something to do with it.”

E-filing was approved by the court in Local Rule 7. Guidelines are available on the court’s website and via request. Filers must first register prior to submitting their filing. Those who have already registered to submit civil case filings do not need to re-register for criminal/traffic.

The court’s e-filing portal can be accessed at stowmunicipalcourt.com.

For questions or help, call the court’s criminal/traffic department at 330-564-4134.