The director shall make information about the technical requirements of the electronic filing system readily available to the public. Users are responsible for keeping up with these requirements and providing the necessary equipment, software, communication technology, and staff training.
Users shall provide any case management information needed to file documents. The electronic filing system shall reject a document for failure to include information in any one of the mandatory fields identified by the system.
Users shall format the appearance of all electronically filed documents in accordance with statutes and appellate court rules governing formatting of paper documents, including page limits.
The electronic filing system may set limits on the length or number of documents. Leave of court may be granted for traditional filing and service in appropriate cases. If a brief or appendix cannot be electronically filed as a single document due to the size limitations of the system, the user shall contact the clerk of court for assistance.
Electronically filed appendices, exhibits, and affidavits shall be filed in portable document format. All other electronically filed documents shall be filed in text-searchable portable document format.
Electronically filed documents may include bookmarks that allow the reader to navigate quickly within a document, such as from the table of contents to the corresponding sections of a brief or from the table of contents to the corresponding documents in an appendix.
Electronically filed documents may include hyperlinks that allow the reader to jump directly to another location in the document or to an external source of information, such as a published case or statute posted on the Internet. External hyperlinks shall be used only in accordance with security procedures set by the court.
Users shall format electronically filed documents to leave a blank space 2 inches by 2 inches square at the top right corner of the first page to accommodate the court file stamp.
Electronically filed documents have the same force and effect as documents filed by traditional methods. The electronic version constitutes the official record. No paper copy of an electronically filed document shall be sent to the court.
The duties of the clerk of court under this chapter and all other statutes, court rules, and procedures may be fulfilled through proper management of electronic documents as provided in this section. The requirements of statutes and rules that refer to paper copies, originals, mailing, and other traditional methods may be satisfied by transmission of documents through the electronic filing system.
Subject to the schedule in sub. (2) (b)
, the clerk of court shall maintain the official court record only in electronic format for all cases commenced after that date. Documents filed by traditional methods shall be electronically imaged and made part of the official record. The clerk of court may discard the paper copy pursuant to SCR 72.03
(3). Any official court record containing electronically filed documents must meet the operational standards set by SCR 72.05
for electronic records.
If a document is filed in a case in closed status, the clerk of court shall file the document electronically and convert that case to electronic format within a reasonable time. If conversion of the case would be unusually burdensome, the clerk of court may maintain the record in paper format with the permission of the court.
The clerk of court shall make the public portions of the electronic record available for viewing at the clerk of court's office. The clerk of court shall make nonpublic portions of the electronic record available for viewing by authorized persons.
The clerk of court may provide either paper or electronic copies of pages from the court record. The clerk of court shall charge the per-page fee set by s. 809.25 (2)
for electronic court records.
Certified copies of an electronic record may be obtained from the clerk of court's office by traditional methods, as provided by s. 889.08
. The electronic system may also make available a process for electronic certification of the court record. The seal of the court may be applied electronically. No use of colored ink or an impressed seal is required.
Parties filing by traditional methods shall file a copy of any document and not the original paper document. The court may require the submitting party to produce the original paper document if authenticity of document is challenged. If the court inspects the original paper document, it shall be retained as an exhibit as provided in SCR 72.03
For documentary exhibits submitted directly to the supreme court or court of appeals, parties shall submit a copy of the exhibit and not the original. The clerk of court shall image each documentary exhibit and enter the imaged document into the court record. Copies of documentary exhibits so imaged may be discarded as provided in SCR 72.03
(3). If inspection of the original document is necessary to the court proceeding, the court may order that the original document be produced. Any original document so produced shall be retained as an exhibit as provided in SCR 72.03
When an action or proceeding requires a record to be submitted by a party directly to the court, the record shall be imaged and electronically submitted using a method provided by the electronic filing system. The electronic record shall be the official record in the action or proceeding. If inspection of an original document is necessary to the court proceeding, the court may order that the original document be produced.
Notaries public who hold valid appointments under ch. 140
may issue certificates of notarial acts for electronically filed documents as provided in this section.
Court officials authorized by law to perform notarial acts may do so by application of their electronic signatures provided through the electronic filing system.
Unless specifically required by statute or court rule, electronically filed documents are not required to be notarized.
Documents notarized by traditional methods may be filed through the electronic filing system if a handwritten signature and physical seal appear on the original document. The user shall submit an imaged copy of the notarized document to the electronic filing system, and the court shall maintain the imaged copy as the official court record. The court may require the submitting party to produce the original paper document if the authenticity of the notarization is in question.
The director, in his or her discretion, may approve the use of an electronic notary technology compatible with the existing electronic filing system.
To be considered electronically signed, a document must be submitted by or on behalf of a user through the electronic filing system. A document requiring the signature of a user shall bear either an electronic signature or a handwritten signature applied to a document before it is imaged. An electronic signature shall state “Electronically signed by" followed by the name of the signatory, and shall be placed where the person's signature would otherwise appear. Either form of signature shall be treated as the user's personal original signature for all purposes under the statutes and court rules.
An initiating document that is signed in compliance with par. (a)
bears a sufficient signature under s. 802.05
Each electronically filed document shall bear that person's name, mailing address, electronic mail address, telephone number, and state bar number if applicable. Users shall notify the electronic filing system of any change in this information, consistent with sub. (3) (d)
An attorney may delegate the authority to submit documents to the electronic filing system to a person under the attorney's supervision. Any document requiring the attorney's signature is deemed to have been signed by the attorney if submitted to the electronic filing system and signed as provided in par. (a)
. Every attorney is responsible for all documents so submitted.
Every attorney is responsible for electronically filed documents to the same extent as for paper filings. Attorneys using the electronic filing system are subject to sanctions under s. 802.05
and contempt procedures under ch. 785
, and are subject to discipline for a violation of any duty to the court under the supreme court rules.
Self-represented parties and filing agents under s. 799.06
are responsible for electronically filed documents to the same extent as for paper filings. Self-represented parties and filing agents using the electronic filing system are subject to sanctions under s. 802.05
and contempt procedures under ch. 785
An electronically filed certification required by this chapter may be signed by applying the user's signature as provided in par. (a)
A stipulation will be considered signed by multiple persons if it bears the handwritten signatures of all signatories or if it bears the printed name of each signatory and contains a representation by the filing party that the filing party has consulted with the signatories and all have agreed to sign the document. This paragraph does not apply to the signature requirements of s. 809.107 (2) (bm) 6.
, (5) (a)
, and (6) (f)
, where a signature is required from the appellant or petitioner, other than the state, on whose behalf the document is filed.
For paper parties, every document requiring a signature shall be signed using a handwritten signature. If a document requiring a signature is filed by traditional methods, the filing party shall file a copy of that document and not the original paper document, as provided under sub. (9) (h)
Documents containing handwritten signatures of third parties, such as affidavits, may be filed through the electronic filing system if a handwritten signature appears on the original document. The user shall submit an imaged copy of the signed document to the electronic filing system, and the court shall maintain the imaged document as the official court record. The court may require the submitting party to produce the original paper document if validity of the signature is challenged.
The director, in his or her discretion, may approve the use of other signature technologies to the extent that they work with the existing electronic filing system.
If the signature of a court official is required on a document, an electronic signature applied through the court case management system may be used. The electronic signature shall be treated as the court official's personal original signature for all purposes under Wisconsin statutes and court rules. Where a handwritten signature would be located on a particular order, form, letter, or other document, the official's printed name shall be inserted.
The electronic signature of a court official shall be used only by the official to whom it is assigned and by such delegates as the official may authorize. The court official is responsible for any use of his or her electronic signature by an authorized delegate.
A court official may delegate the use of his or her electronic signature to an authorized staff member pursuant to the security procedures of the court case management system. Upon learning that the confidentiality of the electronic signature has been inadvertently or improperly disclosed, the court official shall immediately report that fact to the consolidated court automation programs. Court officials shall safeguard the security of their electronic signatures and exercise care in delegation.
The confidentiality of an electronic record is the same as for the equivalent paper record. The electronic filing system may permit access to confidential information only to the extent provided by law. No person in possession of a confidential electronic record, or an electronic or paper copy thereof, may release the information to any other person except as provided by law.
Parties shall exercise care with respect to redaction of protected information, as defined in s. 801.19 (1)
, identification of confidential material, and sealing of filed documents.
If a document is confidential, it shall be identified as confidential by the submitting party when it is filed. The clerk of court is not required to review documents to determine if confidential information is contained within them.
If a user seeks court approval to seal a document, the user may electronically file the document under temporary seal pending court approval of the user's motion to seal.
If the clerk notes that a document has been identified as confidential or sealed, the electronic filing system shall place a visible mark on the document to identify it as confidential or sealed.
An amicus party may, in the court's discretion, be granted access to confidential, redacted, or sealed portions of the court record upon motion to the court and a showing of good cause.
A transcript filed in the circuit court shall be electronically transmitted to the clerk of the court of appeals when made part of the record on appeal.
The transcript of any proceeding originating in the court of appeals or supreme court shall be electronically filed by the court reporter in accordance with procedures developed by the director. The clerk shall note in the court record that the transcript has been prepared and filed with the court.
Arrangements for payment of the court reporter, access to the transcript, and service shall be as directed by the court.
Any notice to the clerk of the supreme court and court of appeals filed under s. 809.11 (7) (a)
or 809.32 (5)
or any motion filed under s. 809.11 (7) (c)
shall be electronically filed. The court reporter shall serve paper parties by traditional methods.
A transcript, when filed under this section, becomes a part of the court file. The transcript shall be made available to the public in accordance with the statutes and rules governing court records and any court orders.
A court reporter may certify that the transcript is a verbatim transcript of the proceedings by applying the court reporter's signature in the same manner as provided in sub. (12) (a)
and then electronically filing the transcript.
A user whose filing is made untimely as a result of a technical failure may seek appropriate relief from the court as follows:
If the failure is caused by the court electronic filing system, a user may move the court for relief on the basis that the user attempted to file the document with the court in a timely manner by submitting it to the electronic filing system. The court may enter an order permitting the document to be deemed filed or served on the date and time the user first attempted to submit the document electronically or may grant other relief as appropriate.
If the failure is not caused by the court electronic filing system, the court may grant appropriate relief upon satisfactory proof of the cause. Users are responsible for timely filing of electronic documents to the same extent as filing of paper documents.
A motion for relief due to technical failure shall be made on the next day the office of the clerk of court is open. The document that the user attempted to file shall be filed separately and any fees due shall be paid at that time.
This subsection shall be liberally applied to avoid prejudice to any person using the electronic filing system in good faith.
Sup. Ct. Order No. 20-07
, 2021 WI 37, filed 4-23-21, eff. 7-1-21; s. 35.17 correction in (14) (b).
Sup. Ct. Order No. 20-07
states that “the Comments to the statutes created pursuant to this order are not adopted, but will be published and may be consulted for guidance in interpreting and applying the rule."
Comment, 2021: Although proposed s. 809.801 is new, the numbering reflects an effort to stay parallel with the section numbering of the circuit court eFiling rule, s. 801.18.
Section 809.801 is built on the template of the circuit court electronic filing rule, s. 809.18, with respect to structure, language, and procedure. There are no major differences between the two systems with respect to how electronic filing works. Sub.(2) (k) provides that the two rules “shall be interpreted consistently to the extent practicable".
At the direction of the supreme court, subs. (2) (b) and (c) provide for the use of an implementation schedule to govern the availability of electronic filing according to the type of proceeding involved and the type of court.
Sub. (3) (a) mandates that three types of filers participate in the electronic filing system. An exception for attorneys representing themselves was included in the circuit court electronic filing rule but is eliminated here. Experience has shown that electronic filing is straightforward to use, with minimal technical impediments and expense.
Subs. (3) (d) and (f) require electronic filing users to promptly opt in and opt out from the cases where they are representing parties or participating as litigants. Users are required to keep their contact information up to date to receive electronic service.
Under sub. (3) (j), persons filing documents in cases where they are not parties, such as amicus curiae, may register to use the electronic filing system and file a document.
Sub. (4) (am) provides that filing occurs when the document is submitted to the electronic filing system as long as it is accepted by the clerk at a later time. Extending the filing day to 11:59 p.m. is consistent with the circuit court electronic filing rule and federal court electronic filing rules. This supersedes the decision in St. John's Home v. Continental Casualty Co.
, 150 Wis. 2d 37
, 441 N.W.2d 219
(1989), per curiam, requiring filing to occur only within the office hours of the clerk. This gives a user an extra few hours to file on the last day a document is due but does not otherwise affect the calculation of time. If a user submits a document or the court issues an order on a day when the clerk's office is closed, it is considered filed on the next day the clerk's office is open, except as provided by other statutes and rules, or by court order.
Since 2009, the appellate clerk has reviewed electronic briefs to make sure that rule requirements relating to form have been met. Together with s. 809.80 (5), subd. (4) (b) provides that the clerk may review all types of documents, both paper and electronic.
Sub. (4) (c) is consistent with s. 809.80 (2) (d), which provides that a document filed by a paper party will be served on the electronic users when the clerk scans and dockets the document and a notice of activity is generated.
Sub. (5) addresses how the first document or group of documents should be filed in each type of appellate proceeding.
Sub. (6) (a) provides that the electronic filing system now serves as the means of delivery between users for documents filed after the case is initiated. Electronic filing users will receive a notice of activity letting them know that a new document has been filed in the proceeding. Paper parties will continue to be served by traditional methods for both initiating and subsequent documents.
Sub. (6) (e) provides that if an email to a party is returned as undeliverable, the clerk will attempt to locate the party and correct the problem. The other parties must serve that party by traditional methods in the meantime.
Sub. (6) (f) outlines how mandatory electronic filing will be initiated on previously filed cases. The clerk will work with attorneys to opt in on their open cases and will provide voluntary users with instructions on how to participate in the electronic filing system if they choose.
Sub. (8) (a) requires electronic filing users to keep their hardware, software, and staff training up to date with the minimum requirements set by the court.
Under former s. 809.18 (12), the supreme court required that briefs, no-merit reports, and petitions for review be submitted in text-searchable portable document format (PDF). Sub. (8) (e) broadens this requirement to include most documents submitted to the court, including motions, writs and petitions. Appendices, exhibits, and affidavits must be submitted in portable document format but are not required to be text-searchable.
Sub. (8) (g) provides for the permissive use of external hyperlinks to sources of information such as published cases and statutes posted on the Internet. Hyperlinks come with a small amount of risk for the introduction of malicious software into the electronic filing system and into law office case management systems. For that reason, hyperlinks may be used only in accordance with guidance posted by the court, and the court may limit the sites that users may link to. The use of hyperlinks is not required.
Sub. (9) provides that appellate court case files going forward will be kept electronically. Mandatory electronic filing users are required to file all documents electronically, with only a few exceptions. The documents submitted by paper parties will be imaged and converted to electronic format by the clerk of court. Because any paper submitted will be discarded after it is imaged, parties should not submit original documents to the court.
Sub. (12) (a) is amended to clarify the required format of an electronic signature. Handwritten signatures continue to be used despite the availability of electronic signatures and are permitted as long as the document is imaged and submitted through the electronic filing system. Either form of signature provides the level of accountability to client and court called for by the appellate rules. Compliance with this section is intended to satisfy the signature requirements of ss. 802.05 (1) and 809.19 (1) (h), as well as all other statutes and rules relating to court documents.
Sub. (12) (fm) is added to permit the use of electronic signatures for certifying briefs, appendices, and no-merit reports as to length, confidentiality, and client counseling.
Sub. (12) (g) responds to a recent legislative change requiring the signature of both counsel and parents on the notice of appeal in proceedings for termination of parental rights. A representation that all signatories have agreed to sign the document cannot be used in lieu of the parents' signatures in this situation.
Sub. (14) (b) refers to circuit court requirements regarding confidential, redacted, and sealed documents. Documents added to the circuit court record since 2016 should already be in compliance with ss. 801.19 to 809.21.
Sub. (15) (a) notes that circuit court transcripts are generally not filed directly with the appellate court. Transcripts are electronically transmitted by the clerk of circuit court as part of the record on appeal.
When transcripts are filed directly with the appellate court, sub. (15) (c) provides that arrangements for payment, copies and service shall be as directed by the court.
Rule (Service on the state in certain proceedings). 809.802(1)(1)
Any document required or authorized to be served on the state in appeals and other proceedings in felony cases in the court of appeals or supreme court shall be served on the attorney general unless the district attorney has been authorized under s. 978.05 (5)
to represent the state. Any document required or authorized to be served on the state in appeals and other proceedings in misdemeanor cases decided by a single court of appeals judge under s. 752.31 (2)
shall be served on the district attorney. Every petition for review of a decision of the court of appeals in a misdemeanor case shall be served on the attorney general.
Where service on the attorney general is required under sub. (1)
, the clerk of the court of appeals shall opt in the attorney general as an attorney for the state and provide the notice of docketing to the attorney general through the appellate electronic filing system. For the attorney general, receipt of the notice of docketing provides access to the proceeding and constitutes service of the initiating document and other documents filed with the initiating documents.