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Published September 27, 2010, 04:06 PM

Grand Forks to File Court Paperwork Electronically

The Grand Forks County District Court will begin filing court documents electronically in November.

"It's a huge amount of paperwork that we have."

But soon the paper stack will be smaller on Judge Joel Medd's desk.

The Grand Forks County District Court will start filing court documents electronically in November.

"Instead of producing two paper files, we'll produce one paper file, and then scan in another copy of that file, and it will be filed electronically," Grand Forks County State's Attorney Peter Welte said.

Welte guesses it will save the county around $5,000 a year. Judge Medd says it will save a lot of time too.

"Because they'll be able to file their documents electronically, not even leaving their office," Medd said.

Another benefit of electronic filing will be that judges who have to travel for a case in another county could access that case online.

"Because of conflicts in Fargo, I'll get assigned a case. In Bismarck I've had cases, and if I want to look at a file from Bismarck, I should be able to call it up on my computer, so it's going to be a statewide system," Medd said.

But the transition won't come without a few problems.

"We definitely see a difficulty in adjustment with some of the attorneys who aren't as used to the electronic systems. The support staff is all used to it. They've been doing it for a long time," Welte said.

Still, Judge Medd says once the transition is done, it will make for a better-run court system and fewer paper files throughout the courthouse.

The new electronic filing system will start in Grand Forks County in November.

It's part of a statewide e-filing project costing $8 million.