Judge Donald Floyd is bringing his court into the 21st Century, ordering that all cases filed in the Jefferson County 172nd District Court now be submitted as E-file cases.
The order, signed in July, went into effect Aug. 15.
"It is hereby ordered that, henceforth, all cases filed in the 172nd District Court … shall be designated E-file cases in accordance with Local Rule 7," his order stated, adding that tax cases, cases filed by pro se parties, and seizure and forfeiture cases are exempt from the rule.
The judge further ordered that District Clerk Lolita Ramos shall not receive any pleadings whatsoever in E-file cases in paper form, except for the original petition and return citations.
"The District Clerk shall not electronically scan paper pleadings to E-file," the order states.
"If the District Clerk receives a paper pleading in an E-file case, the Clerk is ordered to return that pleading to the purported filer with a notification that the case is E-file and that no paper pleadings can be received, file-stamped, nor scanned."
The order goes on to state that the district clerk must be furnished with an electronic disk of all parties in cases involving 10 plaintiffs or defendants or a combination of both, including the addresses of those receiving service.
"It is further ordered that each pleading in cases designated as E-file shall be fully and properly labeled, and a pleading shall deal with only one subject matter," the order states.
"Thus, for example, a Motion To Transfer Venue may not be combined with an Answer, but they shall be two separate pleadings, each labeled accordingly and filed separately. In similar fashion, all matters shall be separately pleaded, labeled, and filed, and there shall be no 'gang filing.'
"The purpose of this requirement is so that separate matters may be readily indexed and located in the electronic file."
To review the order in its entirety, go to http://www.co.jefferson.tx.us/distcrts/172nd_20080714_EFileDesignation.pdf