Electronic Court Filing Technical Committee within the LegalXML Member Section.
The Technical Committee plans to constitute the following subcommittees, and such additional subcommittees as shall appear necessary and appropriate to carrying out the Technical Committee's purpose:
Case Management System Application Program Interface (CMS/API) Subcommittee
Court Document Subcommittee
Court Filing Policy Subcommittee
Query & Response Subcommittee
Statement of Purpose
The Electronic Court Filing Technical Committee will develop specifications for the use of XML to create legal documents and to transmit legal documents from an attorney, party or self-represented litigant to a court, from a court to an attorney, party or self-represented litigant or to another court, and from an attorney or other user to another attorney or other user of legal documents. Because it is an essential part of the business model for electronic filing applications, the Technical Committee will also develop specifications for
querying a court for data or documents and for returning the response to such a query,
expressing unique court policies and requirements in XML,
providing legally sufficient service of court filings on other attorneys and unrepresented parties to a court case (and, if and when authorized by law, service of process on defendants or respondents to establish the court's jurisdiction over them under principles of due process of law), and
linking electronic documents to law firm and court case management information and document management systems. It will develop additional specifications found to be needed to support the transition of courts and the legal profession from reliance upon paper documents and paper court files to electronic documents and electronic case files.
In addition to the OASIS approval process, the Electronic Court Filing Technical Committee will provide its proposed and recommended specifications to the National Consortium for State Court Automation Standards, a subcommittee of the Joint Technology Committee of the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) and National Association for Court Management (NACM). The National Consortium further vets the Technical Committee's recommendations through a "Joint Standards Development (JSD) Team" comprised of representatives of state and local courts and private sector service providers interested in and knowledgeable about electronic court filing. The Joint Technology Committee acts upon the Technical Committee's proposals, based upon the JSD team's recommendations, to adopt a specification as a "proposed standard" for experimental implementation. After a "proposed standard" successfully completes two interoperability tests, the Technical Committee transmits the specification to the Joint Technology Committee for adoption as a "recommended standard." When the Joint Technology Committee approves that recommendation, it is sent to the Boards of Directors of the two parent bodies for formal adoption on behalf of all state courts. The members of the Conference of Chief Justices will then take whatever actions are required to implement the standards in their jurisdictions.
The Conference of State Court Administrators and National Association for Court Management may also submit the specifications for recognition by the Global Justice Information Network Advisory Committee of the United States Department of Justice.
List of Deliverables
The Electronic Court Filing Technical Committee plans to complete the following tasks during its first year of operation:
Post the Electronic Court Filing 1.0 specification and DTD and the Electronic Court Filing 1.1 specification and DTD, which supercedes the 1.0 specification, developed by the Court Filing Work Group of Legal XML, Inc. on the Technical Committee site for general information and comment. These specifications support the transmission of electronic documents in any format from a filer to a court, together with all data needed by the court to enter the document (or a new case, if the document submitted initiates a new case) into the court's case management information and document management systems, and the return of an acknowledgement. The Electronic Court Filing 1.1 specification and DTD have been recommended by the JSD team for approval by the National Consortium and the Joint Technology Committee at their next meetings in late July, 2002.
Develop a proposed Query & Response 1.0 specification and DTD by the end of June, 2002, for transmission to the JSD team, the National Consortium, and the Joint Technology Committee for consideration at their July, 2002 meetings. The Query & Response specification, which supports eight standard queries and unstructured queries from court users to courts for case and document information, is in an advanced stage of development.
Develop a proposed Court Document 1.0 specification and DTD by the end of June, 2002, for transmission to the JSD team, the National Consortium, and the Joint Technology Committee for consideration at their July, 2002 meetings. The Court Document 1.0 specification and DTD, which supports XML markup of typical court documents, is in an advanced stage of development.
Reach consensus on a definition for an interoperability test for electronic court filing XML specifications by the end of June, 2002, for transmission to the JSD team, the National Consortium, and the Joint Technology Committee for consideration at their July, 2002 meetings. The definition is in an advanced stage of development
Develop a proposed specification for a Case Management System Application Program Interface, which will support a standard interface between court case management information systems and electronic filing applications using the Electronic Court Filing 1.1 specification, by the end of October, 2002, for transmission to the JSD team, the National Consortium, and the Joint Technology Committee for consideration at their December, 2002 meetings. This specification as well is in an advanced stage of development.
Develop a proposed Court Filing Policy 1.0 specification and DTD or Schema to convey local court policies and conventions to electronic filing users by the end of October, 2002, for transmission to the JSD team, the National Consortium, and the Joint Technology Committee for consideration at their December, 2002 meetings.
Comment on proposed Electronic Filing Standards and a proposed Model Policy on Public Access and Privacy in Court Records being developed by a subcommittee of the National Consortium and a Joint Committee of COSCA and CCJ, respectively, scheduled for completion by the end of June, 2002.
Develop a proposed Electronic Court Filing 2.0 specification and schema, to incorporate SOAP, extensions and modifications to the 1.1 specification suggested by implementations, electronic signatures, and any further changes that may occur in the "reconciled" criminal justice XML development principles and data elements developed by the XML Standards Subcommittee of the Infrastructure Standards Working Group of the Global Justice Information Network Advisory Committee of the Department of Justice.
The Electronic Court Filing Technical Committee will follow the operating rules of OASIS and any operating rules adopted by the LegalXML Member Section Steering Committee with the approval of OASIS management and the OASIS Board of Directors. In addition, the Technical Committee will abide by the following practices:
All decisions will be made by consensus.
All decisions made in face-to-face meetings will be subject to ratification or rejection by the full membership of the Technical Committee on the list serve.
All email discussions concerning the technical work of the Technical Committee and its subcommittees will take place on OASIS supported list serves.
One member of the Technical Committee and of each subcommittee will serve as ombudsman to monitor the public list for that entity and provide input from the public list to the committee and subcommittee discussions.
In no event shall this Technical Committee finalize or approve any technical specification if it believes that the use, distribution, or implementation of such specification would necessarily require the unauthorized infringement of any third party rights known to the technical committee, and such third party has not agreed to provide necessary license rights on perpetual, royalty-free, non-discriminatory terms.