According to amendments to the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure (TRAP), intermediate courts of appeals can officially start adopting e-filing rules as of June 30, but as Texas Supreme Court Clerk Blake Hawthorne explains, some appellate courts already have adopted such rules — with the high court’s approval. The TRAP amendments also provide e-filing rule templates for the appellate courts to consider, he says. Currently, the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 11th and 14th Courts of Appeals have adopted e-filing rules, Hawthorne says. He hopes others, particularly courts in large cities, will follow suit in the coming months. “We’ll see if Fort Worth and El Paso come along. But it’s up to each individual court. Others are taking a wait-and-see approach,” he says. One thing that may force the issue is when a case filed electronically in an appellate court that has e-filing rules subsequently gets transferred to an appeals court that does not have e-filing rules, Hawthorne says. “That is pushing some of these transferee courts to put in their own rules, so they don’t have to force the other courts to give them paper,” he says.
-- John Council