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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2004
For further information contact:
Jude Del Preore, Trial Court Administrator
Superior Court of New Jersey, Mercer Vicinage
(609) 571-4011

Mercer County Superior Court Introduces New Technology

Friday, February 27, 2004 - The New Jersey Judiciary Electronic Filing & Imaging System (JEFIS) has expanded to the Mercer County Superior Court. The project commenced in Monmouth County in 1999 pursuant to an order of the Supreme Court and expanded to Ocean County in 2003. JEFIS permits the electronic filing and storage of files. Mercer will be the third New Jersey County to introduce this new technology. With the addition of this program it is anticipated that there will be a savings of both space and money, as the need for file folders is eliminated. In Monmouth County, a new courtroom replaced a room previously used to store files. In addition to saving space, these paperless files will be available simultaneously to judges, court staff, attorneys, and the public.

Mercer County's Assignment Judge Linda R. Feinberg was ecstatic that the system was coming to the Mercer Courts. She credited the leadership in the Civil Division as a reason for why Mercer was selected as the next County in this statewide rollout of technology. "We are strong supporters of technology in the Mercer Courts and we believe that this tool will increase our efficiency and allow us to keep up with ever-increasing caseloads" Feinberg credited Judge Paulette Sapp- Peterson, Mercer's Civil Presiding Judge, and Judge F. Patrick McManimon, Supervising Judge of the Special Civil Part, for their support of this new initiative.

The JEFIS Pilot Project specifically addresses lawsuits and contract actions filed in the Special Civil Part (commonly referred to as "DC docket-type actions"). Typically, these cases involve debt collection actions seeking damages up to $15,000. Mercer had 10,491 such filings during Court Year 2003, a 17 percent increase over the previous year's 8,971. An additional 10 percent increase is projected for this year. After the initial testing in Monmouth County, the JEFIS Pilot Project was split into two parts for statewide implementation. The first part of the initiative involved electronic filing of lawsuits from about 60 law firms statewide. Since that time, the state has received more than 458,000 e-filings in all counties from those 60 participating law firms. The expansion of this program to the Mercer Courts is the second part of this initiative and will result in the scanning and storing of paper filings submitted by non-participating law firms and litigants who represent themselves.

Mercer County Court Administrator Jude Del Preore explained that the required equipment and wiring already have been installed for this paperless technology. Judges and staff will begin training in this new technology on March 1, 2004. The system is scheduled to begin officially on April 15, 2004.

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