The United States District Court for the District of Kansas (the Court) and the Kansas Department of Corrections commenced a prison electronic filing (e-filing) pilot project in February 2012 at the Lansing Correctional Facility (LCF) for a period of one year. The pilot project is expected to reduce the costs of court filings by prisoners in civil cases by reducing associated expenses for paper, envelopes, copying, and postage for prison litigants and time for both corrections staff and court staff in processing these pleadings. This Standing Order expands the pilot project to all facilities maintained by the Kansas Department of Corrections (the Department), as designated by the Department, effective June 1, 2012, and sets forth the rules for managing such pleadings during the pilot project.
In consideration of the foregoing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
1. Participation in the e-filing pilot project is extended to prisoners incarcerated at all facilities designated by the Department and filing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. A prisoner who is transferred to any facility not designated for inclusion by the Department will resume the submission of pleadings by mail.
2. Participation in the pilot project is mandatory for all prisoner litigants assigned to designated facilities, and all correspondence and court filings in civil cases in the District of Kansas must be electronically transmitted.
3. The management of pleadings in this pilot project will proceed as follows:
a. Prisoner litigants at designated facilities will scan pleadings in civil actions on a digital sender or similar equipment.
b. Once the document has been scanned, the prisoner will e-mail the pleading to the Court at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
c. The Court will e-file these pleadings upon receipt by e-mail.
d. Upon filing, the Court will create a Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF), which will confirm the date the pleading was e-filed by the court and contain an electronic link to the document.
e. A party may not electronically serve a complaint, but instead must effect service according to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure.
4. Once defendants or respondents have accepted such service, however, the NEF for a subsequent prisoner pleading shall constitute service of the document by first class mail, postage prepaid.
f. The NEF will be transmitted to an e-mail address established by the court upon the designation of the facility and will be distributed through institutional channels to the inmate.
g. Documents filed by defendants or respondents will continue to be mailed by those parties, and orders entered by the Court will be transmitted by mail.
h. The electronic transmission of correspondence and court filings is free to prisoners; however, statutory filing fees apply to these actions and are not affected by e-filing.
i. Prisoner participants in the e-filing pilot project remain subject to the provisions of D. Kan. Rule 9.1. Initial court filings, such as petitions and complaints, submitted by these participants must be transmitted on official forms, and all court filings must contain the prisoner’s conviction name and KDOC identification number, the name of the opposing party, the case number, if one has been assigned, and signature. The failure to provide this information may result in delay in processing of the incomplete submission. Complete copies of the rules of the Court are available for review in the law library.
j. Questions regarding filing by prisoners who are in segregated housing should be directed to the facility librarian.
4. The Clerk of the Court is authorized to develop, implement, publish, and modify as necessary additional administrative procedures to manage the e-filing pilot project.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this Standing Order shall become effective June 1, 2012, and shall remain in effect through February 2013, subject to extension upon the agreement of the parties.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated this 17th day of May, 2012.
BY THE COURT:
KATHRYN H. VRATIL
Chief U.S. District Judge