Official: DuPage needs more time to change e-filing system
DuPage is the only county in Illinois that hasn't transitioned to an electronic court filing system required by the state.
And if some county officials get their way, the change won't happen this year, either, despite a looming deadline.
The Illinois Supreme Court has given DuPage's circuit court clerk's office until July 1 to start using an e-filing system from Tyler Technologies, which has a contract with the state. Every county in Illinois eventually will use the system for the filing of civil court cases.
"The whole goal is to have a statewide system so filers have a similar experience no matter where they're filing their case from, whether it be in southern Illinois, central Illinois or northern Illinois," said Christopher Bonjean, a spokesman for the state Supreme Court.
But DuPage County Board member Grant Eckhoff says he wants the county's transition to be postponed because he believes the state-mandated system lags behind what DuPage is using.
"For the benefit of our residents and those in the legal community, I urge the Illinois Supreme Court to grant an extension of time to DuPage County so that we can continue to use our current system," said Eckhoff, a Wheaton Republican who serves as chairman of the county board's judicial and public safety committee.
Electronic filing for civil cases has been available in DuPage since 2006. The county worked with a company called i2File to develop its system.
Eckhoff, who is an attorney, said DuPage's circuit court clerk's office has spent millions of dollars and invested countless hours of work implementing what he says is the best e-filing system in the state.
"I use it almost daily," he said. "It's very easy to use."
In comparison, Eckhoff says the system from Tyler Technologies is "inferior" and "takes much longer to use."
But in order to get an deadline extension, the county would need to formally apply for one.
On Wednesday, Circuit Court Clerk Chris Kachiroubas said there's no plans to submit another extension request at this time.
He said his office first wants to do extensive testing of the e-filing system from Tyler Technologies. That process is expected to begin in two weeks.
"I'm going to watch all of the testing that goes on and see if it meets our high standards," said Kachiroubas, adding the new system would need to interconnect with the existing one.
"It's possible that we'll have some difficulty," he said. "Then we'll make a decision at that point."