X. GENERAL PROVISIONS

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Rule 49.2: Electronic filings, signing, or verification.

Any court governed by these rules may, by local rule, allow papers to be filed, signed, or verified by electronic means compliant with technological standards promulgated by the Supreme Court.  Pleadings and other papers files electronically under such local rules shall be considered the same as written papers.

[By order filed January 8, 2018, effective July 1, 2018.]

Advisory Commission Comment 2018.

Courts in certain counties have expressed a desire to implement an electronic filing system. This rule permits trial courts, by local rule, to adopt such systems. This rule provides the same authority for trial courts exercising criminal jurisdiction as currently exists under Rule 5B, Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure, and Rule 106(h), Tennessee Rules of Juvenile Procedure.

Electronic filing systems have also been implemented in all of the federal district courts (with the sole exception of the United States District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands) and in a number of states. Electronic filing offers numerous advantages over traditional “paper filing,” including vastly increased public access to court documents and reduction of the time and expense incurred by litigants and court personnel in filing, storing, and retrieving documents.

The Commission envisions that, in the not too distant future, all of Tennessee’s courts will adopt electronic case filing systems. In order to achieve statewide uniformity, the systems utilized throughout the state must comply with technological standards promulgated by the Supreme Court. Without such uniformity, the desired ease of access to data and cost efficiencies could not be achieved.

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