Supreme Court Moves Effectivity Date for E-Filing Guidelines

The Supreme Court en banc, through the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) Circular No. 117-2024 dated April 25, 2024, resolved to move the date of the mandatory applicability of the Guidelines on electronic submission of pleadings in lower courts to September 2, 2024.


In its Resolution dated April 11, 2023, the Supreme Court promulgated the Guidelines on Submission of Electronic Copies of Pleadings and Other Court Submissions Being Filed Before the Lower Courts Pursuant to the Efficient Use of Paper Rule, which governs the electronic transmittal of copies in Portable Document Format (PDF) of pleadings and other court submissions and their additional accompanying documents for filing in civil proceedings before the Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, Court of Tax Appeals, and first- and second-level courts.


Item 11 of the said Resolution provides that:

11. Date of Mandatory Applicability. – By April 5, 2024, the primary manner of filing of all pleadings, motions, and other court submissions in cases covered by the Guidelines, before any court, shall be through electronic transmittal, in accordance with the Guidelines.


Senior Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen, the Chairperson of the Committee on Computerization and Library of the Supreme Court (Committee), recommended the postponement of the applicability of the subject Guidelines to September.


Before the date of the Guideline’s mandatory applicability, the Committee and the OCA will evaluate compliance with the Guidelines pertaining to civil cases during the previous year up to the present.


The OCA will issue another Circular covering the inventory of civil cases where PDF copies of pleadings and other court submissions are being electronically transmitted, as well as the challenges in the implementation of the Guidelines.


The said Guidelines on electronic filing are attuned to the 2019 amendments to the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure which introduced electronic means of service and filing of court submissions. These initiatives are in line with the Supreme Court’s objectives for a technology-driven Judiciary under the Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations for 2022-2027.


The OCA Circular No. 117-2024 can be accessed here. The full text of the Guidelines can be read here.

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