N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. Tit. 22 § 202.5b - Electronic filing in Supreme Court; consensual program

(a) Application.
(1) On consent, documents may be filed and served by electronic means in Supreme Court in such civil actions and in such counties as shall be authorized by order of the Chief Administrator of the Courts and only to the extent and in the manner provided this section.
(2) Definitions. For purposes of this section:
(i) electronic means shall mean any method of transmission of information between computers or other machines, other than facsimile machines, designed for the purpose of sending and receiving such transmissions, and which allows the recipient to reproduce the information transmitted in a tangible medium of expression;
(ii) NYSCEF shall mean the New York State Courts Electronic Filing System and the NYSCEF site shall mean the New York State Courts Electronic Filing System website located at www.nycourts.gov/efile;
(iii) e-filing, electronic filing and electronically filing shall mean the filing and service of documents in a civil action by electronic means through the NYSCEF site;
(iv) an authorized e-filing user shall mean a person who has registered to use e-filing pursuant to subdivision (c) of this section;
(v) an action shall include a special proceeding and an e-filed action shall mean an action in which documents are electronically filed and served in accordance with this section;
(vi) hard copy shall mean information set forth in paper form;
(vii) working copy shall mean a hard copy that is an exact copy of a document that has been electronically filed in accordance with this section;
(viii) party or parties shall mean the party or parties to an action or counsel thereto;
(ix) unrepresented litigant shall mean a party to an action who is not represented by counsel;
(x) expedited processing shall mean the expedited registration of a person as an authorized e-filing user; and
(xi) resource center shall mean the NYSCEF resource center, the e-filing help center available at (646) 386-3033 or efile@nycourts.gov and through the NYSCEF site.
(b) E-filing in actions in Supreme Court.

Except as otherwise provided in section 202.5b b of this Part, the following shall apply to all actions in Supreme Court:

(1) Commencing an action by electronic means. A party may commence any action in the Supreme Court in any county (provided that e-filing has been authorized in that county and in the class of actions to which that action belongs pursuant to paragraph [a][1] of this section) by electronically filing the initiating documents with the county clerk through the NYSCEF site. When so authorized, a petition to commence a proceeding for review of a small claims assessment pursuant to Real Property Tax Law section 730 may be e-filed, including as follows: the petition, in the form prescribed by the Chief Administrator in accordance with such section, shall be completed and signed in hard copy as provided in that section and shall be e-filed by transmission to the NYSCEF site, in conformity with procedures established by the site, of a text file containing all of the information set forth in the completed and executed hard copy petition (exclusive of the signature[s]). Upon receipt of such transmission, the site shall generate and record the completed petition in proper form in portable document format.
(2) E-filing in an action after commencement.
(i) Consent of the parties required. After commencement of an action wherein e-filing is authorized, documents may be electronically filed and served, but only by, and electronic service shall be made only upon, a party or parties who have consented thereto. A party's failure to consent to participation in electronic filing and service shall not bar any other party to the action from filing documents electronically with the county clerk and the court or serving documents upon any other party who has consented to participation. A party who has not consented to participation shall file documents with the court and the county clerk, and serve and be served with documents, in hard copy. When an e-filing party serves a document in hard copy on a non-participating party, the document served shall bear full signatures of all signatories and proof of such service shall be filed electronically.
(ii) Consent to e-filing; how obtained. Notwithstanding the following, no party shall be compelled, directly or indirectly, to participate in e-filing pursuant to this section. A consent to e-filing in an action shall state that the party providing it agrees to the use of e-filing in the action and to be bound by the filing and service provisions in this section. A party who has commenced an action electronically shall serve upon the other parties together with the initiating documents a notice regarding availability of e-filing in a form approved by the Chief Administrator. Such notice shall provide sufficient information in plain language concerning e-filing. A party who seeks to use e-filing in a pending action shall serve said notice upon all other parties. Whenever such a notice is served, proof of service thereof shall be transmitted to the court. Service of such a notice shall constitute consent to e-filing in the action by the party causing such service to be made. Except for an unrepresented litigant, a party served with such a notice shall promptly file with the court and serve on all parties of record either a consent or a declination of consent. An authorized e-filing user may file a consent electronically in the manner provided at the NYSCEF site. Consent may also be obtained by stipulation. An unrepresented litigant is exempt from having to file and serve documents electronically in accordance with this section and need not respond to the notice described herein; except that he or she may file a consent to participate in e-filing provided the clerk shall first have explained his or her options for e-filing in plain language, including the option for expedited processing, and inquired whether he or she wishes to participate. Where an unrepresented litigant opts to file a consent hereunder, it shall be documented in the case file in a manner prescribed by the Chief Administrator. Provided, however, that where an unrepresented litigant chooses to participate in e-filing in accordance with these rules, he or she may at any time opt out of such participation by presenting the clerk of the court with a form so declaring. The filing of a consent to e-filing hereunder shall not constitute an appearance in the action.
(iii) Documents previously filed with the court; termination or modification of e-filing procedures. When an action becomes subject to e-filing, the court may direct that documents previously filed in the action in hard copy be filed electronically by the parties. The court may at any time order discontinuation of e-filing in such action or modification of e-filing procedures therein in order to prevent prejudice and promote substantial justice.
(c) Authorized e-filing users, passwords and registration.
(1) Registration required. Documents may be filed or served electronically only by a person who has registered as an authorized e-filing user or as otherwise provided in this subdivision.
(2) Registering as an authorized e-filing user.
(i) Who may register. An attorney admitted to practice in the State of New York, or a person seeking to serve as an authorized e-filing agent on behalf of attorneys of record in an e-filed action or actions (hereinafter "filing agent") may register as an authorized e-filing user of the NYSCEF site. An attorney admitted pro hac vice in an action, an unrepresented litigant, or a person who has been authorized in writing by an owner or owners of real property to submit a petition as provided in section 730 of the Real Property Tax Law and who has been licensed to engage in such business as required by the jurisdiction in which the business is operated (hereinafter "small claims assessment review filing agent") may also register as an authorized e-filing user, by solely for purposes of such action or, in the case of a small claims assessment review filing agent, solely for those proceedings under section 730 of the Real Property Tax Law in which he or she has been authorized to submit a petition.
(ii) How to register. Registration shall be on a form prescribed by the Chief Administrator. If so provided by the Chief Administrator, registration shall not be complete until the registering person has been approved as an e-filing user. An authorized e-filing user shall notify the resource center immediately of any change in the information provided on his or her registration form.
(3) Identification and password. Upon registration, an authorized e-filing user shall be issued a confidential user identification designation ("user ID") and a password by the Unified Court System ("UCS"). An authorized e-filing user shall maintain his or her user ID and password as confidential, except as provided in paragraph (4) of this subdivision. Upon learning of the compromise of the confidentiality of either the user ID or the password, an authorized e-filing user shall immediately notify the resource center. At its initiative or upon request, the UCS may at any time issue a new user ID or password to any authorized e-filing user.
(4) User ID and password; use by authorized person. An authorized e-filing user may authorize another person to file a document electronically on his or her behalf in a particular action using the user ID and password of the user, but, in such event, the authorized e-filing user shall retain full responsibility for any document filed.
(d) Electronic filing of documents.
(1) Electronic filing of documents.
(i) Electronic filing required; format of e-filed documents; statement of authorization. In any action subject to e-filing, all documents required to be filed with the court by a party that has consented to such e-filing shall be filed and served electronically, except as provided in this section. Documents shall be e-filed in text-searchable portable document format (PDF-A) and shall otherwise comply with the technical requirements set forth at the NYSCEF site. A filing agent (other than one employed by a governmental entity) shall e-file a statement of authorization from counsel of record in an action, in a form approved by the Chief Administrator, prior to or together with the first e-filing in that action by the agent on behalf of that counsel.
(ii) Emergency exception; other hard copy filings. Documents that are required to be filed and served electronically in accordance with this section or section 202.5bb(c)(1) of this Part may nevertheless be filed and served in hard copy where required by statute or court order, where the document is an application that may by statute be presented without notice, or provided the document is accompanied by the affirmation or affidavit of the filing attorney or party stating that:
(a) a deadline for filing and service fixed by statute, rule or order of the court will expire on the day the document is being filed and served or on the following business day; and
(b) the attorney, party or filing agent therefor is unable to file and serve such document electronically because of technical problems with his or her computer equipment or Internet connection. In the event a filer shall file and serve documents in hard copy pursuant to this paragraph, each such document shall include the notice required by this paragraph, and the filer shall file those documents with the NYSCEF site within three business days thereafter.
(iii) Form of notice required on hard copy filing. Where an action is subject to e-filing and a party or attorney seeks to file a document therein in hard copy, such document shall include, on a separate page firmly affixed thereto, a notice of hard copy submission, in a form approved by the Chief Administrator, that the party or attorney:
(a) is authorized to and does withhold consent to e-filing;
(b) is exempt from having to e-file; or
(c) is authorized or required to file such document in hard copy pursuant to an exception provided in these Rules or other provision of law.
(2) Payment of fees. Whenever documents are filed electronically that require the payment of a filing fee, the person who files the documents shall provide therewith, in payment of the fee:
(i) such credit card information as shall be required at the NYSCEF site to permit a card to be charged by the county clerk; or
(ii) the form or information required by the county clerk to permit him or her to debit an account maintained with the county clerk by an attorney or law firm appearing for a party to the action; or
(iii) such information as shall be required at the NYSCEF site to permit an automated clearinghouse debit to be made; or
(iv) any other form of payment authorized by the Chief Administrator.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, where permitted by the county clerk, an authorized e-filing user who electronically files documents that require the payment of a filing fee may cause such fee to be paid thereafter at the office of the county clerk.

(3) Filing and receipt of documents; notification.
(i) When documents are filed. Documents may be transmitted at any time of the day or night to the NYSCEF site. A document is filed when its electronic transmission or, in the case of a petition that is e-filed by submission of a text file as provided in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the electronic transmission of the text file is recorded at that site, provided, however, that where payment of a fee is required upon the filing of a document, the document is not filed until transmission of the document and the information or form or information as required in subparagraph (2)(i), (ii) or (iii) of this subdivision has been recorded at the NYSCEF site; or, if no transmission of that information or form or information is recorded, until payment is presented to the county clerk.
(ii) Notification. No later than the close of business on the business day following the electronic filing of a document, a notification, in a form prescribed by the Chief Administrator, shall be transmitted electronically by the NYSCEF site to the person filing such document and all other parties participating in e-filing. When documents initiating an action are filed electronically, the county clerk shall assign an index number or filing number to the action and that number shall be transmitted to the person filing such documents as part of the notification. If, where permitted, payment is submitted after the initiating documents have been transmitted electronically, the county clerk shall assign the number upon presentation of that payment.
(4) Official record; maintenance of files; working copies. When a document has been filed electronically pursuant to this section, the official record shall be the electronic recording of the document stored by the county clerk. The county clerk or his or her designee may scan and e-file documents that were filed in hard copy in an action subject to e-filing or maintain those documents in hard copy form. All documents maintained by the county clerk as the official electronic record shall also be filed in the NYSCEF system. Where a document that was filed in hard copy is thereafter e-filed, the filing date recorded in NYSCEF shall be the date of hard copy filing. The court may require the parties to provide working copies of documents filed electronically. In such event, each working copy shall include, firmly affixed thereto, a copy of a confirmation notice in a form prescribed by the Chief Administrator.
(5) Decisions, orders and judgments. Unless the court directs otherwise, any document that requires a judge's signature shall be transmitted electronically and in hard copy to the court. Unless the Chief Administrator authorizes use of electronic signatures, decisions, orders and judgments signed by a judge shall be signed in hard copy. All signed decisions, orders and judgments shall be converted into electronic form and transmitted to the NYSCEF site by the appropriate clerk.
(6) Exhibits and other documents in hard copy. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, and subject to such guidelines as may be established by the Chief Administrator, the county clerk or his or her designee may require or permit a party to file in hard copy, in accordance with procedures set by the county clerk or designee, an exhibit or other document which it is impractical or inconvenient to file electronically.
(e) Signatures.
(1) Signing of a document. An electronically filed document shall be considered to have been signed by, and shall be binding upon, the person identified as a signatory, if:
(i) it bears the physical signature of such person and is scanned into an electronic format that reproduces such signature; or
(ii) the signatory has electronically affixed the digital image of his or her signature to the document; or
(iii) it is electronically filed under the user ID and password of that person; or
(iv) in a tax certiorari action in which the parties have stipulated to this procedure, it is an initiating document that is electronically filed without the signature of the signatory in a form provided above in this subparagraph, provided that, prior to filing, the document is signed in full in hard copy (which hard copy must be preserved until the conclusion of all proceedings, including appeals, in the case in which it is filed);
(v) in a small claims assessment review proceeding, it is a petition recorded by the NYSCEF site upon the filing of a text file as provided in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, provided that prior to filing, the document was signed in full in hard copy (which hard copy must be preserved until the conclusion of all proceedings in the matter, including article 78 review and any appeals, and must be made available during the proceeding upon request of the respondent or the court); or
(vi) it otherwise bears the electronic signature of the signatory in a format conforming to such standards and requirements as may hereafter be established by the Chief Administrator.
(2) Compliance with Part 130 of this Title. A document shall be considered to have been signed by an attorney or party in compliance with section 130-1.1 -a of this Title if it has been signed by such attorney or party as provided in paragraph (1) of this subdivision and it bears the signatory's name.
(3) Certification of signature. A judge, party or attorney may add his or her signature to a stipulation or other filed document by signing and filing, or causing to be filed, a certification of signature for such document in a form prescribed by the Chief Administrator.
(f) Service of documents.
(1) Service of initiating documents in an action. Initiating documents may be served in hard copy pursuant to article 3 of the CPLR, or, in tax certiorari cases, pursuant to the Real Property Tax Law, and shall bear full signatures as required thereby, or by electronic means if the party served agrees to accept such service. In the case of a proceeding to review a small claims assessment where the petition has been e-filed by the submission of a text file as provided in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, a hard copy of the petition, fully completed and signed as set forth in that paragraph, shall be mailed, and shall be served upon the assessing unit or tax commission, as provided in section 730 of the Real Property Tax Law, unless otherwise stipulated. A party served by electronic means shall, within 24 hours of service, provide the serving party or attorney with an electronic confirmation that the service has been effected.
(2) Service of interlocutory documents in an e-filed action.
(i) E-mail address for service. Each party in an action subject to electronic filing that has consented thereto shall identify on an appropriate form an e-mail address at which service of interlocutory documents on that party may be made through notification transmitted by the NYSCEF site (hereinafter the "e-mail service address"). Each filing user shall promptly notify the resource center in the event of a change in his or her e-mail service address.
(ii) How service is made. Where parties to an action have consented to e-filing, a party causes service of an interlocutory document to be made upon another party participating in e-filing by filing the document electronically. Upon receipt of an interlocutory document, the NYSCEF site shall automatically transmit electronic notification to all e-mail service addresses in such action. Such notification shall provide the title of the document received, the date received, and the names of those appearing on the list of e-mail service addresses to whom that notification is being sent. Each party receiving the notification shall be responsible for accessing the NYSCEF site to obtain a copy of the document received. Except as provided otherwise in paragraph (h)(3) of this section, the electronic transmission of the notification shall constitute service of the document on the e-mail service addresses identified therein, however, such service will not be effective if the filing party learns that the notification did not reach the address of the person to be served. Proof of such service will be recorded on the NYSCEF site. A party may, however, utilize other service methods permitted by the CPLR provided that, if one of such other methods is used, proof of that service shall be filed electronically.
(g) Addition of parties or proposed intervenors in a pending e-filed action.

A party to be added in an action subject to e-filing shall be served with initiating documents in hard copy together with the notice regarding availability of e-filing specified in subparagraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section, to which response shall be made as set forth in that paragraph. A proposed intervenor or other non-party who seeks relief from the court in an action subject to e-filing, if consenting to e-filing, shall promptly file and serve a consent. If an added party or intervenor does not consent to e-filing, subsequent documents shall be served by and on that party or intervenor in hard copy but the action shall continue as an e-filed one as to all consenting parties.

(h) Entry of orders and judgments and notice of entry.
(1) Entry; date of entry. In an action subject to e-filing, the county clerk or his or her designee shall file orders and judgments of the court electronically, which shall constitute entry of the order or judgment. The date of entry shall be the date on which transmission of the order or judgment is recorded at the NYSCEF site. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the county clerk receives an order or judgment and places a filing stamp and date thereon reflecting that the date of receipt is the date of filing but does not e-file the document until a later day, the clerk shall record at the NYSCEF site as the date of entry the date shown on the filing stamp.
(2) Notice requesting entry of judgment. The county clerk may require that a party seeking entry of judgment electronically serve upon the county clerk, in a form specified by the county clerk, a request for entry of judgment.
(3) Notification; service of notice of entry by parties. Upon entry of an order or judgment, the NYSCEF site shall transmit to the e-mail service addresses a notification of receipt of such entry, which shall not constitute service of notice of entry by any party. A party shall serve notice of entry of an order or judgment on another party by serving a copy of the notification received from the NYSCEF site, a copy of the order or judgment and written notice of its entry. A party may serve such documents electronically by filing them with the NYSCEF site and thus causing transmission by the site of notification of receipt of the documents, which shall constitute service thereof by the filer. In the alternative, a party may serve a copy of the order or judgment and written notice of its entry in hard copy by any method set forth in CPLR 2103(b)(1) to (6). If service is made in hard copy by any such method and a copy of the order or judgment and notice of its entry and proof of such hard copy service are thereafter filed with the NYSCEF site, transmission by NYSCEF of notification of receipt of those documents shall not constitute additional service of the notice of entry on the parties to whom the notification is sent.
(i) Technical failures.

The NYSCEF site shall be considered to be subject to a technical failure on a given day if the site is unable to accept filings or provide access to filed documents continuously or intermittently over the course of any period of time greater than one hour after 12:00 noon of that day. Notice of all such technical failures shall be provided on the site. When e-filing is hindered by a technical failure, a party may file with the appropriate clerk and serve in hard copy. With the exception of deadlines that by law cannot be extended, the time for filing of any document that is delayed due to technical failure of the site shall be extended for one day for each day on which such failure occurs, unless otherwise ordered by the court. In the event an attorney or party shall file and serve documents in hard copy pursuant to this paragraph, each such document shall include the notice required by paragraph (d)(1) of this section, and the filer shall file those documents with the NYSCEF site within three business days after restoration or normal operations at that site.

(j) Electronic filing of discovery materials.

In any action subject to e-filing, parties and non-parties producing materials in response to discovery demands may enter into a stipulation, which shall be filed, authorizing the electronic filing of discovery responses and discovery materials to the degree and upon terms and conditions set forth in the stipulation. In the absence of such a stipulation, no party shall file electronically any such materials except in the form of excerpts, quotations, or selected exhibits from such materials as part of motion papers, pleadings or other filings with the court.

(k) Copyright, confidentiality and other proprietary rights.
(1) Submissions pursuant to e-filing procedures shall have the same copyright, confidentiality and proprietary rights as paper documents.
(2) In an action subject to e-filing, any person may apply for an order prohibiting or restricting the electronic filing in the action of specifically identified materials on the grounds that such materials are subject to copyright or other proprietary rights, or trade secret or other privacy interests, and that electronic filing in the action is likely to result in substantial prejudice to those rights or interests. Unless otherwise permitted by the court, a motion for such an order shall be filed not less than 10 days before the materials to which the motion pertains are due to be produced or filed with the court.

Notes

N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. Tit. 22 § 202.5b
Amended New York State Register October 21, 2015/Volume XXXVII, Issue 42, eff. 10/21/2015 Amended New York State Register January 10, 2018/Volume XL, Issue 02, eff. 12/15/2017

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