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SC Establishes E-Mail Address for E-Filing and Other Requirements for Efficient Use of Paper
Posted: December 29, 2012; By Gleo Sp. Guerra
In preparation for the eventual establishment of an e-filing paperless system in the Judiciary, the Supreme Court, through its Management Information System Office, has set up the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is pursuant to the Efficient Use of Paper Rule (AM No. 11-9-4-SC, November 13, 2012) which takes effect on January 1, 2013 after its publication in two newspapers of general circulation. In promulgating this Rule, the Court noted the need to cut the judicial system’s use of excessive quantities of costly paper, save the forests, avoid landslides, and mitigate the worsening effects of climate change.
E-filing, under the Rule, requires parties before the Supreme Court to submit, simultaneously with their court-bound papers, soft copies of the same and their annexes (the latter in PDF format) either by e-mail to the Court’s e-mail address or by compact disc (CD). E-filing will, initially, be ona voluntary basis for the first six months following the effectivity of the Rule. Thereafter, it shall be compulsory, unless six-month voluntary period is extended. For efficient use of paper, the Rule also requires that all pleadings, motions, and similar papers intended for the consideration of all courts and quasi-judicial bodies under the supervision of the Supreme Court must be written in single space with a one-and-a-half space between paragraphs, using an easily readable font style of the party’s choice, of 14-size font, and on a 13-inch by 8.5-inch white bond paper. The same requirements apply to all decisions, resolutions, and orders issued by courts and quasi-judicial bodies under the administrative supervision of the Supreme Court, as well as reports submitted to the courts and transcripts of stenographic notes.
All court-bound papers to be submitted by every party shall likewise maintain a left hand margin of 1.5 inches from the edge; an upper margin of 1.2 inches from the edge; a right hand margin of one inch from the edge; and a lower margin of one inch from the edge. Every page must be consecutively numbered.
The Rule specifies the number of copies of court-bound papers in a particular court that a party is required or desires to file unless otherwise directed by the court. In the Supreme Court for instance, parties are required to file one original (properly marked) and four copies, unless the case is referred to the Court En Banc, in which event, the parties shall file 10 additional copies. For the En Banc, the parties need to submit only two sets of annexes, one attached to the original and one extra copy. For the Division, the parties need to submit also two sets of annexes, one attached to the original, as well as an extra copy. All members of the Court shall share the extra copies of annexes in the interest of economy of paper.
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