El Paso County e-filing software behind schedule

Matthew Smith, Good Morning El Paso Weekend Anchor / Reporter
POSTED: 06:21 PM MDT Oct 03, 2013    UPDATED: 01:18 PM MST Jan 16, 2014 
EL PASO, Texas -

El Paso County expected to have a new e-filing program up and running before this month. Right now, it's not being used. Now, the county has a new deadline looming: it's mandated by the Texas Supreme Court.

In December 2012, the Supreme Court of Texas gave an order mandating all civil court cases be filed via the internet. The order doesn't say what the punishment for noncompliance is, however, it states that clerks will not be able to file documents from lawyers any other way.

According to the county's e-file committee chairman, the county had been given assurances that Tyler Technologies' TexFile software program would be ready to use on Sept. 23rd.

"We told Tyler Technologies this project is extremely important," said Joe Gonzalez, the chairman of the county's e-filing committee.

When Sept. 23rd arrived, the TexFile program didn't go online in El Paso County. It created a mess for the district clerk's office because the county had already voted to stop its relationship with Tex.gov, the group that had been handling its e-filing up until that point. The move left the district clerk's office employees printing off files from online and filing hundreds of documents by hand. On Monday, District Clerk Norma Favela went before county commissioners to ask that the county reimplement its relationship with Tex.gov until the new software is ready.

"We need to make this as successful as possible," said Favela.

On Thursday, Tyler Technologies marketing director Michael Kleiman said there shouldn't be any problems with getting the TexFile program up and running ahead of the Supreme Court deadline.

In a written statement, Kleiman said, "TexFile is ready and has gone live in a variety of counties in Texas starting over the summer and increasing in momentum in September - with 8 counties going live in September."

Favela said she's urging attorneys to get prepared for a shift, because beginning in January, paper documents can't be filed. Webinars are being held for attorneys who aren't used to e-filing documents.