At its September 2017 meeting, the Judicial Conference approved amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure. The amendments were adopted by the Supreme Court and transmitted to Congress on April 26, 2018. The amendments are on track to become effective December 1, 2018. A complete set of the amendments are available here.
A review of the proposed amendments reveals there will be an impact on the Local Rules of the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas. As a result, the Court has approved the following actions for consideration of implementation in our district effective December 1, 2018:
- Proposed Civil Rule 5(b)(2)(E) and Criminal Rule 49(a)(3) Service: How Made authorizes service via CM/ECF. In response Local Rule 5.2 Service of Documents by Electronic Means will be abolished.
- Proposed Civil Rule 5(d)(1)(B) and Criminal Rule 49(b)(1) Filing - Certificate of Service eliminates the requirement for a certificate of service when a paper is served by filing it with the Court's electronic filing system. When a paper is to be served by other means, a certificate of service must be included. The Administrative Policies and Procedures Manuals for Civil and Criminal Filings will be updated to reflect this change.
- Proposed Civil Rule 5(d)(3)(A) and Criminal Rule 49(b)(3)(A) Filing - Electronic Filing, and Signing - By a Represented Person makes electronic filing generally mandatory for a person represented by an attorney with exceptions for good cause or is allowed or required by local rule. In response Local Rule 5.1 Filings of Documents by Electronic Means will be amended. (Click here to view the amended local rule.) General Order 53 in the Eastern District only will be updated to eliminate previous references to the Local Rule. (Click here to view the amended general order.)
- Proposed Civil Rule 5(d)(3)(B) and Criminal Rule 49(b)(3)(B) Filing - Electronic Filing, and Signing - By an Unrepresented Person-When Allowed or Required governs electronic filings by pro se litigants. It will only be allowed by court order or by local rule. Proposed amended Local Rule 5.1 addresses this change.
- Proposed Civil Rule 5(d)(3)(C) and Criminal Rule 49(b)(2) Filings - Electronic Filings, and Signing states an authorized filing made through a person's electronic filing account, together with the person's name on a signature block, constitutes the person's signature. The /s/ requirement is abolished. The Administrative Policies and Procedures Manuals for Civil and Criminal Filings will be updated to reflect this change.
Please submit any comments about the proposed amendments to the Local Rules by November 23, 2018, to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.