We are pleased to report that the Judiciary and Tyler Technology have negotiated a modification of their contract to eliminate the “per envelope” e-filing fee effective April 1, 2021. In its place, a one-time “per filing party” e-filing fee of $14.00 will be implemented, also effective April 1, 2021. The “per filing party” fee will be charged the first time that a party to a case in the Odyssey system (who doesn’t qualify for a fee waiver) e-files a document in the case. Once the $14.00 (plus any applicable processing fee, typically consisting of the .0289 credit card fee that equates to 40 cents on $14.00) is paid, no other e-filing fees will be charged to that party in that case. The “per filing party” e-filing fee is waived for parties eligible for a waiver of other filing fees and will not be charged in cases that don’t require court filing fees, including criminal cases, juvenile cases, Judicial Bureau cases, relief from abuse cases and stalking or sexual assault cases, for example. If the $14 fee is assessed under any circumstances not described above, then the filer should contact Tyler Technologies to initiate a refund of that fee. OFS users can contact Tyler by email: email@example.com or phone at 1-800-297-5377.
Many thanks are due to the VBA E-Filing Fee Study Committee that prepared an extensive report at the request of the Senate Judiciary Committee last April, to the Alternative E-Filing Fee Study Committee that convened in response to Act 120 last summer, and to the many practitioners who took the time and effort to detail their comments regarding issues surrounding the per envelope fee. Much gratitude is also due the Senate Judiciary Committee and to the Legislature, for responding to concerns raised by Vermont court users regarding e-filing fees.
For your further information, S.39 was introduced this session to require the Judiciary to include any fees associated with electronic filing in its consolidated Judicial Branch Fee Report going forward. The Fee Report is submitted to the House Committee on Ways and Means, the Senate Committee on Finance, and the House and Senate Committees on Government Operations, for their review and oversight. S.39 has passed the Senate and was recently assigned to the House Government Operations Committee. We will keep you apprised of the status of S.39.