SC Releases New Rules for the Submission of Electronic Copies of Supreme Court-Bound Papers

In a push to further establish the Supreme Court Modern E-Filing Network, the Court released A.M. No. 10-3-7-SC on the “Submission of Electronic Copies of Supreme Court-Bound Papers Pursuant to the Efficient Use of Paper Rule”; to serve as guidelines for filings with the Supreme Court, effective 1 June 2022.

Efficient Paper Rule; Docketing Offices.

All Supreme Court-bound papers and their annexes must be compliant with the “Efficient Use of Paper Rule” (A.M. No. 11-9-4-SC), and their electronic copies submitted via e-mail to the proper docketing offices of the Supreme Court.

Submission Period

It is crucial to note the submission period for electronic copies, which must be within twenty-four (24) hours from the filing of their hard copies. Proof of filing the hard copies shall be submitted together with the electronic copies.

Rule 13 of the 2019 Proposed Amendments to the 1997 Code of Civil Procedure provides different reckoning points for different means of filing; and prescribes varying acceptable proofs thereof. The table below is a handy tool in determining the deadline for submission of electronic copies:

Filing via e-mail or other electronic means

One innovation of the 2019 Rules of Court Amendments is the filing of pleadings via e-mail or other electronic means. A.M. No. 10-3-7-SC also provides rules for pleadings filed in this manner, vis:

The filer is required to execute an “Affidavit of Electronic Filing”, with the undertaking that the filer will submit hard copies to the Court in person, or by registered mail or accredited courier, within twenty-four (24) hours from the date of electronic submission. It is important to take note of this added step—the transmission of hard copies to the Supreme Court.

PDF copies of the (1) Express authority from the Courts allowing for electronic filing and the (2) Affidavit of Undertaking must be submitted to the proper court dockets together with the electronic copies.

Other Pertinent Details on Electronic Copies

The electronic copies must be submitted as PDF files and should be identical to the paper filed in the Supreme Court. The file names ought to indicate sufficient information on the parties filing the paper, the nature of the paper, the parties against whom relief is sought, if any, and the nature of relief sought. Filers must also pay special attention to the prescribed email format laid out in A.M. No. 10-3-7-SC for the submission of electronic copies.

Take note of the “One Case-Rule”. An e-mail shall contain only documents pertaining to one case. These electronic copies are individually saved and attached to the e-mail (i.e., Do not merge different documents in a single PDF file). 

On the other hand, the “One E-mail Rule” states that all electronic copies pertaining to the same case shall be attached to one e-mail. Should, however, the maximum file size for e-mail attachments be reached, the documents will be sent in batches. The subject line for each e-mail must indicate the batch number and total number of batches (e.g., “batch 1 of 3”). 

A.M. No. 10-3-7-SC requires the execution of a notarized Verified Declaration and prescribes the wordings therefor. This Verified Declaration must be attached to both the hard copy filed in Court and to the electronic copy emailed to the proper SC docketing offices.

The Firm lauds this recent development in the Court’s continuous effort to modernize and optimize its filing and record-keeping processes.