Heads Up, Hawaii Appellate e-Filers: We're Not Receiving 100% Case Notifications
by Robert Thomas, InverseCondemnation, Feb 1, 2019
A heads up for our Hawaii appellate colleagues: on two separate occasions -- in two different cases -- the JEFS system has failed to notify us of events in the cases in which we are counsel.
The first case ended up being automatically "closed" by the system after an opinion by the Supreme Court, even though a post-opinion motion in that court was still pending. We were not provided notice the case had been closed, when we tried to find the case (by searching by case number), we received a "null search/case does not exist" response. Talk about one of those "moments." Only a call to the Clerk's office revealed that (1) the case was closed automatically even though the Court had not disposed of the pending motion; and (2) the motion was still under consideration by the Court. We are still unaware of whether, when the court eventually rules on our motion, whether we will receive notification given that the case is, according to the system, "closed." Apparently, a case is automatically closed after a certain period of time, even if there are pending post-opinion motions pending.
The second case was one in which we are amicus in the Intermediate Court of Appeals. While poking around the system in another case recently, we discovered that the ICA issued an opinion 5 months ago. Again, we did not receive e-notice despite being listed as counsel on the notification list. In the intervening months, a party sought and was denied reconsideration by the ICA (again, no notice to us), and successfully applied for cert. All without us having any idea these events occurred because we relied on the e-notification system. We have no idea why we did not receive e-notification. As in the other case, when we try to view the docket by searching for the case number, we get a "case does not exist" notice.
So here's the bottom line: until we can determine why and how the above occurred, use both belt and suspenders. Do not rely solely on the system to notify you, assuming that because you did not receive notification of events in your appellate cases, that something didn't happen. Apparently, the system has its own quirks, and isn't a 100% foolproof method of keeping up on our cases.