Who is authorized to register with the Appellate Court's new online service known as ACIS Online?
Any attorney licensed to practice law in Alabama or any attorney approved to appear pro hac vise before an Appellate Court in Alabama.
Does it cost anything to register with ACIS Online?
No, attorneys may register free of charge. New accounts are automatically assigned the default basic "E-Filing Account" status.
What services are available to users with the a basic "E-Filing Account"?
Users with a basic "E-Filing Account" can e-file documents with the appellate courts through ACIS free of charge. They will receive copies of notices and orders issued to them in their cases by the clerks of the Appellate Courts by e-mail. They will also have online access to copies of the electronic notices they received from the Appellate Courts during the previous ninty (90) days.
In addition, users with a basic "E-Filing Account" will have access to the following online services free of charge:
- The ability to manage their office's contact information online;
- The ability to designate up to five (5) secondary contacts to receive duplicate copies of the notices, orders and decisions in their cases; and
- When they e-file a document, they will receive an online transaction receipt containing a hyperlinked "Time Stamped" copy of their e-filed document;
What will it cost to purchase a subscription in order to have online access to the Appellate Court's case database and documents systems through ACIS?
The Supreme Court has established a monthly recurring subscription fee of $20.00 for subscribing to ACIS's online case database and document's systems. Users from firms with more than than ten (10) users may receive a discount for their second and subsequent recurring monthly subscription fee. (See question B4 below for more details.)
What information services will subscribers receive through ACIS?
ACIS's Document Subscription Service provides users with unlimited online access to electronic copies of documents in cases in which they appear as an attorney or party of record. In addition, subscribers may purchase documents online in other cases for a fee of 20¢ per pages. Subscribers are allowed to "pre-pay" for copies and tracking/monitoring services and draw against their "pre-paid" allowances as needed rather than having to purchase items on an individual basis. Subscribers also receive the following complimentary or bonus services at no additional cost:
- Notice by e-mail when another party e-files a document in a case in which the subscriber appears as an attorney or party of record;
- A nightly "recap" by e-mail when significant events occur in cases in which the subscriber appears as an attorney or party of record;
- Notice by e-mail when the Appellate Courts announce the release of decisions;
- Online access to the opinions announced by the Appellate Courts for a period of thirty of 30 days from the date of release; and
- Notice by e-mail when the Supreme Court announces the adoption of new or amended administrative or procedural rules.
Can attorneys from the same Firm pool their accounts and share the benefits they receive through their subscriptions?
Yes. Attorneys from the same firm may pool their accounts and share their "pre-paid" copy and case tracking allowances. However, a few conditions will apply. Obviously, all of the attorneys that wish to be included in the pool must first register with ACIS Online. Second, adding a user to the pool includes the process of creating a subscription for that user. Therefore, a monthly subscription fee will be collected for each of the users in the pool.
Depending on the size of the pool, firms may opt to allow one of the attorneys in the firm to serve as the pool administrator or they may designate someone else from their organization to serve as their pool administrator. In the later case, the person designated to serve as the poll administrator must contact the Help Desk for instructions regarding establishing their administrative account.
The pool administrator's account will serve as the administrative account for billing purposes. The total monthly subscription fee for the pool will be billed to the credit card, debit card, bank card used for the payment of the administrator's subscription fee.
Firms with more than ten (10) users that pool their subscription services will receive a discount for their second and subsequent month's recurring subscription fee as follows:
- For the first 10 users, the monthly recurring subscription fee will be $20 per user;
- For the 11th - 20th users, the monthly recurring subscription fee will be $15 per user; and
- For the 21st user and above, the monthly recurring subscription fee will be $10 per user.
How do I e-file documents with the Appellate Courts?
Go to the Appellate Court's Online Information Services website located at https://acis.alabama.gov and register. Once registered, use the e-mail address you provided and the temporary password you were provided to log into the system. Once you have logged into the system, simply select the menu tab labeled "E-FILE DOCUMENTS". You will be provided with a number of prompts and information fields that will lead you through the process. Remember, the Appellate Courts will only accept documents that are in a "PDF" format. Users with computers that operates on a Windows operating system and use Internet Explorer generally do not have problems uploading files. If you experience a problem, feel free to contact our help desk at (334)229-0500. Someone should be available to assist you with any problems between normal business hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm.
Are pro se litigants authorized to e-file documents with the Appellate Courts?
No, not at this time. Currently, the Appellate Courts are operating under interim e-filing rules authorized by the Supreme Court of Alabama. E-Filing practices for pro se litigants will be addressed later in the process.
When will an e-filed document be considered filed?
E-filed documents are considered filed upon their successful upload onto ACIS, not when the filing party began the process of uploading the document. For example, if a filing party begins uploading a document at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, but the document did not finish uploading, and was not successfully received by the Appellate Courts, until 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, the document will be considered filed on Tuesday.
How will I know when or if my document was successfully e-filed?
Upon successfully e-filing a document, the filing party will immediately be provided with an online "Transaction Confirmation" that will serve as proof of e-filing. The transaction confirmation will contain the exact time in which the e-filing transaction was successfully completed.
The transaction confirmation will contain a hyperlink to a "Time Stamped" copy of the e-filed document. Copies of the transaction confirmation containing the hyperlink will also be e-mailed to the filing party and each of their secondary contacts. The e-mail may then be forwarded to the other parties in the case and serve as notice of the filing.
What happens if the website is offline or technical problems prevent me from being able to e-file a document?
The Interim E-Filing Rules provide a remedy for e-filers that are unable to e-file their document due to an unexpected technology problem. We encourage users to become familiar with the rules before attempting to e-file documents with the Appellate Courts.
Do I still need to file hard copies of the documents that I e-file?
Yes. At this phase of the process, the Appellate Courts have directed that the filing party mail hard copies of the e-filed documents to the applicable Appellate Court by regular US Mail within 24 hours of e-filing the document. A copy of the transaction confirmation notice containing the date and time the document was e-filed should be attached to the hard copies.
The filing party should mail nine (9) copies if filing a document with the Supreme Court or five (5) copies if filing a document with the Court of Civil Appeal or the Court of Criminal Appeals.
Are the appellate courts authorized to e-serve documents to attorneys and trial court officials in lieu of mailing/ hard copies?
Yes. Service of e-served documents and notices will be deemed effective upon the transmission of the e-mail message containing the content of the document or notice or a hyperlink to the electronic document or notice.
Can I e-serve opposing counsel?
Yes, e-service of e-filed documents is permitted if the opposing council has an email address that is used in the course of practice of law or the transaction of legal business.
What new features are available through the new ACIS website?
In addition to the default information services that were detailed in the answer to question 3, ACIS users will have access to the following newly available information services:
- Online access to OCR'ed copies of the documents (including trial court records and briefs). OCR'ed documents allow users to "cut and paste" from the documents and perform keyword searches within the documents;
- Online access to copies of docket sheets;
- The ability to request daily status reports or tracking information in cases;
- Online information bulletins with important information regarding rule changes and scheduled events such as oral arguments;
- Online access to the list of decisions released by the Appellate Courts during the previous 30 days.
- Users will be able to purchase information services online using credit cards, debit cards and bank check cards. A minimum transaction and e-commerce convenience fee will apply to all transactions.
Can I pay for copies, case tracking reports, filing fees, etc. through the new ACIS website and what is a "Payment Profile"?
Yes and No. ACIS users may pay copying and subscription fees on line. Users may purchase information services online using a Mastercard, Visa, Discover, or a bank debit or check card issued through these providers.
Users have the option of creating a "Payment Profile" by storing their credit or bank card information with the Appellate Court's merchant services provider. By doing so, users will no longer be prompted to provide their credit or bank card information each time they choose to make a purchase or pay a filing fee. Users that choose to take advantage of one of the Subscription or bundled service plans will be required to establish a Payment Profile so that the monthly fee for their subscription plan may be automatically billed to their account at the first of each month. Regions Bank and Alabama Interactive, Inc. are the merchant services providers for the Alabama Appellate Courts.
However, unfortunately users may not pay for filing fees through ACIS at this time. All payments for docketing fees must be paid by check or money order when an appeal or petition is filed. Checks or Money orders should be made payable to and sent to the apprpriate court.
What is the difference between the new "ACIS" website and the online service referenced in the Interim E-Filing Rules referred to as "ACES"?
None. "ACES" was the acronym for the Appellate Court's original online service known as the Appellate Court's E-Filing System. When the Supreme Court authorized the new system that is referred to as "ACIS", an acronym for the Appellate Court's Online Information Services, the Court directed that the two systems could be referenced interchangeably when referring to the Appellate Court's e-filing procedures
The following details our policy regarding the information we collect through this website and how we will use that information:
- We collect information from you when you register with this website.
We consider the information we collect from you during the registration process as private information. That information may be used in the following ways:
- To personalize your experience when using this website;
- To insure that the contact information the Alabama Appellate Courts has on file for you is correct;
- To communicate with you regarding cases in which you appear as a party or an attorney or official of record;
- To communicate with you regarding the information services that are available through this website; and
- To process transactions when you choose to transact business with Alabama Appellate Courts using this website.
- We will not sell your private information to anyone for any reason without your consent.
- The information contained in documents that you e-file with the Alabama Appellate Courts is public information, unless specifically ordered sealed as private or confidential information by order of the Alabama Appellate Courts or by the laws of the State of Alabama. Therefore, the information contained in the documents you e-file, including information about you, may be provided to other entities that request to purchase copies of public information from the Alabama Appellate Courts.
- We do not collect or store the financial information you provide during the process of transacting a financial transaction through this website. When you transact a financial tranaction, you leave this website and communicate directly with our banking and merchant services provider, Regions Bank and its partner Alabama Interactive, Inc.
- This policy statement applies only to the information collected through this website and does not apply to information collected by our banking and merchant services provider, Regions Bank and Alabama Interactive, Inc., or information collected by the Alabama Appellate Courts offline.
What is your Refund Policy?
Other than for reasons related to a duplicate or over payment of fees that can be documented, we do not refund funds collect through this website. Convenience Fees associated with online transactions are not subject to refund.