Our experience with e-documents in court
I tried to submit my first lawsuit electronically back in March 2017. That was before the E-Court system appeared. I sent a statement of claim with an electronic digital signature (EDS) to the email of the Economic Court of the Lviv region. Then the employees of the court administration simply did not understand what it was and the statement of claim was sent back to us.
However, it was already in 2018 that any other procedural documents in open proceedings, signed with EDS and sent to the courts’ e-mail address, were accepted for review. In fact, an employee of the office printed an e-document, put a mysterious stamp “Electronic Document” on it, and added a printout of the EDS verification protocol from the website of the Central Certification Authority, at that time subordinate to the Ministry of Justice. This was quite enough for the court.
Later, with the launch of the E-Court service, despite occasional cases of misunderstanding on the part of some judges, as well as problems with the launch of the service, the possibility of submitting e-documents was greatly simplified and today is already a normal procedural practice.
The inconvenience arises when you need to provide the court with an e-document signed by a QES (qualified electronic signature) as evidence. And the capabilities of E-Court allow uploading attachments only in PDF format, so it’s impossible to attach the document signed with QES. At the same time, with the launch of “E-court”, courts stopped accepting e-documents sent to them by email, which makes it impossible to submit original e-documents with QES.
We solve the problem in the following way. We submit to the court an electronic copy of such a document with the attachment of the QES verification protocol from the website of the Central Certification Authority of the Ministry of Digital Transformation. For the courts, this is more than enough to confirm the fact that the document was signed by the QES.
In other words, today we do not see any difficulties with the use of e-documents in court anymore. Nobody objects to the fact that documents are electronic and not paper.
Reasons to switch to electronic documents
At the end of 2020, we switched completely to online document exchange. We had a desire to optimize business processes during the crisis, increase the efficiency of document exchange, track the status of signatures and facilitate the return of already signed documents.
1First we analyzed the market for online electronic document exchange services: who among the partners uses what. We concluded contracts with the three most popular ones. And then we started offering the transition to electronic document exchange to those who hadn't already done so. We wrote about it on our invoices, expenditure bills, in separate information sheets. And now we are constantly explaining to both employees and our partners the benefits of going paperless.
2We have digitized contracts, expenditure invoices, work acceptance certificates, and all procedural documents in economic and administrative legal proceedings.
3We integrated Vchasno with our 1C accounting system. This allows us not only to send, sign and receive documents, but also to track the status of signatures, returns from our partners, and create approval flows – i.e. who is supposed to sign after whom.
Such automation significantly increases the efficiency of work with documents and saves time of employees.