By Jake Strickler, STATE BILL COLORADO
House Rep. Max Tyler (D-Golden) has introduced a bill that, if passed, will in his words “bring the court system up to the 21st Century all the way from the 19th.”
The text of HB11-1018 grants digitally-acquired and filed legal documents the same legitimacy and “original copy” status as the physical, notarized, wax-sealed documents the courts currently required.
Law enforcement officers, for example, will be able to type up and submit affidavits and other documents in common word-processing programs, freeing up the time it previously took them to deal with physical documents, Tyler said. The bill also ensures that the documents are submitted in a format that prevents editing or tampering after submission, assuaging fears of the opportunities for such behaviors that digital documents present.
Another plus: Anyone needing to demonstrate divorce papers when applying for a loan, for example, will have access to them instantly; a trip to the courthouse will no longer be necessary, he said. The bill will also make more time for the court clerks who are responsible for providing and taking care of these documents, resulting in greater efficiency.
Tyler, who has a decade’s experience in the computer technology industry, says he is motivated by the knowledge of the benefits that appropriate application of technology can present, whether to businesses or the court system. “This will be a time- and money-saving bill,” he says. “It will enable people to safely and securely work with documents online and prevent the need to go down to a courthouse to provide certified documents.”
The bill gets its first hearing Thursday at 1:30 p.m. before the House Judiciary Committee. The meeting is scheduled for House Committee Room 0107.