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  1. #1

    Default Can Judge Use Electronic Signature to Sign Court Order

    My question involves court procedures for the state of: Federal

    Federal judge has to sign court order use pen and no electronic signature can be used? No one in the world could sign his/her name exact same twice! If I found judge's court orders have the exactly same signature (confirmed with expert of document examiners), can I conclude that judge's signature has been forged?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can Judge Use Electronic Signature to Sign Court Order

    You don't understand what an electronic signature is. It's just "/S/ on the signature line and is used by parties who electronically file documents. The judge's signature was stamped and that is perfectly acceptable.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Can Judge Use Electronic Signature to Sign Court Order

    I understand /S/ on the signature line.

    Judge's signature would stamped on order by judge or his/her staff? Procedure type order would use stamped signature, while important order sign by judge himself/herself? Who make the call, Judge or staff? Who would control or handle the judge's signature stamp if there is one? Every judge has one? Any rule or law regulate this practice? Is it possible someone would use the stamp without judge's agreement, knowledge and issue a forged order? Can stamped order be sent to party without enter into ECF?

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    Default Re: Can Judge Use Electronic Signature to Sign Court Order

    Quote Quoting worldfg
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    Judge's signature would stamped on order by judge or his/her staff? Procedure type order would use stamped signature, while important order sign by judge himself/herself? Who make the call, Judge or staff? Who would control or handle the judge's signature stamp if there is one? Every judge has one? Any rule or law regulate this practice? Is it possible someone would use the stamp without judge's agreement, knowledge and issue a forged order? Can stamped order be sent to party without enter into ECF?
    It's probably not a stamp, but rather a computer added signature using the court's electronic signature system. The judges and their clerks draft most orders and other documents that they sign on computer. With computer signature systems there is no need to print a copy and have the judge sign it. The judge approves the order, the computer attaches the electronic signature to the file, and then it gets transmitted to the court clerk for filing and issuing to the parties. This is not anything really new in federal courts. The first e-signature by a federal district court judge was done 10 years ago.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Can Judge Use Electronic Signature to Sign Court Order

    Rule 4-403. Electronic signature and signature stamp use.
    Intent:
    To establish a uniform procedure for the use of judges' and commissioners' electronic signatures and signature stamps.

    Applicability:
    This rule shall apply to all trial courts of record and not of record.

    Statement of the Rule:
    (1) A clerk may, with the prior approval of the judge or commissioner, use an electronic signature or signature stamp in lieu of obtaining the judge's or commissioner's signature on the following:

    (1)(A) bail bonds from approved bondsmen;

    (1)(B) bench warrants;

    (1)(C) civil orders for dismissal when submitted by the plaintiff in uncontested cases or when stipulated by both parties in contested cases;

    (1)(D) civil orders for dismissal pursuant to Rule 4-103, URCP 3 and URCP 4(b);

    (1)(E) orders to show cause;

    (1)(F) orders to take into custody;

    (1)(G) summons;

    (1)(H) supplemental procedure orders;

    (1)(I) orders setting dates for hearing and for notice;

    (1)(J) orders on motions requesting the Department of Workforce Services (DWS) to release information concerning a debtor, where neither DWS nor the debtor opposes the motion;

    (1)(K) orders for transportation of a person in custody to a court hearing, including writs of habeas corpus ad prosequendum and testificandum;

    (1)(L) orders appointing a court visitor; and

    (1)(M) domestic relations injunctions under URCP 109.

    (2) When a clerk is authorized to use a judge’s or commissioner’s electronic signature or signature stamp as provided in paragraph (1), the clerk shall sign his or her name on the document directly beneath the electronic signature or stamped imprint of the judge's or commissioner's signature.

    (3) All other documents requiring the judge's or commissioner's signature shall be personally signed by the judge or commissioner, unless the judge or commissioner, on a document by document basis, authorizes the clerk to use the judge's or commissioner's electronic signature or signature stamp in lieu of the judge's or commissioner's signature. On such documents, the clerk shall indicate in writing that the electronic signature or signature stamp was used at the direction of the judge or commissioner and shall sign his or her name directly beneath the electronic signature or stamped imprint of the judge's or commissioner's signature.

    Effective May 1, 2019

    The procedure or practice you described did not meet the Rule 4-403?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can Judge Use Electronic Signature to Sign Court Order

    Quote Quoting worldfg
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    Rule 4-403. Electronic signature and signature stamp use.
    That is a rule for the Utah state courts. It does not apply in federal courts as the states cannot regulate the federal government. As you said this matter was in federal court, this rule is irrelevant.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can Judge Use Electronic Signature to Sign Court Order

    While the intent is probably towards attorney's and parties, the many federal courts have local rules that allow for e-signing of "documents filed with the court." Don't know why that would preclude judges.

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    Default Re: Can Judge Use Electronic Signature to Sign Court Order

    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    While the intent is probably towards attorney's and parties, the many federal courts have local rules that allow for e-signing of "documents filed with the court." Don't know why that would preclude judges.
    Federal judges are not precluded from using electronic signatures, of course. However, typically the rules that apply to judges differ from what attorneys and parties appearing in the court must do for electronic signatures. For example, the U.S. District Court for the District of Eastern Virginia in its e-signature procedure two distinct parts: the first three paragraphs deal with e-signatures by judges and the rest e-signatures by others that are filing documents with the court.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Can Judge Use Electronic Signature to Sign Court Order

    Thanks for the info. I talked with district clerk. We don't have any local rule regarding electronic signature. The case manager confirmed with me that judge did sign those orders!??? I will let you know judge's explanation about how he has signed the orders with exact same signatures.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can Judge Use Electronic Signature to Sign Court Order

    Quote Quoting worldfg
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    Federal judge has to sign court order use pen and no electronic signature can be used?
    Despite your use of a question mark, this sentence is not a question. If you intended it to be a question, the answer is that no law requires federal judges to sign orders with pens or prohibits the use of e-signatures. In fact, I can't remember the last time I saw a federal court order that wasn't e-signed.


    Quote Quoting worldfg
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    If I found judge's court orders have the exactly same signature (confirmed with expert of document examiners), can I conclude that judge's signature has been forged?
    You can conclude anything you like, but such a conclusion would not be logical.

    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    While the intent is probably towards attorney's and parties, the many federal courts have local rules that allow for e-signing of "documents filed with the court." Don't know why that would preclude judges.
    Unless a pro se party has been given permission by the court to file documents other than through the e-filing system, virtually all documents filed with federal courts are not hand signed (affidavits and declarations being the only exception I can think of off the top of my head).

    Quote Quoting worldfg
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    I will let you know judge's explanation about how he has signed the orders with exact same signatures.
    I doubt anyone here cares. More importantly, I doubt that the judge will care to explain this sort of thing to you.

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