The electronic performance of procedural acts has been constantly favored by the legal system not only to adapt procedures to the technological innovations experienced by society, but also to make it an instrument capable of ensuring a fair and satisfactory judicial outcome within the shortest time possible.

The phenomenon began, still incipiently, on May 26, 1999, with the publication of Law 9,800/99, more commonly known as the "Fax Law". This standard allowed - in an innovative way for the time - the use of a facsimile or similar data and image transmission system for the performance of procedural acts.

Shortly thereafter, Law 10,259/01, known as the "Law of Special Civil and Criminal Federal Courts" was enacted, establishing, for the first time, the possibility for courts to organize services for serving parties and receiving petitions electronically.

In order to increase the security of electronic performance of procedural acts in the scope of the special courts, president Fernando Henrique Cardoso promulgated Executive Order 2,200/01, responsible for creating the Brazilian Public Keys Infrastructure (ICP-Brasil). This system was intended to "ensure the authenticity, integrity, and legal validity of documents in electronic form, of the supporting applications, and of the enabled applications that use digital certificates, as well as secure electronic transactions," as stated in the executive order.

Given the great repercussion of the standards in question, several laws were published amending the Code of Civil Procedure of 1973 (CPC/73) to allow the performance of procedural acts electronically. This was the case with Law 11,280/06, which established the possibility for the courts to regulate the practice and communication of electronic procedural acts, and Law 11,341/06, which authorized the presentation of proof of divergence of case law for the purposes of filing special appeals through electronic media.

In this context of growing technological procedural evolution, Law 11,419/06 was published, more commonly known as the "Electronic Procedure Law".

This normative law brought in several innovations to the CPC/73, besides having regulated the performance of several procedural acts electronically, such as the complaint and interlocutory petition. It also authorized the bodies of the Judiciary to develop electronic systems for processing and managing lawsuits through totally or partially digital records, which led to the creation of various digital platforms, such as PJE, e-proc, e-saj, and projudi, among others.

With the publication of Law 13,105/15, the current Code of Civil Procedure (CPC/15) entered into force, giving even more importance to the electronic performance of procedural acts, by providing, for the first time, that the Public Administration (direct and indirect) and public and private companies must keep their records updated in the digital case systems for the purpose of receiving summonses and subpoenas electronically (articles 246, 1,050, and 1,051, CPC/15).

Under the pretext of regulating this registry, Judicial Review Board Resolution 236 was issued (CNJ Resolution 236/16), which established the Platform for Procedural Communications (Electronic Domicile), among other procedures. Given the shallowness of the regulation, however, this system was not adopted in court cases immediately.

After that, Law 14,195/21 was issued, which amended several provisions of CPC/15, especially with regard to the communication of procedural acts. This standard established, among other points, that service of process will preferably be done electronically, reinforcing the obligation of registering the parties for the purposes of receiving summons and subpoenas, raising this registration to the category of a procedural duty (articles 77, VII, 246, head paragraph, CPC/15).

It was also established that, if the electronic summons is not received by the defendant within three business days, it must present in the record, at the first opportunity, justification for not having received the summons, under penalty of answering for contempt against the Judiciary, subject to a fine of up to 5% of the amount in controversy (article 246, head paragraph, paragraphs 1-B and 1-C, CPC/15).

With this, again with the objective of regulating the registration of the parties in the electronic case systems, CNJ Resolution 455/22 was promulgated. This resolution established the Judicial Branch Services Portal and regulated the service of summonses and subpoenas via Electronic Judicial Domicile and the National Electronic Gazette of the Judiciary (DJEN) - the latter already in regular use by the federal courts.

According to information recently released by the CNJ, the Judicial Branch Services Portal and the Electronic Judicial Domicile will finally be implemented on September 30.

According to CNJ Resolution 455/22, the Judicial Branch Services Portal, a digital platform for access by external users, will allow unified consultation of all electronic proceedings in progress, electronic petitioning, and access to summonses and subpoenas received both via Electronic Judicial Domicile and via DJEN. The system promises to standardize the various digital platforms operated by the courts, giving users greater security.

The Electronic Judicial Domicile, in turn, will allow the parties to receive summons and subpoenas electronically, either by e-mail or other digital means of communication they may opt for, such as SMS or instant messaging applications (for example, WhatsApp), unifying the communication channel between the litigants and the Judiciary.

It is important to reinforce that registration is mandatory for the Public Administration (direct and indirect) and for public and private companies, which must register within 90 days from the date of implementation of the Electronic Judicial Domicile, as expressly established by CNJ Resolution 455/22. This requirement is not imposed on individuals, micro-enterprises, and small businesses that have an e-mail address registered in the integrated system of the National Network for the Simplification of Registration and Legalization of Companies and Businesses (Redesim).

Without the registration, the interested party will be subject to procedural sanctions, ranging from possible imposition of a fine in the event of failure to confirm receipt of the electronic summons within the established deadline, to expiration of the deadline to respond to the summons. It will also be subject to the legal consequences associated with its inaction (article 246, head paragraph, paragraphs 1-B and 1-C, CPC/15 and article 20, paragraphs 3 and 4, CNJ Resolution 455/22).

It is essential, therefore, to monitor the implementation of the Electronic Court Domicile and subsequent registration as requested. We are available to assist you with this new measure.