ServeManager makes your job easier. Try the #1 process server software for free
Find a Process Server
Find a Process Server

Court Filing and Electronic Court Filing

Court Filing

What is court filing?

Court Filing and eFiling

Court filing is the process of submitting your documents, either electronically or in physical form, to commence or supplement an ongoing legal action. Filing documents in a timely manner is imperative for the success of a legal case. Filing after the statute of limitations will result in having your legal action dismissed with prejudice. In ongoing legal matters, missed deadlines can be detrimental to your case. Be sure to check with the applicable code of civil procedure to make sure you are submitting your filings in a timely manner.

Who needs to file papers in court?

Any person submitting a lawsuit, filing into an ongoing case, or reopening an old case, whether it be a civil, criminal, probate, or family matter. Common filers are pro se (self-represented litigants / private parties) or law firms on behalf of their clients.

In addition, many legal support firms offer court filing services for both case initiation and subsequent filings on a case. Quite often, legal support or process serving firms will offer filing of an affidavit of service as part of their services for an additional fee.

If you want to hire a legal support firm or process server to assist in case filing, please use the search bar on the top of this page.

What type of paperwork should be filed to submit a case?

Different documents need to be filed depending on the type of case and the status of the case. It is best to contact the appropriate court or hire an attorney to ensure the appropriate documents are filed.

What does it mean when your case is filed?

When a case is filed, it refers to the commencement of a legal action. Case initiating documents, such as a complaint, summons, and cover sheet are submitted to the court clerk for review. The documents must meet a specific criteria in a particular jurisdiction to be accepted by the clerk.

What is a court filing fee?

Each court filing has an associated fee. How much you pay depends on the court, case type, and type of document filed. If filing your documents with the court is a financial burden, you may be exempt from paying filing fees. Your court clerk will be able to provide a list of all the filing fees and will be able to let you know if you are exempt from paying fees.

What are the different types of court cases for which you can file documents?

There are two main case types that require filing. Civil cases are brought before a district court by individuals or companies in order to settle a dispute between them and another party. Criminal cases have been investigated by law enforcement and the individual’s guilt is determined by the court.

Electronic Court Filing (eFiling)

What is eFiling?

Court Filing and eFiling

eFiling is electronically submitting your paperwork into the court system. Federal, state, and municipal courts have varying rules and regulations for eFiled documents. Be sure that your filings meet the appropriate jurisdiction's filing criteria. In many courts, electronic filing is mandatory and they do not allow in person, physical filing. As eFiling is becoming more popular, it is important to contact a legal professional who can handle your eFiling needs.

In addition, you can hire a legal support firm on to assist you with electronic court filing. Please use the search bar on the top of this page.

Who needs eFiling?

Anyone commencing legal action, filing into an ongoing matter, or reopening a closed case in a jurisdiction that allows or requires the electronic submission of documents and pleadings is permitted to eFile.

Who completes eFiling?

Depending on the type of court, lawyers, companies, and private individuals can use eFiling, but contacting a legal support firm or process server who has experience in the legal system may prove beneficial for filing electronically within the court's standards. In some state courts, only lawyers or county clerks have access to eFiling. Oftentimes, you must register in order to complete your eFiling.

To find a legal support firm to assist you with your eFiling needs, please use the search bar on the top of this page.

Where is eFiling accepted?

eFiling is becoming more commonplace throughout the US. Be sure to contact the court that you are filing into to verify whether or not they accept eFiling.

What is an electronic filing service provider (EFSP)?

An EFSP is an online service that can help you file your documents and serves as the intermediary between you and the court system. Typically, an EFSP will offer a variety of additional services in addition to filing and you can use these services to evaluate which EFSP works best for your filing needs.

What's the difference between eFiling and filing by mail?

The process of eFiling is completely digital and done over the internet while filing by mail requires physically sending documents via mail.

What are the advantages of eFiling?

The biggest advantages of eFiling over more traditional filing methods are that it is significantly faster to process and it reduces the amount of printed paper. Traditional filing meant that law firms needed to have a document runner to deliver multiple paper copies of legal documents and pleadings to the corresponding courts and parties. There is also less room for error as data entry errors will likely be caught before you complete the process. But keep in mind, the technology is still maturing so technological failure is a potential disadvantage to eFiling.

Is eFiling mandatory?

Depending on the county or jurisdiction, eFiling may be mandatory or on its way to becoming mandatory. Check your court's website to see whether it is mandatory where you are filing.

eFiling help

Do you need help filing your court documents? It may be beneficial to contact a legal support service professional.

Find a legal support professional

There’s no better way to ensure your papers are served efficiently and legally than by using a professional process server. is a trusted network of local, pre-screened process servers and legal support professionals. To find a professional process server that can help you with e-filing services, please do a search for a city or zip code.