Frequently Asked Questions about Electronic Filing
 

   A.  General

   B.  Registration

   C.  Electronic Notifications

   D.  Confirmation, Acceptance and Return

   E.  Documents and Attachments

   F.  Court Filing Fees and Payment Options

   G.  Service of Summons/Garnishments


 A.  General


1. Is the Missouri eFiling System the same as the Federal Courts PACER System?

No, the two systems are completely different. Separate account log on information are required.

 

2. What is the Missouri eFiling System?

The Missouri eFiling System allows registered users to file cases and documents electronically in courts participating in the program. The goal of the system is to enable attorneys and court clerks to work more efficiently by reducing the time and effort they spend managing case files, which ultimately will save them time, money and resources. Electronic filing allows subscribers to file and view cases seven days a week, 24 hours a day, with occasional unavailability due to system maintenance.

 

3. When will courts begin using electronic filing?

The Missouri eFiling System is in the first phase of development and will not be available to every court at the same time. The first courts will begin piloting electronic filing during the fall of 2011. To see what courts are participating in the program, visit courts.mo.gov/efilingstatus.

 

4. How does electronic filing benefit courts?

Missouri courts will see benefits that include:

  • Reduced file storage.
  • Reduced delays in retrieving court records.
  • Electronic and automated docketing and scheduling.
  • Ability to view electronically filed or scanned cases anytime during the day without searching for the physical case file.

 

5. How does electronic filing benefit attorneys?

Benefits of electronic filing for Missouri attorneys include saving time, gas and money – a “going green” approach. Other benefits to using the electronic filing system include:

  • Ability to file and view cases or documents outside of regular business hours.
  • Electronic service to other registered users.
  • Ability to receive notices, orders and judgments from the court electronically.
  • Elimination of courier fees.
  • Reduction of postage or overnight delivery expenses.
  • Reduction of office supplies and photocopies.
  • Less space needed for file rooms.

 

6. Who can use the Missouri eFiling System?

Any Missouri attorney in good standing can file a case or document via the Missouri eFiling System. The Missouri attorney will be required to register with the Missouri courts and maintain name, address and e-mail information. Out-of-state attorneys admitted pro hac vice will need to file through a registered Missouri eFiling attorney. Electronic filing for self-represented litigants is planned for a later phase. Public access for citizens still is available at the courthouse.

 

7. When is the Missouri eFiling System available?

The Missouri eFiling System is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, with occasional unavailability due to system maintenance. The optimal time of use for the Missouri eFiling System, however, is 7 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Monday through Friday. Support for the Missouri eFiling System is available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding state holidays. Planned system maintenance will be scheduled three business days in advance, and notification will be posted on the Missouri electronic filing website, Your Missouri Courts website and Case.net. Please be aware that system maintenance is necessary to ensure the availability, security and integrity of court data. In the event the Missouri eFiling System is unavailable due to unplanned events, please try again at a later time. If your filing is time-sensitive, please retain information about your attempts and present that information to the court as directed in Rule 103.06. Please check the courts’ website for notification about scheduled maintenance or system issues. For a list of all recent outages or system unavailability, visit the following link: System Unavailability Log.

8. How much does electronic filing cost?

During the pilot phase, there is no additional cost associated with electronic filing. Filers still must pay, however, the regular fee that now exists to file a case in a particular court.

 

9. What rules change with electronic filing?

Under the new rules for electronic filing, for example:

  • Electronic filing is permitted at all times when the electronic filing system is available.
  • The filing deadline for any document filed electronically is 11:59:59 p.m. on the day the filing is due.
  • A document is deemed submitted for filing when the electronic filing system receives the document. A confirmation receipt then is e-mailed to the filer.

To view all of the rules related to filing documents electronically, visit courts.mo.gov/efilingrules.

 

10. What if I have additional questions about electronic filing?
Contact the Help Desk via e-mail at osca.help.desk@courts.mo.gov or toll-free by phone at (888) 541-4894. The Help Desk is available 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding state holidays.

11. What case types have to be electronically filed in my court?

Check your court's order for the case types that must be electronically filed. A copy of the orders can be found at http://www.courts.mo.gov/page.jsp?id=47690.

 

12. What documents must still be filed in paper format?

All pleadings filed by self-represented litigants are filed in paper format. In addition, section 474.510, RSMo requires an original will to be filed with the Probate division of the court. Your court may require other documents to be filed in paper format.

 

13. What does an electronic signature consist of?

An electronic document requiring an attorney's signature shall be signed by an original signature, stamped signature or an electronic graphic representation of a signature, or in the following manner: /s/ John or Jane Person. See Rule 103.04.

 

14. How do I tell if the other attorney is registered for eFiling?

If an attorney is registered for Missouri eFiling a script 'e' is located after the attorney's name on the left navigation pane on the eFiling submission screens for existing cases.

 

15. What is 'My Drafts'?

A list of filings not yet submitted to the court that can be updated and submitted to the court. If you start a filing and stop, a draft is automatically saved for you. Access your drafts from My Drafts. Scroll to the last column on the right. Select Update to continue the filing or click on Delete to remove the filing.

 

Any draft that is at least 23 days old will display in bold red. The folder maintains drafts for 30 days. If a pending submission has been in any draft status for 31 days it will be deleted by the system.

 

16. Will the system notify me that a file in My Drafts is about to be deleted?

Yes, you may opt to receive notice from the Missouri eFiling System that you have a pending submission in My Drafts. That option is located in My Preferences under My Drafts. If the box is checked, you will receive notices, otherwise if not checked notices will not be sent.

 

This box will default as check marked and filers must uncheck the box if they do not want to receive e-mail notices.

 

17. Where do I find a copy of the parenting handbook?

You will find a copy of the parenting handbook under Handbooks and Manuals. In Your Child's Best Interest is available in English, Spanish and large print.

 

The court staff will be responsible for mailing the handbook to the appropriate parties.

 

18. Is there an option to perform a test filing?

The system does not have the ability for a user to file a test submission. You can submit a filing and monitor My Filings to determine the status of the filing.

 

19. What documents will an attorney be able to view through Case.net?

Attorneys who are registered users and logged onto the system can see all public documents on public cases if the document is available electronically, even if not an attorney of record on the case. In addition, attorneys of record can see confidential and sealed documents on confidential cases.

 

20. How can courtesy copies of filings be sent to certain people?

Copies of electronic notifications may be sent to additional people. Add additional e-mail addresses in My Preferences, under E-Mail Notifications. Any e-mail addresses added will receive all notifications.

 

21. If a document is filed mistakenly, can it be recalled through the eFiling system?

Yes. If you have filed a document or case mistakenly, go to "My Filings," locate the filing and under the "Status" column you will see an option to recall. You only may recall the filing if the status of the filing is "Submitted to Clerk-Recall." If a clerk takes any action on the filing once it is submitted, that filing no longer is eligible to be recalled by the attorney, and you must call the court and have the clerk return the submission. Provide the clerk with the EF Confirmation number if this is a new case, or the case number and your MOBAR number if this is an existing case.


If I have recalled a filing can I resubmit it after the corrections have been made?

Yes, you have 30 days from the status date to resubmit. If you have recalled a filing because you left information out or need to add information, you may resubmit. Go to "My Filings" and locate the filing you have recalled. Once you locate the filing, you will see "Recalled by Filer-Resubmit" under the "Status" column. Select the "Resubmit" option and proceed with resubmitting your filing.


If a filing is returned to me can I resubmit once the appropriate corrections have been made?

Yes, you have 30 days from the status date to resubmit. If a filing is returned to you by the court, you may resubmit once corrections have been made. Go to "My Filings" and locate the filing that was returned. Once you locate the filing, you will see "Returned to Filer-Resubmit" under the "Status" column. Select the "Resubmit" option and proceed with resubmitting your filing.

 

22. How do I get a certified copy of an electronic document?

The clerk will print the official court record and certify that copy.

 

23. How do I to create a PDF file?

See the information listed under the question What software do I need? on the Electronic Filing web page.

 

24. How do I file a document if the eFiling system is unavailable?

If the Missouri eFiling system is unavailable at the time the user attempts to file a document, the registered user shall make reasonable efforts to file the document as soon as the unavailability ends.

 

If a registered user believes the unavailability of the electronic filing system prevented a timely filing to the party's prejudice, the registered user may submit a motion to the court within 10 days of the user's first unsuccessful attempt to file the document. The motion shall state the date and time of the first unsuccessful attempt to file the document electronically and why the delay was prejudicial. See Rule 103.06(b).

 

If the court determines that the unavailability of the electronic filing system prevented the court from receiving the filing, the court shall deem the document filed on the day that the user initially attempted to file the document. See Rule 103.06(c).

 

25. What date will be considered the file date when a document is eFiled?

The filing deadline for any document filed electronically is 11:59:59 p.m. central time. A document is submitted for filing when the electronic filing system receives the document and sends a confirmation receipt to the filer. The electronic filing system will issue a confirmation receipt that includes the date and time. See Rule 103.06(c) and (d).

 

If the clerk accepts a document for filing, the date and time of filing entered in the case management system shall be the date and time the electronic filing system received the document. See Rule 103.06(e).

 

26. Can I file pleadings in bulk or in an automated fashion?

At this time, pleadings will have to be filed individually. Future modifications of the Missouri eFiling System will allow for an automated method of transfer for high-volume filers. When future implementations are created to handle bulk filings or mass load options, a document will be made available that outlines technical requirements.

 

27. When filing pleadings or motions in associate circuit court, can the user request a specific court date or does the court clerk issue hearing dates with notice to the parties at a later time?

The clerk will assign a court date. An attorney may request a specific date in the field for "note to clerk."

 

28. Will I be able to see all the documents I file?

As a subscriber, you have remote access to the Missouri eFiling System from outside the courthouse to any document in the system based on the case and document security. If you cannot view a document, contact the local court.

 

29. How are proposed judgments and orders handled with the Missouri eFiling System?

Contact the court. Depending on the judge, documents may be submitted by e-mailing a Word format document or by handing the judge a hard copy of the judgment or order to be signed, scanned and uploaded to the system.


30. What does E-CASE mean and how does it affect me?

An E-CASE is comprised of all case file documents that have been scanned or electronically filed and no paper files exist for that case any longer. The code E-CASE will display on Case.net to alert users that a case only can be accessed via electronic format. A public user must visit the local courthouse and request access to the public access terminal to view the electronic case file. Registered e-filers or court personnel with secure Case.net access may view the electronic file when logged on to Case.net.


31. I am the attorney of record on a confidential case. I can't find the case by searching by my client's name. Why not?

When a case is considered confidential, the only way to access that case it to search by the case number. No confidential case will show when searching by a client name on Case.net.


32. I need to eFile on an existing case but I'm filing on behalf of someone who is not yet a party to the case. Am I still able to eFile?

You may file on an existing case that you are not a party to. You must have the case number to access the case through the Missouri eFiling System. You will skip the step "file on behalf of" and in "Note to Clerk," define the party type on the case you are filing on behalf of. The clerk will accept your filing and enter you and the party you represent onto the case.

 

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 B.  Registration

 

1. How do I create an account for eFiling?

You must have your Missouri Bar number and the PIN number in order to register and create your account.

 

To register and create an account go to: https://www.courts.mo.gov/ecf/logon.do.

 

Enter your MOBAR number and MOBAR Pin and click Continue. If you do not have a MOBAR number, check the box and click Continue.

 

2. How is the password set up?

Type the password you would like to associate with the username you just created.

 

For your protection, you must create a password with at least 8 characters but no more than 30 characters. To make your password more secure, use a combination of at least three of the following: lower and uppercase letters, numbers and special characters like # or $. Your password must not have more than two consecutive characters in common with your username.

 

3. If I forgot my username or password, what do I do?

If you forgot your username, go to courts.mo.gov/ecf and click 'Forgot Username?' Enter the e-mail address you used to register with the electronic filing website and an e-mail containing your username will be sent to you.

 

If you forgot your password, go to courts.mo.gov/ecf and click 'Forgot Password?' Enter your username and e-mail address. Then you will be asked to confirm your identity by answering your three security questions. If you answer the three questions correctly, you will be allowed to reset your password. If you enter the answer to a question incorrectly or forgot what you entered originally, for security reasons, we will not tell you what your password is or let you create a new password. You then will have to call the Help Desk.

 

4. How often will I have to reset my password?

Never, your password will not expire.

 

5. I attempted three times to log in to my account and now it is locked. How do I get my account unlocked?

If your account is LOCKED; you must wait 30 minutes for the account to unlock before you can proceed with any instructions. The user has the option to reset their password from the login screen.

 

6. What browser settings do I need to make sure I have set up?

Firefox 6 or higher or IE8 or higher:

 

  • Session cookies enabled. (This should be the default.)
  • Javascript enabled. (This should be the default.)

 

IE Only:

 

  • NO COMPATIBILITY VIEW (formatting of pages will be off if using compatibility view) (This should be the default.)

 

The security setting 'Do not save encrypted pages to disk' must be unchecked. (This should be the default.) If it is checked, the PDF may not display.

 

7. What should my printer settings be?

Printer settings should include:

 

  • To print the file stamp from Adobe Reader or CutePDF Professional the size option should be set to Fit.

 

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 C.  Electronic Notifications

 

1. If I register for eFiling what type of electronic notifications (e-mail), will I receive?

The types of electronic notifications are listed below:

 

eNotice - Notice of Entry

 

  • The subject line of the e-mail includes eNotice - the court case number, thecase description and the court location description.

 

Confirmation of Submission

 

  • This e-mail shows details and confirms submission of any data and documents accepted by the court.
  • The subject line for filing on a New Case includes: Accepted-New Case, the case description and the court location description.
  • The subject line filing on an Existing Case includes Accepted-court case number, the case description and the court location description.

 

Confirmation of Hold

 

  • This e-mail shows details and confirms submission of any data and documents on hold by the court. This e-mail is used for both File a new case and for File on an Existing Case.
  • The subject line for filing on a New Case includes HOLD- New Case, case description, court location description.

 

Returned

 

  • The eFiling system generates a returned e-mail when a party on a case files a document electronically with the court and it is returned.
  • If filing on a New Case the subject line of the e-mail includes :Returned-New Case, case description,court location description.
  • If filing on an Existing Case this line of the e-mail includes : Returned-court case number, case description, court location description.

 

eService

 

  • When a document is filed through the eFiling system by another attorney on the case, an e-mail is be sent with a link to the document(s) to all other attorneys.
  • The subject line of the e-mail includes :eService, Case ID, case description, court location description.

 

Receipt of Filing

 

  • The eFiling system generates a receipt of filing e-mail when a party on a case files a document electronically in the eFiling system and clicks on the submit button.
  • If filing on a New Case this line of the e-mail includes: Receipt of Filing-New Case, case description, Attorney Reference Number, court location description.
  • If filing on an Existing Case this line of the e-mail includes: Receipt of Filing-JIS case ID, JIS case description, Attorney Reference Number.

 

2. Is there a separate registration process for eService?

No, if you are registered for electronic filing you will receive electronic notices from the court and electronic service from the attorneys. See Rules 103.08 and 103.09. The filing confirmation screen and Receipt of Filing e-mail for existing cases displays a listing of parties who will receive eService notification with the Party Name and Service e-mail Address.

 

3. Can my paralegal see my cases and the documents attached to those cases?

Registered eFiling attorneys may authorize non-attorney agents and employees to use their login for the submission of filings and to view documents on cases. See Rule 27.03(4).

 

4. I want to receive eNotices from all courts, not only eFiling courts. How do I receive notices from non-eFiling courts?

If you want to receive courtesy eNotices from courts that have not implemented eFiling, go to My Preferences Check and the box under the heading "Courtesy eNotice."

 

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 D.  Confirmation, Acceptance and Return

 

1. What rules will court staff follow when determining whether a document is accepted or returned?

Verify specific court eFiling standards by visiting the courts website via www.courts.mo.gov - About your Courts.

 

2. If a document is identified as having a "format error," is the whole submission returned?

Verify specific court eFiling standards by visiting the courts website via www.courts.mo.gov - About your Courts.

 

3. If a document is identified as having a "format error," is the whole submission returned?

Verify specific court eFiling standards by visiting the courts website via www.courts.mo.gov - About your Courts.

 

You will receive notice from the court when the filing is accepted.

 

4. If the court returns a filing, will there be an explanation as to why?

You will receive an e-mail from the court that includes the return reason and any comments from the court reviewer. If you need more information about the reason for the return, contact the court.

 

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 E.  Documents and Attachments

 

1. Is there a limit on the file size when submitting documents through the eFiling system?

Yes. The Missouri eFiling System will not allow any individual PDF document larger than 7.0MB (or 7,000KB) to be attached to a filing. Note that your combined file size if submitting multiple filings is 21.0MB.

 

2. What do I do if my document attachment is too large?

The file can be split. See http://www.courts.mo.gov/file.jsp?id=36873 for instructions on how to split a PDF document.

 

An attachment or exhibit that exceeds the technical standards for the electronic filing system or is unable to be electronically filed must be filed with the court on approved media as defined in Court Operating Rule 27. When an attachment or exhibit is filed on approved media, a notice of exhibit attachment shall be filed through the electronic filing system.

 

3. Will I be able to submit exhibits such as photographs and videos through the eFiling system?

Exhibits such as photographs and videos cannot be submitted through the eFiling system. Exhibits such as photographs and videos must be submitted and stored in their original format to the court. See Rule 103.05. Use the Document Category, Notice of/to and the Document Type, Approved Media to submit your notice.


4. I am trying to file a document and receive the message, "The file you are trying to submit contains data corruption and cannot be submitted." What is wrong?

This message typically means you are trying to file a PDF document that is password protected or has other encryption. To unprotect the document, while the document is open, go to "Security" in the PDF menu. Enter the document password. Deselect the Password Protected or any other Encryption checkboxes. Save the unprotected document and reattach the new unprotected document in the eFiling system.

 

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 F.  Court Filing Fees and Payment Options

 

1. Where do I find the filing fee?

Access the court's website at www.courts.mo.gov - About Your Courts.

 

2. How do I pay filing fees?

There are 3 options to pay filing fees:

 

  • Court debit account - contact specific e-filing court
  • eCheck - accepted by all e-filing courts
  • Credit card - accepted by all e-filing courts

 

3. What credit cards are accepted to pay fees when submitting a filing electronically?

The State of Missouri currently accepts MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express when submitting a filing electronically.

 

4. What information is required to set up an Electronic Check?

Bank Routing Number, Checking Account Number, Account Type and Check Type are needed.

 

5. What information will appear on my credit card statement for eFiling submissions?

The charge on your credit card statement will appear as follows: CSI - Vendor, Confirmation #, Filing Fee Amount.

 

6. What is a Court Debit Account?

A Court Debit Account allows you to pay money in advance to the court for future filings. The debit account works like a bank account and is used to pay filing fees for the cases you file. By keeping money in your debit account you can avoid the processing fees that are incurred when using credit cards and/or electronic checks to pay individual case filing fees.

 

7. How do I set up a Court Debit Account?

A Court Debit Account can be set up by completing the Request to Establish Debit Account form.

 

8. The courts already charge filing fees. Will people have to pay an additional fee to file electronically?

There is no subscription fee at this time. However, there is a 60-cent processing fee to pay a filing fee with an electronic check and a 3 percent processing fee when using a credit card (minimum $1 charge). There is no fee associated with using the court debit account.

 

9. How are receipts handled? Is an audit trail available? Is receipt documentation available?

Receipts for payment are sent as part of the notification e-mail and can be printed if the user wishes to do so. If the receipt is printed, clients can see the amount paid for the filing. Attorneys have an audit trail through the "My Payments" section of the system.

 

10. How do the courts issue refunds?

If the court for some reason rejects the electronic filing within the time limit set by the payment vendor (which the system displays for the user), the system notifies the payment vendor to refund the electronic check or credit card transaction or, if the filer paid by court debit account, the money remains in the filer's debit account. If the court rejects the filing after the time limit by the payment vendor, the court issues a refund check for the filing deposit. After the court accepts the filing, the court issues a check for any refunds of excess filing deposits in the same manner the court currently issues refunds.

 

11. How do the courts issue refunds?

If the court for some reason rejects the electronic filing within the time limit set by the payment vendor (which the system displays for the user), the system notifies the payment vendor to refund the electronic check or credit card transaction or, if the filer paid by court debit account, the money remains in the filer's debit account. If the court rejects the filing after the time limit by the payment vendor, the court issues a refund check for the filing deposit. After the court accepts the filing, the court issues a check for any refunds of excess filing deposits in the same manner the court currently issues refunds.

 

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 G.  Service of Summons/Garnishments

 

1. Does the court prepare the necessary documents (summonses, alias summonses, garnishments etc.) for issuance to the sheriff? Are the sheriff's fees taken from the filing fees?

Per Supreme Court Rule 103.10:


Upon acceptance of the petition or application for summons/garnishment the clerk prepares the necessary documents for service.


The summons/garnishment and any other necessary documents are sent to the attorney requesting the service document(s) by an e-mail containing a link for the filer to print the summons and pleadings to deliver to the sheriff or special process server.

 

After printing the necessary documents, the attorney must take the documents to the appropriate sheriff or special process server with the correct fee for service.


The collection of sheriff's fees will be up to each individual court. The attorney should contact the court in which they are eFiling for specific information regarding sheriff's fees. You may need a separate check for the service fees.


It is recommended that the sheriff file their returns directly with the court and that a special process server provide the return to the attorney to electronically file with the court.

 

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