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Civil Case Opening Protocol

Civil Case Opening Protocol (Revised April 1, 2012, pursuant to Administrative Order 12-017):

Registered attorneys must initiate a new civil case, file initial pleadings (e.g., complaint or petition), and pay the filing fee electronically for any new civil cases filed.  Reference documents and an Electronic Learning Module are available as training materials on this website.  Attorneys filing a new civil case electronically are exempt from Local Civil Rule 5.1 and 77.3(h), which require the filing of a Civil Cover Sheet.  Service of process documents are offered by filing as proposed.  Upon receipt of an electronically-filed civil action and payment of the filing fee by credit card (or filing of documents seeking leave to proceed in forma pauperis), the court will assign a judge, issue service of process (if applicable), and notify the filing attorney accordingly via the Notice of Electronic Filing.

Exceptions will be made on a showing of hardship or other good cause and for cases that are sealed in their entirety, such as qui tam actions.  Unrepresented litigants will continue to file their complaints, and all other documents, on paper.

Note: The Civil Case Opening Protocol does not apply to civil cases that are required to be maintained under seal by order or statute; such complaints should be filed by the traditional method. (See Local Civil Rule 5.7(d)(ii)(C) and 10.6(b))