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Civil Case Opening Protocol

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 providing 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 must file initial pleadings and pay the filing fee (or seek in forma pauperis status) by the traditional method (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 10.7)