Civil Case Opening
Attorney's Guide to Opening a
Civil Case (2.6 mb PDF)
The Attorney's Guide is also available as a PowerPoint (PPTX) tutorial (Internet Explorer 8 users please see note below):
To view these files in Internet Explorer 7 or 8, please save the file on your computer. When saving, change the file's extension from ".zip" to ".ppsx". You'll then be able to open the file normally.
Electronic filing of new civil cases is mandatory for attorneys. Self represented parties may not open civil cases electronically. Attorneys must register for CM/ECF. All documents must be converted to PDF. Please note that miscellaneous cases cannot be filed electronically at this time. Please visit our web page on miscellaneous cases for more information.
Filer tasks (via CM/ECF):
- Enter Civil Cover Sheet information
- Add case participants from the Complaint or Notice of Removal
- Upload initial pleadings in PDF format.
- Pay the filing fee through Pay.gov, and
- Transmit the case information and documents to the court.
Court staff tasks:
- Issue summons, if any
- Assign the judge to the case
- Do a quality check of the new case after it is filed, and
- Notify filer of deficiencies or errors.
Civil case forms
- Civil Cover Sheet
- Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
- Report on Filing or Determination of an Action or Appeal Regarding a Copyright
- Report on Filing or Determination of an Action Regarding a Patent or Trademark