For Pro Se Civil Case Opening instructions, see Representing Yourself page
Opening Sealed Cases: Per the Electronic Filing Procedures (Section IV.A.), sealed cases cannot be opened electronically and must be filed in paper either by mail or in-person.
Preparing to File: Civil Case Opening
- Review Attorney Civil Case Opening guidance
Preparing to File: Notice of Removal
- Required reading: Attorney Notice of Removal guidance
Opening Your Civil Case (via CM/ECF):
Select a topic to see more detailed instructions.
- Emergency Filings
- Complete and Enter Civil Cover Sheet information
- Nature of Suit Code Descriptions
- Add case participants from the initiating document (i.e. Complaint or Notice of Removal)
- Upload initial pleadings and all required documents in PDF format
- Pay the filing fee through Pay.gov, and
- Complete case opening and send Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF)
- Follow-up Filings
After you file, court staff will complete the following 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
For additional information, review our Case Opening Frequently asked questions.