eFile/eCourts

Circuit court eFiling

Frequently asked questions

Registration
Fees
Notifications
Filing and viewing
Signatures and notarization
Miscellaneous


Registration
  1. I am an attorney. How do I participate electronically on an eFiled case?
    You can opt in to an eFiled case on the eFiling website by visiting http://efiling.wicourts.gov and logging in with your eCourts account credentials. Select the "Opt in as an electronic party" link and proceed through the opt-in process. If you are not yet listed as the attorney of record on the case, you will be prompted to upload a Notice of Retainer when opting in and then will have an opportunity to file additional documents.

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Fees

  1. What is the fee to efile or opt into an eFiled case?
    The fee to use the eFiling system to file a case or opt into an eFiled case is $20 per filer.

  2. If there is a fee required to file a document on a case, how is payment handled within the eFiling system?
    The eFiling system determines when a fee should be charged. You will have the opportunity to pay for the document/case through the eFiling system using a credit/debit card, electronic check, or court debit account. You can find information on filing fees here.

  3. What do I do if I'm not financially able to pay the filing fee?
    You may apply for a waiver of the filing fee and the eFiling fee when you file your case. Submit form CV-410 at the same time as you file your complaint or petition. Defendants and respondents may use the same form to apply for waiver of the eFiling fee.

  4. I submitted my filing, but accidentally logged out before I paid the filing fee. Can I log back in and pay?
    You must pay for the filing during the eFiling submission process, however, if you log out prior to completing the transaction, the clerk may be willing to work with you on alternate payment arrangements. Contact their office for more information.

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Notifications

  1. Is it possible to modify my preferences so I will receive email notifications of filing submissions?
    Yes. You can adjust your notification preferences so that you receive emails when documents are filed on your cases. Conversely, you can also disable emails so that notifications are only available when you are logged into the eFiling website. On the eFiling website, click on your name on the right side of the top navigation to expand the options. Select "preferences" from the options and then select the radio button to turn email notifications on or off.

  2. Case notifications are being sent to my old email address. How do I fix this so that emails are routed to my current address?
    When you set up your eCourts account to use the eFiling system, you are required to list an active email address which is used for court communications and case notifications. eCourts account information can be updated by visiting https://logon.wicourts.gov. Select the "Update account information" link and after you've logged in, select "Update user information".

  3. Can I include my assistant as a recipient for notifications sent about a case I am working on?
    Yes. Select "preferences" and add an email address in the "CC email" field. When a CC email has been entered, all filing notifications will be copied to that email address. Carbon copying occurs whether you (the eCourts account owner) have your own preference set to ON or OFF. Only one CC email address is allowed. If more users must be notified, a local email rule or general inbox could be leveraged. For security, when accessing document links from within a received CC email, users must log in as the eCourts account owner to view the document. If you would like to authorize someone to prepare filings on your behalf, review the File Prep FAQ.

    For security, when accessing document links from within a received CC email, users must log in as the eCourts account owner to view the document.

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Filing and viewing

  1. Can non-parties upload information to a case?
    Yes, additional documents may be filed on a case by a person who is not a party or attorney on the case. Non-party filers do not have access to the case information and are not able to see case documents.

  2. I just opted into my case. Why can't I see it on the "My cases" portal?
    The "My cases" portal shows only open cases and closed cases with future activities by default. If you are trying to view or file documents on a closed case, select the "Looking for closed cases?" link near the top of the "My cases" portal and enter the county and case number or party name for the case you would like to see.

  3. When is a case considered "closed"?
    The "closed" status indicates that the final judgment has been entered in the case. For example, a criminal case is closed when the judgment of conviction is entered; a family case is closed when the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and judgment are ordered by the court. There is often further court activity in a case after it is closed.

  4. Do I still file original documents?
    Generally, no. When you file through the eFiling system, you are filing a PDF copy of whatever you send. Please review your documents to make sure the PDF is clear and easy to read. Even if you are not an eFiling party, you should file a copy and not an original.

    If you are attaching documentary exhibits to a motion (signed contracts, receipts, photographs, maps, etc.), make sure that the copy you submit is clear and contains all of the information on the original. Keep the original document in case the judge or the other parties ask to inspect it.

  5. What document formats are accepted by the eFiling system?
    Most documents should be submitted in PDF format (.pdf). However, proposed orders and certain forms and documents that require additional information to be entered by a court official should be submitted in Microsoft Word 2007 (or newer) format (.docx).

  6. Am I required to upload text-searchable PDFs to the eFiling system?
    No. Although it is not required, we do recommend that when possible, you provide text-searchable PDFs so that other parties on your case can easily access information by searching for keywords and phrases. Word processing programs like Microsoft Word and WordPerfect provide users the ability to save documents in PDF format. This option should be leveraged rather than printing and scanning the original word processing document. If you are unable to provide a text-searchable version of your PDF (perhaps you have scanned a signed or stamped document and your scanner does not have the ability to output text-searchable PDFs), a non-searchable PDF is sufficient.

  7. Can I submit some filings electronically and some filings in paper?
    No. If you are an eFiling party, you must use the eFiling system for all documents filed with the clerk. Paper documents may be hand-delivered only during court proceedings.

  8. Should I submit my summons and complaint as separate documents or as one combined document?
    These two documents should be submitted as one file in PDF format.

  9. I would like to serve using the eFiling system. Can I do that?
    Personal service is still required for initiating documents such as a summons and complaint, petition, or subpoena.

    For documents that do not require personal service, notice through the eFiling system is considered to be service on the other eFiling parties. The notice of activity generated by the eFiling system acts as the proof of service on the other eFiling parties.

    Service on "paper parties" (those who do not eFile) must still be accomplished by traditional methods such as mail and delivery services.

  10. When a judgment is entered on an eFiled case, can I pay the docket fee using the eFiling system?
    Yes, you can pay the docket fee on an eFiled case for which you are an electronic party. Go to the "My cases" portal and select the applicable case or search for a closed case. Select the "Docket Judgment" link from the "Actions" menu to initiate the docketing process.

  11. Can I file a satisfaction of judgment using the eFiling system?
    Yes, you can file a satisfaction of judgment on an eFiled case for which you are an electronic party. Go to the "My cases" portal and select the applicable case or search for a closed case. Select the "Satisfy Judgment" link from the "Actions" menu to initiate the satisfaction process.

  12. How can I request a jury trial on an existing eFiled case?
    Go to the "My cases" portal. Click the "File another document" link for the appropriate case and select either "Jury Demand for 6 Person Trial," "Jury Demand for 12 Person Trial," or "Jury Demand - Other." Upload the correlating document. The website will apply the applicable jury fee.

  13. How do I file exhibits?
    If you are filing a document as an exhibit during a court proceeding, you should submit a copy and not the original. The clerk will scan it and add it to the electronic file. Keep the original document in case the judge or the other parties ask to inspect it. If someone asks to inspect it, the clerk of court will store the original document.

    For non-documentary exhibits, you may bring them to court and submit them during the proceeding.

  14. When filing electronically, what is a reasonable time to wait before confirming that the filing has been submitted?
    Filings are instantly transmitted to the appropriate circuit court for review. You can monitor the status of your filing from the "My cases" portal. Submitted filings show a status of "submitted". You will receive an email notification as soon as the clerk of circuit court office has filed the case/document.

  15. When cases or documents are eFiled shortly before the court closes at the end of the day, are the documents deemed filed the same day?
    A document submitted by 11:59 p.m. on a day is considered filed on that day as long as the case or document is accepted by the clerk upon review. A document filed after midnight is considered filed on the next day the clerk of circuit courts office is open.

  16. What if I submit my filing within the filing timeline, but it takes me until after the filing deadline to complete the payment process?
    Filing is not considered complete until payment is made. Allow enough time to complete the entire process.

  17. What should I do if the filing date for an eFiling is incorrect?
    Contact the clerk of circuit court office where the case was filed.

  18. Is it possible to assign docket numbers to circuit court cases similar to those assigned in district court?
    No. The circuit courts do not use a docket number for entries.

  19. Can my assistants prepare filings for me without logging into my eCourts account?
    Yes. The File Prep feature provides paralegals, legal secretaries, and local government staff the ability to prepare eFilings using their own eCourts accounts. Once granted File Prep authority, support staff can prepare new case filings or file additional documents on your existing cases. To learn how to provide your staff with File Prep access, review our "Granting Access for File Prep" tutorial guide.

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Signatures and notarization

  1. How do I sign documents I wish to eFile?
    Type "Electronically signed by (your name)" where your signature should go. Add all other required information, such as bar number for attorneys. Then submit the document from your eFiling account.

  2. How does notarization work?
    The eFiling system does not provide electronic notarization. Documents should be notarized by traditional methods (hand-signing and sealing), scanned as a PDF document, and filed through the eFiling system. Be sure the notary seal is visible when scanned.

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Miscellaneous

  1. What are the main differences between the old eFiling rule and the new eFiling rule?

    1. Electronic filing is required for attorneys and for agents filing 10 or more small claims actions in a county per year. Self-represented litigants are allowed to eFile but are not required to.
    2. Documents filed by 11:59 p.m. on the day they are due are considered filed that day. Non eFiling parties may file by fax until 11:59 p.m. Local fax rules restricting the number of pages still apply.
    3. Parties must submit copies of documents, not originals.
    4. The small claims summons and complaint may be verified without a notary.
    5. Attorneys may authorize staff members to submit pleadings to the efiling system on the attorney's behalf and to apply the attorney's electronic signature. The attorney is responsible for all documents eFiled by staff members.

  2. Are electronic documents available on WCCA for the public?
    No. Electronically filed documents are only available to the parties through the eFiling system. They are not available to the public online. To see documents, members of the public must go to the office of the clerk of circuit court in the county where the case is filed.

  3. Should I be concerned about the metadata contained within electronic documents submitted to the Court?
    Both acceptable document formats (.pdf and .docx) may contain metadata such as authors, comments, versions, hidden text, and/or other personal information. If this metadata exists on your filed document, it is viewable by others with access to that document. It is possible to "scrub" this metadata before submitting it to the eFiling system. Check out the Adobe website for helpful tips on removing hidden/sensitive content from PDFs and the Microsoft website for helpful tips on removing hidden/sensitive content from Word documents.

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