Documentation on the Utah State Court's eFiling system may be found online at http://www.utcourts.gov/efiling/ and will answer many questions reguaring the day to day operation of the efiling system and the court's policies on managing the filing process. Below is a list of common questions that have been received from attorneys that may be of some guidance:
Currently the Utah courts have made participate in the efiling system voluntary. As efiling use grows in the state that may change. Efiling is encouraged as it will allow firms to reduce the amount of runner or staff time used to deliver documents to the courts. (Hopefully along with a reduction in office supplies such as paper and printing costs.) EFiling is expected to allow the courts to refocus court support staff to other activities and improve the overall efficiency of the courts.
Anyone can efile if they have an account. If you are an attorney licensed by the court you can request an account as an attorney. If you are not a licensed attorney you can still get an account but you will be registered as someone that represents themself. This is known as a Pro Se filer. There are other types of parties such as Pro Hac or interested parties but currently you cannot register under these roles.
The Utah Courts have created a system that encourages participation of the market. Attorneys may currently either choose to create an individual account and use the web based e-Flex filing system by Tybera located at http://efiling.utahbar.org or to build a solution that directly connects their firm or organization directly to the court’s system. The best path will depend on the size of the firm, the number of filings completed in an average month, and the culture of the organization. Other vendors may undergo certification and come into the market in 2010. As new vendors step forth they will be announced by the Courts and the Bar.
If the firm elects to use the third party system each attorney needs to have their own account. Whichever attorney account is used to submit a filing, that is the attorney that will be associated with the case at the courts. Additional attorneys can be attached that do not have efiling accounts, but all efiling communication will be with the attorney with the account.
Large volume filers or large firms may find themselves incentivized to create their own direct connection to the court’s filing system. This will require either building their own private web based portal similar to the Tybera eFlex system in use at http://efiling.utahbar.org or integrating their existing case management system directly to the court’s efiling. Integration is a process of tying the case management system to the Courts programming interface for efiling and then going through the one time process of certification that confirms that the integration meets the requirements of the courts. (Tybera has an eFlex module that can greatly reduce the amount of time required to complete this type of integration.)
Firms are encouraged to explore this option with their case management vendor and determine if it will be a cost effective solution for the long term.
There are several registration options displayed below.
eFlex Electronic Filing Fee Schedule
Once you have registered there is no additional efiling fee, however the standard court fees are still applicable. Please refer to the courts web page to review the filing fees charged by the court.
Go to the efiling website located at http://efiling.utahbar.org and look for the request account link to register for efiling. This will take you through a series of screens that will ask you questions. The first screen will ask you to review the Terms of Usage agreement established by the court. To continue you must select the radio button that you agree to the agreement then press the Next button.
After you have agreed to the terms of usage, you will be asked to identify what company or firm you are associated with. Each user is associated with an organization. For example, if you are an attorney and you belong to a law firm you would select the name of that law firm if it already exists in the list. The pull-down option contains the organizations currently registered in eFlex. If your organization is not listed click the second radio button and type in your law firm's name and then click Submit.
The next screen has several questions to fill out. An asterisk next to a field indicates that the information for that field is required. You choose your own username and password. Your username must be unique. If the username you enter is not unique when you submit your request you will be prompted to select a different username. Once all the information is completed, a request to approve your account will be given to the Administrator. As soon as the Administrator approves your account you will receive an email message at the email address you entered with your registration information.
The Utah State Bar has held several training programs and will continue to do so throughout 2010. The Bar’s programs are accredited for 1 hour CLE and can be found at http://www.utahbar.org/cle a video presentation of this program can be found online after December 1st, 2009 and is accredited for 1 hour of self study CLE credit. Tybera may also elect to host webinar training events. Those events will be announced on the efiling information site as they become available. Documentation of the system is also available online at www.utcourts.gov/efiling Many paralegals and attorneys may find that this system is not unlike other systems and that reading the online documentation is enough information operate the system.
You can initiate several types of general civil cases through the efiling system and efile follow-up filings on those case types. General domestic filings and criminal filings are expected to be available later in 2010. They will be announced once they are released.
You can file on cases in which you are a named party. When you are not sure if you can efile on a particular case when you select file to an existing case you can type the case number and a participants last name and press submit. The efiling system will query the case management system to see if you can file on this case and if you cannot it will return an error otherwise it will allow you to continue efiling on that case.
The efiling system is browser based. You do not need to install any special efiling software. You do need a computer that is connected to the web and has a browser installed. You can use Firefox from Mozilla, Internet Explorer from Microsoft, or any other HTML 4.0 standards compliant browser.
All submitted documents must be in text based PDF format. It is anticipated that your computer will have a word processor such as Microsoft Word or Corel WordPerfect to generate the initial documents and that you will have access to an application capable of converting those documents to the required text based PDF. If you do not have a conversion application there are may free ones that may be found online. An example of a free PDF Conversion application that is in broad use is the CutePDF writer located at http://www.cutepdf.com/.
There is no limit to the number of documents so long as each document does not exceed an individual size of 2mb or exceed an overall submission size limit of 10 megabytes. The 'Add a Document' page in the efiling process will count how much disk space each document takes and will display that information as you add documents.
Many times you will need to include some paper documents such as a copy of a contract, a copy of a bounced check, or some other item in your submission. You must scan these types of paper exhibits into electronic PDF format for filing with the court’s system. Determining the type of scanner and developing a process for scanning is outside the current scope of this document. If you are interested in learning more about scanning please contact the Utah State Bar IT Director at firstname.lastname@example.org for some guidance. Scanned documents should meet the following criteria for submission:
- Should be no more than 2 megabytes per file. The number of pages that will fit inside of the 2 mb limit will depend on the amount of information on each page. Images, graphs, or other media renderings will increase the size of the file. If you have created a document that is over 200 pages and is larger than 2 Megabytes in size you need to split the document up into volumes, sections, or chapters. The efiling system has the ability to load attachments or continuation of documents and identify that they are associated with a previously included document. Make sure you always include the main document first when you split a document into smaller sections.
- Scan the documents in black and white. (Create color scans only if the loss of color will jeopardize the integrity of the information being scanned.)
- Submissions should be in PDF format. Check the operation of your scanner to see if it supports output to PDF. If it does not you will want to open up the scanned image file and then convert it to PDF using an application such as CutePDF.
Are there any other vendors out there?
Currently there is one active electronic filing service provider. As other EFSP are certified and begin serving the legal community they will be announced by both the courts and the Utah State Bar
- Tybera Efiling System: https://efiling.utahbar.org/
Tybera Development Group, Inc.
360 West 920 North, Suite 100
Orem, Utah 84057