There is no doubt that as more and more courts begin to mandate eFiling, the process has become streamlined. eFiling is quicker and more efficient for both law offices and courts alike.
But in this brave new world of electronic filing, it is inevitable that questions arise as the rules change and processes evolve. One such question we often hear revolves around electronic service. When it comes to the electronic world, the age-old adage of the chicken and the egg instead becomes – What comes first, eFiling or eService?
If you hearken back to the physical filing days, you will recall that you ran your documents down to the court and served opposing counsel by mail or by fax. Rarely did you physically serve filed-endorsed copies because it was not required! This applies here in the electronic world as well. Once you send out the documents electronically for service, you have done your due diligence.
eFiling and eServing simultaneously
When you use an electronic filing service provider like One Legal, the good news is that you don’t have to spend your day pondering such complexities! You can simply eFile and eServe simultaneously.
Start your order and add eService recipients to your eFiling. Once you click the Submit button, the documents you have uploaded to eFile are electronically transmitted to the court. The very same documents also go out via electronic transmission for eService.
Although the process is quick, easy, and conforms to C.R.C 2.251, it does typically beg the question about whether or not the eService recipients are served with filed-endorsed copies. In short, the answer is no.
Just as when you served opposing counsel with the same paper documents that you filed—not the filed-endorsed versions—so, too, does it work with eFiling.
Not only can you eFile and eServe simultaneously, you can also eServe documents that do not need to be filed, such as discovery or correspondence. Serving those voluminous discovery documents electronically is a time and money saver, making your law office more efficient.
Proof of service
Always remember that even in the electronic world, you are still responsible for submitting a Proof of Service. It’s important to ensure that your POS does reflect the appropriate manner of service! There is no required language at this point.
- In California: there is no required language at this point. Use the Judicial Council Proof of Electronic Service form or create your own proof on pleading. Both are acceptable to the court and can be submitted along with your eFiling!
- In Illinois: See Illinois Code of Civil Procedure 1-109. See Rule 12.
Just attach it to the document it supports or upload it as its own stand-alone document. That’s right, your eFiling transaction can therefore include eService and the Proof of Service form, along with the documents to be filed themselves.
In case of rejection
If your eFiling does get rejected for some reason, you may need to resend your eService as well as resubmit your corrected documents. However, if your filing was rejected for a reason that did not affect the document itself (missing information in the eFiling process or an incorrect case number, for instance) and the documents remain essentially the same, you probably don’t need to eServe your documents again.
Have other questions about eFiling and eService? Check out other articles on the topic.
- eService: what is it and what to know
- The benefits of eService: go beyond email
- Preparing for eFiling and eService: essential office tech
Or leave your query in the comments.