If you’ve been filing, you know just how frustrating a rejection from a court can be. If the rejection reason is due to a common, and easily corrected, mistake it can be all the more annoying. Or even worse, receiving a rejection without an explanation (roughly 20% of rejected filings). The bottom line is that no one wants to see those big red letters —”rejected.” Not in 2020!
So why were your eFilings rejected? Here are the top reasons why:
#1: Missing/incorrect info
The top rejection reason is an easy one to look over. 32% of filings were rejected because they contained insufficient or incorrect information either in the filing workflow or on the documents themselves.
- Dates and times (28.4%)
- Party names (23.5%)
- Key details: phone numbers, zip codes, other (19.6%)
- Case numbers (14.7%)
- Attorney info (9.8%)
- Court location (3.9%)
It only takes one mistake – such as omitting a number or mixing up the parties involved – to land your filing into the rejection pile. Dates, in particular, stood out as a primary rejection reason making up for 9% of all rejected filings. These included unavailable hearing dates, incorrect filing dates, and other mistakes related to the calendar.
#2: Document incomplete/missing
23% of filings were rejected because of a missing or incomplete document, either within the filing or prior to the filing. This rejection reason often pertained to the wrong documents being filed or missing entirely.
- Out of order (63.5%)
- Incomplete: missing form, cover sheet, proof of service, etc. (33.8%)
- Exempt from eFiling (2.7%)
18% of filings were rejected because of some “other” reason (often relating to the case).
- “Probate referee has already been appointed.”
- “Case has been consolidated, documents should be filed under the lead case.”
- “Time to renew judgment has expired.”
- “The following case has been coordinated. All activity should be performed on the lead case, not this case.”
- “Matter was dismissed pursuant to stipulation.”
Another rejection reason worth noting (increasing from 3% to 8%) are filings rejected due to incorrect fees. It’s a good practice to compare the court’s fee schedule with the fees you are estimated to owe at the time of filing, to be sure that you are paying all you need to be.
More resources to help
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Review the Support Center
Have outstanding questions? Take a look at the One Legal Support Center. Here are some of the most relevant articles:
Utilize the “Message to the Clerk” box
Add any notes about your filing that might help to reduce any potential confusion. For instance, providing one or two alternate hearing dates in case the first one you chosen had been filled since you checked the court calendar. While it’s not guaranteed that the clerks will always take action based on that message, you will improve your odds of catching their attention and saving your filing.
Review the full 2019 Top Rejections Report
For more details and rejection reasons, please download the complete 2019 Top Rejection Reasons Report. It also includes a free cheatsheet for your next filing.
As more courts come online with eFiling, including big counties in California and Illinois such as (DuPage, etc.) there continues to be opportunities to hone your eFiling skills. Both clerks and filers are still learning how to make the most of eFiling. So check for annual rule changes, keep track of court updates, and get used to learning about all the new systems and processes.
Set yourself up for success in 2020. Being aware of the most common errors and knowing how to best avoid them can help you to avoid the frustration that comes with rejection and get your papers filed right, the first time.
What has been your most common reason for rejection?