A brief overview of the eFiling process in the Probate and Family Court Department.
Guide eFiling in the Probate and Family Court
Table of Contents
Overview of the eFiling Process
eFileMA allows attorneys, self-represented litigants, state agencies and others to easily file court documents through the internet. eFiling is currently available in all Probate and Family Court divisions, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
eFiling News and Updates
11/19/2020 - Now available in Portuguese: eFiling in the Probate and Family Court: Frequently asked questions (portuguese) / A Vara de Família e Sucessões: Perguntas frequentes sobre o eFiling
11/16/2020 - Now available in Spanish: eFiling in the Probate and Family Court: Frequently asked questions (spanish) / El Tribunal de Familias, Testamentos y Sucesiones: Preguntas Frecuentes: Cómo Presentar los Casos por Internet/eFile
11/3/2020 - Updated eFiling in the Probate and Family Court: Frequently asked questions and a Preferred Order for eFiling are now available
How do I register to use eFiling?
What case types can be eFiled in the Probate and Family Court?
- Complaint for Divorce 1B
- Joint Petition for Divorce 1A
- Petition for Informal Probate
- Petition for Formal Probate
- Petition for Late and Limited Formal
- Voluntary Administration Statement
- Petition for Guardianship of Incapacitated Person
All other case types must be filed by mail or in person.
Do I need to provide an original filing to the court?
No, unless a document is required by rule or statute to be filed in original form, such as, but not limited to, an original will. See process below.
In order to be accepted by the court, all uploaded documents filed electronically MUST be legible, including the certified stamp or seal for any document that is required to be certified (e.g., a death or marriage certificate).
Original Wills: An action to probate an original will may be eFiled. To do so, a copy of the will must be uploaded and the original will mailed or delivered to the court no more than five (5) calendar days from the date of eFiling. If the original will is not in the court's possession within the five (5) day time limit, any Letters of Authority shall not issue and the filing may be denied.
Do my filings need to be submitted in a certain order?
When filing a new case, the complaint and petition must always be filed first. There is then a requested preferred order for the additional filings to follow. If filing into an existing case (subsequent filings), there is no preferred order, except for the Annual Rogers Review.
The preferred order for filings can be found at Preferred Order for eFiling in the Probate and Family Court.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to file everything using eFiling? No. eFiling is not mandatory at this time.
Is there a fee to eFile? Yes. In addition to the court filing fee, if you are filing a new court case that does not already have a case/docket number, there is a one-time fee of $22.00, plus a credit card processing fee (of the total amount).
The fees above are applied to the envelope submitted regardless of the number of documents included, and charged at the time the filing is accepted by the court.
Is there an additional eFile fee for a Subsequent Filing? No. There is not an eFile fee for submitting a Subsequent (additional) Filing into an existing case.
Subsequent Filings can only be eFiled into the case types available in eFiling. You will need the correct case/docket number.
Can I eFile a Complaint for Modification or any other Subsequent Actions? No. At this time you are unable to eFile any Subsequent Actions.
What is the difference between a Subsequent Action and Subsequent Filing? A Subsequent Action is an action that is filed within a case that has usually gone to judgment/decree. For example: Complaint for Modification and Complaint for Contempt are Subsequent Actions. These cannot be eFiled.
A Subsequent Filing is a document that is filed within a case that is presently active. For example: Motion, Affidavit, Answer are Subsequent Filings and can be eFiled within an existing case.
Can I eFile an Affidavit of Indigency? Yes, an Affidavit of Indigency can be eFiled. You may also need to include the Supplement to Affidavit of Indigency form when eFiling.
Can I upload all my documents into one PDF file when I submit? No. Each document must be uploaded separately using its own specific filing code. If a filing code is not available in Tyler, it cannot be eFiled at this time. If there are multiple documents submitted within one filing code, the filing will be returned by the court and must be corrected and re-submitted.
Will I be notified once I submit my documents and if they are accepted or returned? Yes. You will receive an email with an envelope number once you submit your documents to the court. If an eFiling is returned, you will receive an email and all documents will be returned including a brief explanation as to why the filing is incorrect. Your credit card will not be charged. If accepted, you will receive email verification, with the case/docket number attached and your credit card will be charged.
What is an Envelope Number in Tyler? An envelope number in Tyler represents the documents submitted by you when initiating a case or filing into an existing case. This envelope number is used to track the status of the eFilings until they are either accepted or returned.
I submitted a New Case and it was returned. Only one of the documents was incorrect. Why weren’t the other documents accepted? If there is a document that is incorrect, the whole envelope will be returned. This keeps for accuracy of all the filings within the envelope when reviewing. If the correct documents are accepted and the incorrect is returned, the incorrect document would then need to be re-submitted as a Subsequent Filing.
If my submitted envelope is returned, do I have to upload all of the documents again to re-submit everything? No. When you look into your returned cases, click the Action drop down and select "copy envelope", the documents will automatically upload into a new envelope. You will need to complete the party information, but the documents from the returned envelope will already be uploaded. This allows you to easily fix the incorrect filing(s) within the first envelope. Once all the necessary information is complete, you may re-submit the new envelope.
When eFiling, what do I select for “Filing Type” in the drop down as there are three options? The options “EFile” and “EFile and Serve” allow you to electronically file with the court and send courtesy copies to other party(s) involved.
The “Serve” option will not file your document with the court. Serve is used to only send a courtesy copy to the other party(s) involved in the case.
How will I receive my summons/citation? You will receive your summons/citation by mail and service must be completed in the traditional manner. There has not been any change in regards to how a summons/citation is received from the court or how to complete proper service.
Additional Resources for Frequently Asked Questions
Are you having a technical issue with the Tyler eFiling website?
You must contact Tyler using the number provided if there are any technical issues within the Tyler website. To contact Tyler: 1-800-297-5377. All procedural questions can still be directed to the court.