Court Review and Processing of Electronic Filings

Learn what happens after you submit a document and how to avoid common problems that cause filings to be rejected

What Happens to My Document After I Submit it?

After you file a document, it goes into "Submitted" status, and you will receive a confirmation email.  Next, a member of the Clerk's Office must review your document.  Based on this review, your document will either be accepted or rejected.

If your document is accepted, you will receive an email stating that it was accepted.  A copy will also be emailed to anyone you added to the "courtesy copies" field, as well as anyone you selected as a service contact.  Your document will then be docketed in your case.  Note that an accepted filing is not the same as a granted motion; a document being accepted merely means that it is docketed.  It is possible for an e-filed motion to be accepted and then subsequently denied.

If your document is rejected, it is most likely because it did not conform to the formatting or filing rules.  You will receive an email stating the reason why the document was rejected.

Why Was My Document Rejected?

SJC E-Filing Rule 5 allows the Clerk to reject any e-filed document for any technical nonconformance and to allow resubmittal of a conforming document.  The following list is a sample of potential reasons why a document that you attempt to e-file may be rejected:

  • Brief/Appendix is non-compliant.  Make sure it complies with all the formatting rules (see this checklist), and see the court-issued notice of rejection for details.
  • Appellant's brief filed without an appendix.
  • Filing code selected does not match document.
  • The document is missing a certificate of service.
  • Improper use of Waiver Account.  Payment required.
  • Document is illegible.
  • Document is not signed.
  • Documents or pages are out of order, missing, or upside down.
  • Document has extra pages (blank or repeated pages or extra document attached).
  • Document was filed in wrong case or court.
  • Document filed by a non-party.
  • Document attributed to the incorrect party.
  • Failed to redact personal identifying information pursuant to SJC Rule 1:24 (social security numbers, etc.).
  • Attempt to enter a new appeal beyond the 10 days allowed for docketing.  Mass. R. App. P. 10(a)(1).
  • Attempt to enter a new appeal when you are not the appellant.
  • Attempt to enter a new appeal when no assembly has been received from the lower court.
  • Attempt to enter a new appeal that has already been entered by another party.
  • PDF is corrupt.  Remove embedded fonts.
  • PDF is not searchable using optical character recognition
  • PDF improperly designated as impounded, instead of redacting, or if infeasible, segregating only those portions that should be impounded.

Accordingly, prior to submission, it is important to double-check that your submission does not contain one of the deficiencies listed above.  If your submission is rejected, you will receive an email containing the reason and you will not be charged the associated e-filing fee until the submission is accepted for e-filing by the Court.

Additional Resources for Why Was My Document Rejected?

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