E-Filing and E-Serving Documents in an Existing Case

Use eFileMA.com to file and serve documents in an existing case

How to File Documents Into Existing Civil and Criminal Cases Through eFileMA.com

Follow the prompts on eFileMA.com to "File into Existing Case."  Select the correct Appeals Court location, based on whether the case is "P" or "J," and find the case by docket number or party name.  Click the "Actions" arrow at the right-hand side of the correct case, and select "File into Case."

The case and party information will fill in automatically.  Then, select the filing code for your document from the dropdown menu and fill in the required fields highlighted in red. Under "Lead Document," click the upload icon and select the document.  After you click "Save Changes", you may then add additional documents by clicking "Add Another Filing" on the right-hand side.

Filing an Impounded Document in an Existing Case

To file an impounded document through eFileMA.com, follow the same steps (above) as any other document in an existing case.  Under "Lead Document," click the upload button and upload a PDF.   Upon uploading a PDF, the title of the PDF will appear below "Lead Document" and a dropdown menu titled "Security" will appear immediately to the right of the title of the PDF.  Click the "Security" drop down menu and select "Impounded."  

You may add additional documents (including public documents) to an envelope that contains an impounded document.  For example, a single envelope may include a public brief, public appendix volume, and an impounded appendix volume.  You must select the appropriate document security for each PDF by repeating the steps in the previous paragraph.  The default document security is public for public and partially impounded cases.  All documents filed in fully impounded cases will be impounded.   

After completing the service contacts, fees, and submission agreements portions of the filing screen, select "Summary" at the bottom of the page.  On the summary screen, you can confirm you selected the appropriate security setting by clicking directly on the document name under the "Filing Code" heading.  This will expand the filing details and  display the document security chosen.  At any time after submitting the filing, you can review the security setting you selected by selecting "Filing History" in the "Actions" dropdown in the upper-right corner of the screen on eFileMA.com. 

In addition to the above, you must also identify any impounded document by marking the cover or first page as impounded.  S.J.C. Rule 1:25, Rule 11(c).  In cases that are not fully impounded, care must be taken not to overly designate documents as impounded.  All confidential information should be redacted wherever possible, or if infeasible, segregated in a separate PDF.  Failure to do so may result in a submission being rejected.  

Use eFileMA.com to Serve Other Parties Electronically and Receive E-Service

By registering for eFileMA.com, you have consented to receipt of all Appeals Court notices by email only and service of all documents e-filed through eFileMA.com by email only.  It is your responsibility to ensure that the court, opposing parties, and eFileMA.com all have your current and correct email address. 

Upon registering for eFileMA.com, you are required to add yourself to the public service list. To do this, use the orange "Actions" dropdown in the upper-right corner, and select either "Firm Service Contacts" if using a firm account, or "Service Contacts" if using an individual account.  Click the "Add Service Contact" button, and fill in your information.  Be sure that the "Make This Contact Public" box is checked, and click "Save Changes."

Serve other parties using e-filing by adding their service contact to a case.  When the system prompts you for service contacts, select "Add From Public List" from the actions dropdown, and search the public list for the attorney or party to receive service. If you have not already done so, you must also add yourself as a service contact to the case at this time to ensure you receive e-service of future e-filings by other parties in that case. If a party is not registered with eFileMA.com, you must then serve the document on that party by conventional methods (that is, in paper form).

Date of Filing Shall be Determined By Court Hours

Pursuant to SJC E-Filing Rule 4(c), a document submitted through eFileMA.com by 11:59 P.M. on a business day shall be deemed to be filed on that day, unless it is rejected by the court.  A document submitted on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday shall be considered filed the next business day unless it is rejected by the court. 

No Paper Filing is Required

All documents that are e-filed through eFileMA will be submitted electronically only.  Neither a paper original nor duplicate should be filed unless specifically requested by the Court. 

FAR/DAR Courtesy Copies when E-Filing

If an application for direct appellate review (DAR) or application for further appellate review (FAR) is filed with the Supreme Judicial Court, you no longer need to serve a paper or electronic copy on the Appeals Court. The assignment of a DAR/FAR docket number by the Supreme Judicial Court now triggers automatic notice of the filing and the DAR/FAR docket entry's creation to the Appeals Court.  Therefore, in lieu of sending a paper or electronic copy of a DAR or FAR to the Appeals Court, please ensure that you have received a corresponding docket number from the Supreme Judicial Court.  The timely filing of a FAR in the Supreme Judicial Court will stay the Appeals Court's issuance of the rescript pursuant to Mass.R.A.P. 23.


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