PDF Requirements for all Electronic Filings

Learn How to Ensure Your Electronic Filings Comply with the E-Filing Rules

Specifications for PDF Files

All documents submitted for e-filing must be in searchable Portable Document Format (PDF).  Documents must be submitted as electronically converted PDFs rather than scanned PDFs whenever possible.  Scanned PDFs must be made searchable using an optical-character-recognition software.  Some office copier/scanners can do this automatically by setting them to text mode, or by enabling character recognition.  To make a PDF searchable after scanning, use "Recognize Text" in Adobe Acrobat's "Tools" pane, or use another tool such as FineReader Online or Smart OCR.  Minimize the file size of your PDFs by following these steps.

Documents shall not be locked or otherwise password protected.

Each document submitted for e-filing may contain electronic links, but only to navigate within the same document.  For example, a table of contents may contain a hyperlink to the corresponding page later in the same document.

A PDF may contain multiple documents related to the same filing.  For example, a certificate of service and supporting affidavit should be included in the same PDF with the motion to which they relate. However, multiple motions and different types of pleadings should be not merged in a single PDF; each different pleading should be a separate PDF.  Multiple PDF files may be e-filed in one envelope, even if they are separate pleadings, as long as they relate to the same case and comply with the file size limitations. 

Please follow these specifications for PDFs when e-filing the following types of documents:

  • MOTIONS -- the motion, supporting affidavit, and certificate of service shall be saved and filed as a single PDF.
  • SINGLE JUSTICE PETITIONS -- the petition, memorandum in support, and appendix shall each be saved and filed as separate PDFs. Any motion to waive and affidavit of indigency shall each be separate PDFs and filed in the same envelope as the petition and related documents.
  • BRIEFS & APPENDIX -- the cover, tables and content, addendum, and certificates of service and compliance shall be saved and filed as a single PDF.  Each appendix volume shall have a cover and table of contents and be saved and filed as a separate PDF.

There is no required PDF naming convention for e-filed documents.

You must verify the legibility and orientation of all PDF documents before e-filing them.

Filing Size Limits

EFileMA.com imposes size limits on filings.  No individual PDF document may be more than 25 MB in size, and no "envelope" (which can contain multiple PDF documents) may be more than 35 MB in size.

If your PDF files are too large, follow these steps to make them smaller.

Additional Resources for Filing Size Limits

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