Supreme Judicial Court Rules

Electronic Filing Rules

Supreme Judicial Court Rules Massachusetts Rules of Electronic Filing Rule 4: Electronic filing procedures

Adopted Date: 06/07/2018
Effective Date: 09/01/2018
Updates: Adopted June 7, 2018, effective September 1, 2018 (480 Mass. 1301)

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Table of Contents

(a) E-filing through the provider

E-filing shall be performed only through the Provider's e-filing system. The Provider shall receive electronic filings 24 hours per day except when undergoing maintenance or repair.

(b) Receipt of provider notifications

Whenever a User submits a document to the court through the e-filing system, a Provider Notification will automatically generate and transmit to the User, acknowledging the submission. Provider notifications shall also be sent at the time the court accepts or rejects any submitted document.

(c) Determination of date of filing and commencement of civil action

(1) Date of Filing. Any document submitted through the e-filing system by 11:59 P.M. on a business day shall be deemed filed on that date, unless it is rejected by the court. See Rule 4(d). A document submitted on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday shall be considered filed the next business day, unless it is subsequently rejected by the court.

(2) Commencement of Civil Action. The date of filing provided in Rule 4(c)(1) shall constitute the date of filing of any case initiating document or entry fee when determining the commencement of an action under Mass. R. Civ. P. 3.

(d) Clerk's review of electronically filed documents

Prior to entry upon the docket, the clerk shall review each document submitted through the e-filing system for compliance with these E-filing Rules, the court's Electronic Filing Program, and the Massachusetts Court Rules and Orders. Upon the clerk's acceptance, the document shall be considered "filed" with the court at the time the original submission to the e-filing system was complete, as stated on the Provider Notification transmitted pursuant to Rule 4(b), subject to Rule 4(c), and a Provider Notification of the acceptance will be transmitted. If a filing is rejected, the filing User will receive notice from the Provider, which shall note the rejection and the court's reason(s) therefore.

(e) Correction of errors

Upon the discovery of any error made during the e-filing process, the User may cancel the transaction while the cancel option is available in the e-filing system. The cancel option is not available once the court begins the review process pursuant to Rule 4(d). After this period, the User should abide by the Massachusetts Court Rules and Orders for correcting filings containing errors.

(f) Exchange of discovery and other materials

The e-filing system may be used for the electronic exchange of discovery materials and other communications between the parties that are not intended to be filed with the court. Use of the e-filing system for these purposes should be decided by the parties.

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