New York State Unified Court System
NYSCEF - Supreme & Court of Claims (Live System)

FAQ

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Index

  1. General
  2. Mandatory E–Filing Cases
  3. Equipment
  4. Forms and Notices
  5. The Filing Process
  6. Online Payments
  7. Bulk E–Filing
  8. Further Information
  9. Document Filing Requirements

General
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  1. What is the electronic filing system?
    The New York State Courts Electronic Filing System (NYSCEF) is a means of filing and serving legal documents electronically with various courts, including the Surrogate's Court, Supreme Court and the Court of Claims. The system is accessible through a website located at this address: https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/nyscef
  2. What are the benefits of electronic filing?
    Electronic filing offers many benefits to attorneys, clients and self–represented parties in Supreme Court and the Court of Claims. Once jurisdiction is obtained, attorneys can file and serve papers at any time from any place via the NYSCEF system. A case can be initiated or post-commencement documents filed at any time on any day, even when the courts are closed. Service through NYSCEF could hardly be easier. Multiple attorneys working on a case can view the file simultaneously, and do so from different locations. Storage of papers is simplified and expenses reduced. Fees can be paid on-line with a credit or bank card bearing a Mastercard or Visa logo. The system provides immediate e–mail notice of all filings, including filing of all orders, judgments, and decisions, which will be available on–line. The docket is clear and easy to work with. The system is easy to learn and simple to use. Where necessary, documents containing confidential information can be sealed if the assigned Justice so directs.
  3. What does it cost to use NYSCEF?
    Nothing. There is no fee for use of the system – whether for filing documents, accessing the e–docket, serving documents through NYSCEF, or printing documents from it, irrespective of the number of documents involved – though regular filing fees must of course be paid.
  4. In what kinds of cases and in what jurisdictions may NYSCEF be used?
    Electronic filing on a voluntary basis is authorized for certain case types in Supreme Court in the 17 counties listed on the NYSCEF home page and for actions in the 12 counties that constitute the Albany District of the Court of Claims. (E–filing is also available in Surrogate's Court in certain counties. See elsewhere on the site for information on how to e–file there.) In all but two of the 17 counties, e–filing in Supreme Court is available in tort, commercial and tax certiorari cases. In two counties (Broome and Erie), e–filing is available in any case type as allowed by the Court. Also, see the next Q and A.
  5. Are there any cases that must be e–filed?
    Yes. Certain case types in New York, Westchester and Rockland counties are subject to mandatory e–filing. Three other counties have also been designated as eligible mandatory e–filing counties. For details, please see the relevant legislation (Chapter 416 of the Laws of 2009 and Chapter 528 of the Laws of 2010) and rules (Uniform Rule 202.5–bb) posted on our website, as well as the E–filing Protocol of the counties involved. For more about mandatory e–filing, see below.
  6. Who can initiate use of the system?
    A new case can be commenced electronically by an attorney who has a User Identification (ID) and Password. At this time, self-represented parties may not initiate a case on NYSCEF. Consent is not required from any other party in order to commence a case, but subsequent documents in consensual cases may be e–filed by, and served electronically upon, only parties who have consented. Jurisdiction must be acquired over all defendants/respondents through service of the initiating papers as provided in the Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) unless the defendants⁄respondents consent to accept eservice. In addition, a Notice Regarding Availability of Electronic Filing or, in a mandatory case, a Notice of Commencement of Mandatory E–Filed Case must be served with the commencement papers. (These notices, and the other NYSCEF forms and notices referred to in these FAQs, are available in the Forms section of the website.) These documents notify the recipients that the case has been commenced in the NYSCEF system. A non-mandatory case that was commenced by filing of documents in hard copy form may be converted to e–filing by stipulation of the parties or by the service of a Notice Regarding Availability of Electronic Filing and the consent of some or all parties.
  7. Is an attorney required to record consent in each consensual e–filing case in which he or she participates?
    Yes. With a single User ID and Password, an attorney admitted in New York can use NYSCEF in an unlimited number of cases, in all authorized courts and case types. In order to participate in e–filing in any particular consensual case, however, the attorney must record his⁄her consent in NYSCEF in the case file of each matter in which he/she wishes to participate. A self-represented party and an attorney admitted pro hac vice can only use NYSCEF for the particular case in which they are involved; their User ID and Password will function only for that case.
  8. Who can participate in e–filing?
    In a non-mandatory case, all parties or fewer than all (even only one) may participate in e–filing. In a mandatory case (with the very limited exceptions set out in Uniform Rule 202.5–bb), all parties are required to file and serve documents through the NYSCEF system. In an e–filed case, except in narrow circumstances, the County Clerk and the clerk of the court will not accept paper documents from a participating e–filing party. After jurisdiction has been obtained, service of documents shall be made through NYSCEF among participating parties; non-participating parties will serve and be served in hard copy form in accordance with the CPLR. To file and serve documents through NYSCEF, attorneys and self-represented parties must record their consent or, in a mandatory case, record the name of the party whom they represent, in the NYSCEF system. In order to do that, each participant must first obtain a User ID and Password. Parties who are served with a Notice Regarding Availability of Electronic Filing or a Notice of Commencement of Mandatory E–Filed Case should register and obtain a User ID and Password (if they do not have one already) and record their consent/representation as promptly thereafter as possible.
  9. Does consent to NYSCEF or recording a representation constitute appearance in the case?
    No.
  10. Can more than one attorney of record consent or note representation in NYSCEF for a single party in a particular case?
    Multiple attorneys may be listed in NYSCEF as counsel for a party. An attorney may also represent multiple parties in one case.
  11. If I am an attorney, may I authorize someone else to act as my agent for purposes of efiling?
    Yes, you may authorize a paralegal or other member of your staff to file a document with NYSCEF on your behalf using your User ID and Password, but you would be the filer of record and responsible for the filing. In addition, NYSCEF allows attorney service enterprises to obtain a Filing Agent User ID and Password so that they can file documents on behalf of attorneys who do not wish to do the filing themselves. A filer of record in NYSCEF must be a member of the New York Bar, an attorney admitted pro hac vice, a selfrepresented party, or an Agent Filing User in the business of filing on behalf of attorneys.
  12. What does an attorney/party need to use NYSCEF?
    In order to be able to use NYSCEF to file and serve documents, a filer must have a User ID and Password. Necessary equipment is addressed below.
  13. How can an attorney/party obtain a User ID and Password?
    It is quick and easy. To obtain a User ID and Password, an attorney for a party or self-represented party must submit a Filing User Registration form, a fillable version of which is available on the NYSCEF website. The form should be completed on–line, printed out and signed, and transmitted as instructed in the form. These steps are needed for security reasons. The sender will shortly thereafter receive the User ID and Password. Please turn off the pop-up blocker on your browser before completing the form.
  14. Can I change my User ID and Password?
    Your User ID cannot be changed directly by you. If there is a reason to do so (e.g., compromised security), you can request a substitute User ID by contacting the NYSCEF E–Filing Resource Center (contact information below). NYSCEF will provide you with an initial Password along with the ID and it will permit you to change that Password to one more convenient for you or easier to remember. Should you later need to reset your password, you can do so using the Forgot Password procedure explained in the next answer.
  15. If I forget my password or user name, how can I get the username or have the password reset?
    At the login screen, the following links are provided: Forgot User Name? and Forgot Password? Click the appropriate link and follow the onscreen directions to retrieve your User ID or reset your password.
  16. Must attorneys re–register for a new User ID and Password for each NYSCEF case?
    No. An attorney (other than one admitted pro hac vice) who has registered as an e–filer for one matter and received a User ID and Password continues to use the same User ID and Password for each subsequent NYSCEF matter, whether the case is a Surrogate's Court, Supreme Court or Court of Claims matter, in all of which NYSCEF is available in some case types and jurisdictions.
  17. Must an attorney re–register for a new User ID and Password when changing firms?
    No. However, the filer must submit a "Change of E–Mail Service Address Request Form" to the E–Filing Resource Center and update his or her profile on-line via the "My Account" tab. A user who fails to do so will probably not receive NYSCEF service notifications, as the old address will most likely cease to function. The attorney may change any additional e–mail addresses listed with NYSCEF on his⁄her own. See below for more on service and additional addresses.
  18. Am I notified of filings in the system and, if so, by what means?
    Yes, by e–mail.
  19. What do I as the filing attorney on a case have to do to establish the necessary e–mail address?
    Actually, two types of e–mail addresess are used in NYSCEF and it is important to distinguish between them:
    Service Address: One address, which is provided by a prospective filer upon registration with NYSCEF, is an e–mail address for the purpose of service of documents through NYSCEF (how e–service is effectuated is explained below). This address is denominated on the registration form and in NYSCEF as the "E–mail Service Address".
    Optional Addresses: In addition, a registered filer may have other, optional e–mail addresses listed in NYSCEF at which additional e–mail notifications of filings can be made. These optional addresses can be other e–mail addresses of the registered filer, or those of other persons whose receipt of additional notice would be beneficial for and convenient to the filer and his⁄her law firm, such as another partner, an associate, a paralegal, a managing clerk, and the like. After completing the NYSCEF registration form, the applicant must provide an "E–mail Service Address" for service and may, if he or she wishes, provide up to two "Optional Addresses" through the "My Account" tab on the site.
  20. How can I change my E–mail Service Address?
    A registered filer cannot personally change the E–mail Service Address. This address can only be changed by the user's submitting a "Change of E–mail Service Address Request" form to the NYSCEF Resource Center. It is imperative that each attorney request a change of his⁄her E–mail Service Address if for any reason the address ceases to be accurate (e.g., if the attorney changes the service provider through which he or she receives e–mails, or, as discussed, moves to a new firm).
  21. How can I change my Optional Address(es)?
    The attorney can personally modify the Optional Addresses at any time via the "My Account" tab after logging into NYSCEF.
  22. Can I designate different Optional Addresses for different cases?
    At the moment, the answer is no, although we shortly will modify NYSCEF to create this capability. Therefore, the E–mail Service Address designated by an attorney upon registering with NYSCEF and any Optional Addresses designated then or later or modified later constitute the E–mail Service Address and the Optional Addresses for every case in which that attorney appears as the attorney of record in NYSCEF. Despite this limitation, the attorney, until the new capability is activated, can, by a very simple means, effectuate the orderly distribution of the additional notices among whichever attorneys in the firm need to receive them depending upon the case in which the notice is issued. That is, if the attorney appears as the attorney of record in NYSCEF in, say, ten different cases in which he or she is assisted by ten different partners and twenty different associates, the attorney can easily assure that each of those partners and attorneys, or only some of them, will receive a notification of every filing in the case on which they are working, but no notifications in the nine cases on which they are not working. This can be done as follows: the attorney of record, upon registration or at a later time, can designate a managing attorney or clerk, paralegal, calendar clerk, or other person on the attorney's staff as one of the Optional Addressees for additional notices in that attorney's cases. That person can in turn establish in his or her e–mail box a set of rules or filtering that will forward automatically all notifications as they come in on the ten cases to those attorneys or other persons in the firm (and only those individuals) who need to receive additional notices about each individual case. The establishment of rules or filtering is easily done in the e–mail program of the firm.
  23. What if another attorney in my firm takes over a case in which I am listed in NYSCEF as the attorney of record?
    You must contact the Resource Center. The other attorney, of course, must have, or will need promptly to obtain, a User ID and Password by registering with NYSCEF.
  24. How can I learn how traditional court and County Clerk procedures, such as regarding the processing of proposed orders to show cause, are applied in e–filed cases?
    You should consult the E–Filing Protocol of the court and the County Clerk for the county in question, posted on their websites.
  25. How do I file if the NYSCEF system has a technical failure and cannot be accessed?
    Failures rarely occur, but the general rules (Uniform Rule 202.5–b) address what would happen were one to occur. A technical failure occurs when the system cannot be accessed continuously or intermittently over the course of any period of greater than one hour after noon of that day. The Resource Center will post notice of all such technical failures on the website. If a failure has been posted, the appropriate clerk will accept filing in hard copy. With the exception of deadlines that cannot be extended by law, the time to file any document shall be extended for one day for each day a technical failure occurs.
  26. What training is available for use of the NYSCEF system?
    A User's Manual is available on the NYSCEF website, as is a short instructional program. For information about training sessions, consult the "Announcements" link on the NYSCEF site or contact the NYSCEF Resource Center. The Resource Center presents in New York City weekly, and from time to time elsewhere, a two–hour training course that provides attorneys, at no charge, with two CLE credits. For information on training in Westchester County, please call 914–995–3082.
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Mandatory E–Filing Cases

  1. What documents must be e–filed in mandatory cases?
    With limited exceptions, in a mandatory case, the commencement documents must be e–filed. Service of those documents shall be made in hard copy format in the manner required by the CPLR (unless the defendant/respondent is willing to accept e–service). Subsequent documents in such a case must be efiled and e–served as well. Except as otherwise provided in the rules, neither the court nor the County Clerk will accept documents in paper format in a mandatory case.
  2. Where can I get more information about mandatory e–filing?
    Consult the E–Filing Protocol of the court and County Clerk for the county in question, posted on their websites.
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Equipment

  1. What hardware is needed to use NYSCEF?
    A personal computer, a scanner, and a printer.
  2. What software is needed to use NYSCEF?
    A user must have internet access, a web browser and Adobe Acrobat Reader software, which is needed to read documents in Portable Document Format (PDF), the format used for all documents filed in NYSCEF. This software is available at no charge from Adobe by download at the following address: www.adobe.com/products/reader PDF documents can be created by Adobe Acrobat Writer software and by Word, WordPerfect, and other versions of commercially-available word processing software, and other applications. PDF documents can also be created by scanning hard copies, but the result is a larger electronic file than those created by the programs just mentioned and one that therefore will take longer to upload.
  3. Do I need to change any settings on my computer to use the site?
    The site is best viewed in 1024 x 768 resolution. To change this, find the "Display" settings in your Control Panel. Additionally, the pop–up blocker on your web browser must be turned off.
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Forms and Notices

  1. Where can I obtain the necessary forms and notices to use the NYSCEF system?
    As indicated above, NYSCEF forms and notices can be found on the "Forms" section of the website.
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The Filing Process

  1. When can documents be filed?
    Any hour of any day, even when the courthouse is closed. This includes commencement documents. The NYSCEF system allows the e–filer to authorize the charging of a credit or bank card bearing a Mastercard or Visa logo for normal filing fees if they are associated with the transaction. A confirmation will be transmitted to the e–filer by NYSCEF for the fees charged. The filer can pay the fees in person at the County Clerk's Office or the Court of Claims, although the document in question will not be considered to have been filed until payment is presented.
  2. How can I begin to use the system?
    A filer may commence a case⁄claim electronically in an authorized court if the matter falls within the eligible case⁄claim types. The filer needs to have a User ID and Password. By those means, the filer can enter the system and consent to the use of NYSCEF for a new matter or, in a mandatory case, record the filer's representation. The filer can select an option to file to start a new case. The filer inputs case information, pays the filing fee by credit or bank card with a Mastercard or Visa logo through NYSCEF, attaches the initiating papers and transmits them. The system will confirm the transmission. To obtain jurisdiction, service must be made in the same manner as is required in all hard copy cases by the CPLR (unless consent to e–service is given). A "Notice of Availability of Electronic Filing" or "Notice of Commencement of Mandatory E–Filed Case" must be served with the pleading. Once another party or parties record their consent or, in a mandatory case, their representation in NYSCEF, service of other papers by and between or among those parties can be made via the NYSCEF system. In a consensual case, if only the plaintiff⁄claimant consents, that party may e–file documents thereafter, but must serve in hard copy format. An eligible consensual case that was commenced and continued in hard copy form may be converted to a NYSCEF case by filing a Stipulation and Consent to E–Filing (found on the website) with the court. Any such conversion should be done promptly after commencement.
  3. Can I practice before actually using the NYSCEF system?
    Yes. NYSCEF is divided into two sectors: A "Training System" and the actual or "Live System." To use the Training System, the attorney or party must obtain a Training User ID and Password. The Training User ID and Password are required so that the practicing e–filer will be able to receive the training email notices generated by the system, described below. To use the Live System, the user must obtain a separate User ID and Password. The Training System is otherwise a duplicate of the Live System, and a user can run through all NYSCEF features on a practice basis. Both training and live User IDs and Passwords can be obtained in the same way, as explained above.
  4. Can I as a filing user use a regular (Live) User ID and Password for practice?
    No. This distinction is required in order to ensure that practice filings are not inadvertently made in real cases.
  5. Once a case file has been opened in NYSCEF, how do I file a document?
    You should go to the relevant screen and select the option to file a document. On a document selection screen, you must select from a drop–down menu the type of document to be filed. You locate the document on your computer by clicking "browse" and navigating to the place on the computer where the document in PDF format has been saved. Or, you can designate a file path to attach the document. See the User's Manual.
  6. Is there a limitation on the size of documents that can be filed electronically?
    Yes. 100 megabytes per PDF document.
  7. Must I name my PDF file in any particular manner?
    No. No specific file name is required, but long names will not upload properly.
  8. How do I know if my filing has been received?
    If the filing consists of initiating documents, after the filing is transmitted, a message confirming receipt will appear on screen and a confirmatory e–mail message will be sent to the filer. If payment by credit⁄bank card has been made, the system will process the fee. The County Clerk or Court of Claims clerk will assign an index or claim number to the matter. If you prefer to pay in person at the County Clerk's Office or the court, the number will not be issued until payment is presented. An e–mail message will be sent confirming issuance of the index or claim number and a confirmation for the fee will be transmitted. The same basic process (of course, without issuance of an index or claim number) will take place if the document being filed is a subsequent document in a case that requires the payment of a fee, or a non–fee document, for which, of course, no credit/bank card information will be submitted. You can also check the list of documents on the confirmation screen by clicking the "View Case Details" link and then the "Document List" tab.
  9. What happens if a filing contains errors?
    The NYSCEF Rules provide that documents are filed when transmission to NYSCEF takes place together with any required filing fee. If the clerk detects some defects in documents that have been e–filed, such as if papers for a different case are inadvertently attached, the clerk may inform the filer and request that a corrected copy of those documents be submitted. If the filer realizes that a filing was made incorrectly, he or she may wish to consult the County Clerk, the court clerk or the NYSCEF Resource Center if uncertain about how to proceed. The court, the County Clerk and the Resource Center will work with the Bar to smooth out any such difficulties that may arise.
  10. How do I e–serve a document?
    Service is simple. Jurisdiction over a person must be obtained in accordance with the CPLR. Thereafter, service in a NYSCEF case is made through NYSCEF by a participating e–filer upon other e–filers who have recorded their consent or, in a mandatory case, noted their representation for a party. When a document is filed through NYSCEF in a case in which other attorneys or parties have recorded their consent or their representation, transmission of the document to NYSCEF automatically causes service to occur on the other participating attorneys⁄parties. The NYSCEF system immediately transmits an e–mail message to those participants at the E–mail Service Address of each identifying all recipients of that message, reporting to them that a document has been received by NYSCEF, and conveying in the message a link to the document. That transmission constitutes service. Time to respond to an e–served document is the same as when personal service is made in hard copy format. The NYSCEF file will maintain a record of the parties that have been e–served with that document. There is no charge for this electronic service. The e–filer may also use normal hard copy service if he⁄she prefers. Attorneys or parties not participating in e–filing must serve and be served in the traditional way in hard copy.
  11. Will I as a NYSCEF user be notified of documents filed by the court?
    Yes, all filings in a NYSCEF case, including the filing of orders, decisions and judgments by the court⁄County Clerk, will generate immediate, automatic email notifications to e–filing participants in that case at the E–mail Service Address and any Optional Addresses of each.
  12. How can I consult the docket for my case?
    You can review the docket by conducting a search by index number or claim number or party name. A "Search Results" screen will appear. By clicking on the index or claim number there, the docket can be accessed.
  13. How are NYSCEF documents signed?
    Under the NYSCEF Rules, the act of filing a document by a registered e–filer by means of that filer's User ID and Password constitutes "signing" where the e–filer is a signatory of that document and⁄or for the purposes of Part 130. If an e–filer wishes to file a document signed by someone else, the document as filed must bear the signature of that person prior to filing, that is, a hard copy should be signed and the document should be scanned into PDF format and filed with NYSCEF. A document may also be signed when the signatory affixes the digital image of his or her signature to the document. A separate method applicable only to tax certiorari cases is also provided.
  14. Does NYSCEF offer protection for especially sensitive information?
    Please be advised that pursuant to Administrative Order effective April 15, 2013, documents may no longer be e–filed as "secure" in NYSCEF.

    It is the sole responsibility of counsel and the parties to be aware of and to comply with existing laws requiring non–disclosure of confidential personal information contained in any document e–filed in NYSCEF. For example, General Business Law § 399–ddd(6) and Public Officers Law § 96–a addresses the confidentiality of social security account numbers.

    Documents previously E–Filed as secure in NYSCEF prior to April 15, 2013 will continue to retain their secure status unless otherwise directed by the court. Online access to those documents will continue to be restricted to counsel of record and self–represented parties in the case, but public inspection of the documents will be available on computer terminals at the courthouse or County Clerk's Office.
  15. Can documents be sealed?
    Yes, the system permits this to be done efficiently. However, a court order pursuant to Part 216 of the Uniform Rules for the Trial Courts is required.
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Online Payments

  1. What is the credit card security code?
    The security code is located on the back of MasterCard, Visa and Discover credit or debit cards and is typically a separate group of 3 digits to the right of the signature strip. On American Express cards, the security code is a group of four digits on the front towards the right.
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Bulk E–Filing
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  1. SCAR (Small Claims Assessment Review) Petitions

    Formatting Requirements (for uploading a file)

    View a Sample Petition Key

    Nassau County City/Village Codes
  2. Tax Certiorari Petitions

    Formatting Requirements (for uploading a file)

    Field Descriptions

    Condominium Requirements
    When Condo COVERAGE = 1, 2, or 3, enter data in all fields (except SCARP). When COVERAGE = 4, create a separate record for each range. Enter data for all fields on the low lot, the first record for each range. Subsequent records require only BLOCK, LOT, CONDO, CONDO# and CONDO COVERAGE (CC). Procedures for creating multiple records for petitions when COVERAGE = 4 are the same as in the Application Data Transfer instructions.

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Further Information

  1. How can I learn more about using NYSCEF?
    Consult the User's Manual and the instructional program posted on the main page of the website, as well as the E–Filing Protocol of the court and County Clerk for the county in question, posted on their websites. The Protocol contains details about how traditional court and County Clerk requirements are applied in e–filed cases. As mentioned above, training is also available. For additional information, consult the NYSCEF Resource Center (646-386-3033 or efile@courts.state.ny.us).
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Filing E-mail: EFile@nycourts.gov Phone: (646) 386-3033 Fax: (212) 401-9146