How does e-filing work?

Electronic filing or e-filing enables filers and courts to efficiently process documents and fees online.

eFileTexas manages the flow of information among filers, clerks, court personnel, and judges:

  • Filer Submits Documents:
    After selecting a certified electronic filing service provider (EFSP), filers log on to their providers website to file case-related documents online to any participating court in Texas.
  • EFSP Delivers Documents to the Court:
    EFSPs check submissions for completeness, calculate filing fees and court costs, and electronically deliver the submitted documents to participating courts.
  • Clerks Accept or Reject Submissions
    Court clerks receive the electronically filed documents and associated fees for processing and
    acceptance, review the documents, accept or reject the filings, and provide an electronic
    timestamp notification to the filer for the accepted documents.

What is an EFSP?

E-filing in Texas is facilitated by electronic filing service providers (EFSP), that is, web portals operated by independent companies that collect filings from filers and transmit them to eFileTexas.

Is e-filing secure?

Yes. The eFileTexas system adheres to state and federal security regulations and meets Payment Card Industry Security Standards to protect filer and transaction information.

What is e-service?

E-service as defined by the rules (Rule 21a) is a way, within an existing case, for a litigant or attorney to serve a copy of a filing on opposite parties via the e-filing system. E-service is an added option under Rule 21a. Process service is for serving citation issued by the clerk of court via personal service or, if permitted, certified mail that is prepared and sent by the clerk, constable, sheriff, or other person authorized by the court to serve process. Process service cannot be performed electronically

How do I serve other individuals with my e-filed documents?

The filers are responsible for accomplishing service of all filings as required by the applicable court rules. For this purpose, filers may use the mail service, serve by hand delivery, send an e-mail, or use eFileTexas as it offers the option of electronic service of each filing to the designated service contact. Note: Transaction and service fees will apply.

Can I use e-service without filing a document with the court?

Yes, eFileTexas may be used to exchange documents between parties without filing the documents through the courts. Note: Transaction and service fees will apply.

What is "sensitive data" and how does it affect my filings?

Sensitive date is defined in Rule 21c of the new Texas Rules of Civil Procedure that were effective January 1, 2014. You, as the filer, must remove all sensitive data from filings you submit, regardless of whether they are efiled or paper filed. If you must include the sensitive date, you are required to notify the clerk of court as specified in Rule 21c. If you file a document with sensitive data and fail to provide notice as required, the clerk of court may return the filing for correction. For more information on Rule 21c, click here.

How do I know if my e-filed document has been submitted?

When you submit a filing, your service provider (EFSP) should display a message that it has been submitted. If you do not see that message shortly after your filing has been uploaded and sent, please contact your EFSP to confirm its submission.

How do I submit a filing with attachments?

The filing that is to be docketed into the case (e.g., petition, motion, answer, counterclaim, notice, etc.), should be specified as your lead document. Documents you wish to append to the pleading as exhibits or attachments should be specified as such. You may either attach the exhibits to your pleading/lead document separately, or you may scan the exhibits/attachments behind the pleading and upload. It is not necessary to attach the exhibits separately. Please feel free to use either method, whichever is more convenient for you.

Can I submit more than one filing at a time?

Yes, as long as you have distinguished the filing from any attachments/exhibits to a filing. You may file more than one lead document in an envelope as long as you specify each separate pleaseing as a lead document.

I'm filing a new case and need to request service of process. How do I do that and pay for the service?

The Travis County District Clerk has a process request form you can download, complete, and attach to your filing. This form can also be directly e-filed to request service or a writ in an existing case. To authorize the issuance and service fees via e-filing, go to the "Optional Services" section and select how many citations/subpoenas/writs are needed and whether you wish to have a Travis County Constable serve the process. The form for requesting citations/subpoenas/writs can be downloaded here. A list of the Travis County District Clerk's filing and process fees can be found here.

Can I use more than one EFSP?

You may elect to use as many EFSP's as you wish.

How is the eFileTexas system different from the one currently in place?

The new platform will reduce costs for filers by up to 94%, and will provide for expanded e-filing in Texas using a proven system already operational in several States. The cost reduction is made possible by a shift in the funding mechanism for e-filing, from a transaction-based model to a small ($5-20), one-time fee paid per civil, justice, and criminal case.

What is the timetable for transitioning to eFileTexas?

The eFileTexas system will be implemented using a phased approach beginning September 1, 2013, and continuing through February 28, 2014.

During this time, the 52 counties currently offering electronic filing through the Texas.gov e-filing system and any counties affected by the Supreme Court's January 1, 2014 mandate will be transitioned to eFileTexas.

The system will be available to remaining counties following this phased approach.

What is the schedule for mandatory filing?

E-filing will be mandatory in civil cases in the district courts, statutory county courts, constitutional county courts and statutory probate courts according to the following implementation schedule based upon the counties' 2010 Federal Census population.

Courts in counties with a population of:

  • 500,000 or more — January 1, 2014
  • 200,000 to 499,999 — July 1, 2014
  • 100,000 to 199,999 — January 1, 2015
  • 50,000 to 99,999 — July 1, 2015
  • 20,000 to 49,999 — January 1, 2016
  • 20,000 — July 1, 2016

How will my court be notified of my official transition plan?

A more detailed transition plan will be announced within the coming months, with specific dates and counties. You will be notified via email and/or phone and the OCA will place updates on its website and on the eFileTexas website.

Will I have access to prior e-filed documents? If so, how far back?

No prior information will be available. There will not be a data conversion from the Texas.gov e-filing system to eFileTexas. All records housed in the Texas.gov system a court wishes to retain should be processed and recorded by court staff prior to the court's transition date.

My court is currently e-filing. Will all of the fees and other data need to be reconfigured into the new system manually?

Yes, reconfiguration will be necessary. A eFileTexas representative will assist with this process as each county transitions to the new system.

What do I have to do to ensure that my vendor's case management system is ready and can maximize efficiencies?

eFileTexas will be providing known court management systems (CMS) vendors integration tools using an industry standard data transfer format.

A list of known Texas CMS vendors is located on the Judicial Committee for Information Technology website.

If your county uses a CMS vendor not on this list, please send an email to support@eFileTexas.gov.

If your county uses Tyler Technologies Odyssey CMS, integration with eFileTexas is already in place; however, configuration may be required. The OCA will be working with the eFileTexas team and all additional CMS vendors to facilitate a smooth transition.

What kind of user support will the new system have?

When you need technical support, online chat, telephone and email support are available free of charge to filers and courts. Support hours are 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. central time excluding major holidays.

How will court personnel be trained?

Training is free of charge. Court training will include document processing training as well as a view into the filer-side interface. Training will be conducted via webinar, and will be supplemented by downloadable content and user guides.

View online training options for reviewers

Access training videos and documentation

I have questions. Who can I call?

Questions regarding the vendor decision or awarding of the contract should be addressed with the OCA. The process of transitioning to the eFileTexas platform is in progress and updated information will be posted to the eFileTexas website eFileTexas.gov. You can also email eFileTexas support at support@eFileTexas.gov with questions.

Is e-filing mandatory for my court?

Contact your local court for e-filing rules.

What type of cases can I e-file using eFileTexas?

Contact your local courts for filings currently being accepted in your courts.

When can I use eFileTexas?

eFileTexas is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Note: The system may be temporarily offline from time to time for maintenance purposes. Consult your local court rules for the court review timelines and schedules.

When I need to file with a specific court, how will I know whether the county has transitioned to the new system?

The list of courts currently accepting filings through the eFileTexas system is available on the Participating Courts Web page.

Do I have to register to use eFileTexas?

Yes, all users must register prior to using eFileTexas.

Is support available for the eFileTexas system?

Yes, customer support is available for both Filers and Court users.

Filers may get help by:

Courts may get help by:

  • Calling us at 800.297.5377

Support is available from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (CT), Monday through Friday.

Is documentation available for using eFileTexas?

Yes, the eFileTexas User Guide, Quick Reference Guide, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are available on the website for your reference.

See the Training Videos & Documentation for Filers page to download these files

Is training available for using eFileTexas?

Yes, eFileTexas offers regularly scheduled online training sessions for the eFileTexas application. Visit the eFileTexas portal at http://www.efiletexas.gov/filers/filer-upcoming-training.htm to view upcoming training for filers. You can also click the Info link at the top of your screen, and locate your court from the list provided to view the current training options in your area.

See the Training Videos & Documentation for Filers page to download these files

What are the computer requirements for using eFileTexas?

eFileTexas is a web-based system, it is designed to be compatible with typical office workstations. No special setup or software installations are required to use eFileTexas. See the recommended computer settings below.

Note: First-time users to eFileTexas may be prompted to download and install Microsoft® Silverlight.

The recommended settings for your workstation are as follows:

  • Web Browser Requirements: eFileTexas is supported by current versions of the Windows operating system using Internet Explorer 7 or above or Firefox.
  • Connection Requirements: High-speed connection is recommended.
  • Minimum Screen Resolution: For best results, a setting of 1024x768 is recommended.

Can I use eFileTexas if I am a pro per or pro se?

Pro per and pro se parties are currently not eligible to use the e-filing system. Pro se parties will receive documents from the court and other parties using the currently applicable paper process, whether it is by personal service or by mail.

If pro se parties request a copy of a court record, they would also use current paper methods request and pay for a paper copy of the document either by mail or by coming to the Records Center for a copy.

Can eFileTexas be used to initiate cases or to file into existing cases?

Yes, eFileTexas can be used to initiate cases, e-file into existing cases, or serve documents. Both attorneys and support staff can use the system under their own user names.

Is there a fee to use eFileTexas?

Yes, there are fees associated with filing documents electronically on the eFileTexas system:

  • Standard court filing fees
    Contact your local court for information on filing fees
  • Cost-recovery court filing fees
    Some courts charge a cost-recovery fee per filing to recoup their costs for developing electronic processes.
  • Service provider fees
    Most EFSPs charge fees for e-filing and related services.These fees vary by EFSP and transaction.
  • Convenience fees
    A convenience fee is assessed to cover the credit card processing fees and may vary by court.

What is the convenience fee?

A convenience fee is assessed to cover the credit card processing fees and may vary by court.