Supreme Court Electronic Filing Opens Nov. 13

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By Melissa Heelan Stanzione

The U.S. Supreme Court will begin accepting electronically filed documents Nov. 13 and will make them available to the public for free.

The high court has lagged behind most federal courts, which have been accepting e-filings for years.

Parties filing electronically will still have to send a paper version, however, as that will remain the official method “for some time,” the court said in newly released guidelines on the change.

Filings by parties represented by counsel have to be submitted via the e-filing system, the guidelines said. This requirement also applies to any potential amicus curiae, or friend of the court briefs.

Register First

Attorneys filing documents electronically have to register in advance, however, which can take one to two days.

Only members of the Supreme Court Bar and attorneys appointed for a particular case under the federal Criminal Justice Act are eligible to register.

Pro se litigants, that is, those representing themselves, don’t have to submit documents electronically. After the clerk’s office has reviewed and accepted paper filings from parties not represented by counsel, it will scan them and post them on the court’s website.

Certiorari petitions seeking court review and other case-initiating documents will be made available to the public after the clerk of the court has reviewed and accepted them. Subsequent filings in those cases will be available 10-15 minutes after they’re submitted.

Exceptions to the e-filing requirement include sealed documents, attorney discipline, and cases involving sensitive information that were “governed below by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5.2(c).”

To contact the reporter on this story: Melissa Heelan Stanzione in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at

For More Information

E-filing information at

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