COURTS on-line E-Filing
How does the process work?
How can my firm participate in e-filing?
Do we need any system changes or upgrades to our system to be able to e-file?
Procedures Guide to Electronic Filing Claims and Answers
Procedures Guide to Electronic Filing of Motions
Contact information and additional questions
The workers' compensation electronic filing program enables attorneys, insurance carriers, governmental agencies and self insurers to file and receive workers' compensation legal documents through the Internet. This program is available through the Division's COURTS on-line system.
The following legal pleadings may be filed under this program:
|Claim Petition (CP)||Amended CP|
|Answer to CP||Amended Answer to CP|
|Dependency Claim Petition (DCP)||Amended DCP|
|Answer to DCP||Amended Answer to DCP|
|Application/Review or Modification of Formal Award (ARM)||Amended ARM
|Answer to ARM||Amended Answer to ARM|
|Medical Claim Petition (MCP)||Amended MCP|
|Answer to MCP||Amended Answers to MCP|
|Application for Informal Hearing*|
|Motion to Dismiss:||General Motions:|
** Applications for Informal Hearings may be e-filed by carriers as well
In order to participate in electronic filing, your firm must first be signed up for the COURTS on-line program. Visit the COURTS on-line page for information on how to sign-up for this program. We are giving COURTS on-line participating firms the ability to designate who on their staff will have electronic filing rights. For law firms, we are offering 3 different access levels. For insurance carriers and self-administered self-insurers, we are offering two access levels.
|Law Firm Access Levels:|
|Insurance Carrier Access Levels:|
Full: Subscribers assigned this access level will be given full rights to e-file Applications for Informal Hearing, to receive and download electronically filed legal pleadings sent to their company and to designate respondent counsel on electronically filed cases.
The electronic filing process is very simple. For subscribers that have been given electronic filing access, they will see additional "e-filing" buttons and menu options, in addition to the existing COURTS on-line functions.
Important Note - As long as one subscriber from a law firm or carrier is designated as an active electronic filing participant, that firm will, be considered an "Electronic filing firm" and they will receive notices of electronically filed legal pleadings only through the COURTS on-line website. Manually filed documents will continue to be sent to the parties of a case through US Mail.
The following is just one example of how the program will function.
In this scenario, all the parties of the case (petitioner attorney, insurance carrier and respondent attorney) have opted to participate in electronic filing. The document that is being filed is an Employee Claim Petition (CP).
>>Step 1 (Petitioner Attorney initiates filing):
To file a claim petition, an attorney or a designated staff person would select the "E-Filing" menu option from the menu.
The next screen will prompt for the SSN of the injured party and some other information. After entering this, a CP template will appear in the screen, pre-filled with the attorney’s name and address.
To further facilitate data entry, if the attorney filing the new case represented the petitioner on a prior case, the petitioner’s name, address, date of birth, and gender will also be pre-filled in the CP template. This data can be updated if necessary. The template is an easy to use data entry form that has drop down or pop-up search boxes for the municipality/zip code and insurance carrier sections.
At any time prior to submitting the CP to the Division, the document can be saved and stored in an on-line folder called "Draft Documents". From here, the CP can be opened up at a later time so that it can be edited if necessary.
After data entry is completed and verified for accuracy, the final version of the document must be saved, printed and then signed by the petitioner. Administrative rules and statutory requirements require attorneys to retain in their files an original signed copy of all electronically filed court pleadings.
After the petitioner signs the hard copy of the claim petition, the on-line version of the document can be submitted to the Division. At that point, the data from the CP will be automatically verified for accuracy and then deposited into the Division's database. The petitioner’s attorney will receive instant confirmation of the filing along with the CP number, the assigned court vicinage and if there is a related case already in our system, the assigned judge on the case.
>>Step 2 (Insurance Carrier receives CP and assigns respondent counsel):
Upon filing of the CP, the insurance carrier will be immediately served an electronic copy of the document.
This document appears in their "Messages" Box within the COURTS on-line website. At this point, the document can be printed and manually handled by designated claims personnel or it can be electronically forwarded to a respondent attorney of the carrier’s choice. This automatic forwarding is accomplished easily through an on-line search tool. The attorney selected must also be an electronic filing participant.
>>Step 3(Respondent Attorney receives CP and files on-line Answer):
Respondent Attorneys can e-file an Answer on any petition filed with the Division, regardless if it was filed electronically or manually. If the CP was e-filed and if the carrier designated a particular respondent firm to handle the Answer, the claim petition document will appear in the designated respondent attorney's COURTS on-line Message Box. The Document will stay in the Message Box until an Answer is filed.
To answer the claim petition, the Respondent Attorney can locate the CP they want to respond to in their Message Box and click on the “Answer to CP” button, or they can select E-Filing Answer from the upper menu at the top of the screen and enter in the SSN and CP of the case..
The Answer to CP template will appear in the screen, pre-filled with the Petitioner, Respondent, Carrier and Respondent Attorney data. This data can be corrected if necessary.
At any time during the process and prior to submitting the Answer to the Division, the document can be saved and stored in the Respondent Attorney’s “Draft Documents”. From here, the Answer can be opened up at a later time for additional editing if necessary.
After data entry is completed and verified for accuracy, the final version of the document must be saved, printed and then signed by the respondent attorney. Administrative rule and statutory requirements require attorneys to retain in their files an original signed copy of all electronically filed court pleadings.
Once the respondent attorney submits the Answer, the document will be sent electronically to the petitioner’s attorney along with a copy to the carrier. The respondent attorney no longer has to mail the Answer to the Division, the Petitioner’s Attorney and the Insurance Carrier.
**This simple process can be made even simpler, as follows:
Carriers are being given the ability to “pre-designate” up to 15 respondent law firms (corresponding to the Division’s 15 hearing offices) to automatically receive notice of all electronically filed legal documents sent to the carrier.
By using the “pre-designation” option, carrier personnel will not have to individually designate a respondent attorney for every e-filed case. This feature is particularly helpful for carriers who use “house counsel” or refer cases to particular respondent attorneys based upon the vicinage assigned on the case. The respondent attorneys selected for this pre-designation feature must be COURTS on-line electronic filing participants.
Conclusion: When all parties of a case are electronic partners of the Division, this whole process, which manually could take several weeks, can potentially be completed within minutes. And better yet, all e-filed documents will be stored in our database, available for viewing or downloading at any time by any party. For attorneys and insurance carriers representing injured workers and employers, e filing will provide the ability to conduct real time business with the Division and with each other, resulting in visible improvements to case processing time.
Participation in e-filing is open to COURTS on-line subscribers. If your firm is not already enrolled in COURTS on-line, please complete a COURTS on-line Internet Access Application form ( PDF, MS Word) and submit to the Division by mail or by Fax. Within 2-4 weeks, you will receive instructions in the mail on how to access the COURTS on-line system.
If you are already a COURTS on-line subscriber and you wish to participate in electronic filing, please contact your company's COURTS on-line Contact Person for further assistance. The COURTS on-line Contact Person must complete a Subscriber Change Form ( PDF , MS Word), indicating the names of the subscribers who should be granted e-filing rights. If you are unsure of the name of your company’s contact person, please call us at (609) 777-4921 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
E-Filing Written Procedures Guide:
E-Filing Motions - Overview and Procedures:
E-Filing Claim Petition module (step-by-step screen overview)
E-Filing Answer to Claim Petition module (step-by-step screen overview)
If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact:
COURTS on-line Technical Support Unit