Civil Case Opening

Electronic filing of new civil cases by attorneys is effective March 1, 2014.   Attorneys must register for CM/ECF.   Self represented parties may not open civil cases electronically.  All documents must be converted to PDF. Please note that miscellaneous cases cannot be filed electronically at this time.

Civil case forms


As an adjunct to the PowerPoint presentations found on this page, we are offering brief, in-person, case opening training in our Spokane, Yakima, and Richland locations.  Prerequisite:  Prior ECF filing experience or completion of 2-hr ECF training.

To register for training, contact:

Spokane - Jaime White     509-458-3400

Yakima – Curt Robins        509-573-6617

Richland – Debbie Brasel   509-943-8173       

Practice Online

Use one of the logins and passwords below.  Use the test credit card number provided- and enter any future expiration date.  Write the login / password / credit card info down, because once you click on the link below - you are in our test database.

Login: TEST    Password: testPatty2!    VISA: 4111111111111111    Security Code: 999

Login: TEST4  Password: testPatty4!    VISA: 4012888888881881   Security Code: 999

 Practice in our Test Database



 Case Opening Checklist (PDF)

Entering Party Names (PDF)

Attorney's Guide to Opening a Civil Case (1.91 mb PDF)

Online Tutorials

The Attorney's Guide is also available as a PowerPoint (PPTX) tutorial (Internet Explorer 8 users please see note below):


1. Getting Started

2. Entering Party Names

3. Opening Your Civil Case

3a. Opening Your Civil Case (cont.)

4. Adding Parties

4a. Adding Addl Attorneys

5. Docketing the Lead Event

5a. Complaint

5b. Notice of Removal

5c. Application to Proceed Without Prepayment of Fees

5d. Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

6. Emergency Matters

7. Paying the Filing Fee

8. Completing the Process

To view these files in Internet Explorer 7 or 8, please save the file on your computer. When saving, change the file's extension from ".zip" to ".ppsx". You'll then be able to open the file normally.