Civil Case Opening

Electronic filing of new civil cases by attorneys is effective as of 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.

Filer tasks (via CM/ECF):

  • Enter Civil Cover Sheet information
  • Add case participants from the Complaint or Notice of Removal
  • Upload initial pleadings in PDF format.
  • Pay the filing fee through Pay.gov, and
  • Transmit the case information and documents to the court.

Court staff tasks:

  • Issue summons, if any
  • Assign the judge to the case
  • Do a quality check of the new case after it is filed, and
  • Notify filer of deficiencies or errors.

Civil case forms

 Training

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 - Lee Ann Mauk   lee_ann_mauk@waed.uscourts.gov    509-458-3400

Yakima – Curt Robins        curt_robins@waed.uscourts.gov            509-573-6617

Richland – Debbie Brasel   debbie_brasel@waed.uscourts.gov   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

 

References

 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):

Introduction

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.