Why did my PDF document fail submission?

Court technology vendor requirements

Depending on the requirements imposed by the court's technology vendor, your document may be "failed" by the vendor's system before it reaches the actual court. Below are some guidelines for troubleshooting this occurrence and for preventing future failed filings.

If your document has been failed by the court’s technology vendor, use your PDF software to review your document for the possible following reasons:


Security applied to the document

If you have used Adobe Acrobat or a similar system to create your PDF, you may have inadvertently applied security to your file that will prevent it from being accessed by the court. To remove the security, open the PDF document:

Right click on the document > Document Properties > Security and select “No Security” from the drop down.


Combined documents 

If you have used an editing tool to combine multiple different formats into a single PDF, your document may be only partially text searchable.

Apply optical character recognition (OCR) to your entire PDF before trying to file again.


Unsupported fonts

Filings must not contain unsupported fonts or symbols that may be embedded in the document.

Right click on the document > Document Properties > Fonts tab. Prohibited fonts include ZafFDingbats, Wingdings, and embedded symbols. 


Incorrect paper size

All filed documents must be created on the accepted size of 8.5 X 11. Make sure that none of your pages have appeared in landscape and check the page size by viewing the document’s properties.

Right click on the document > Document Properties > Page Size to confirm your document meets these criteria.


Document with editable fields

Your document still contains editable fields. For example, downloadable court forms, such as the Civil Case Information Sheet or Process Request, often contain editable fields.

Right click on the document > Document Properties > Page Size to confirm your document meets these criteria.


An important note about PDF software

Free or ‘reader’ versions of most PDF software are insufficient for court document preparation. Ensure your law firm has invested in a fully licensed professional PDF software package, such as Adobe Acrobat Pro.

This list of common errors that can lead to your document’s rejection is not inclusive. Correctly preparing your PDF for eFiling is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure eFiling success.

Learn more in the One Legal blog:

How to “quick check” your PDF before eFiling

How to make a PDF text searchable

How to separate or combine PDF documents before filing

How to convert a fillable form for eFiling


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