Texas eFiling: Frequently asked questions

What is "sensitive data" and how does it affect my filings?

Sensitive date is defined in Rule 21c of the new Texas Rules of Civil Procedure that were effective January 1, 2014. You, as the filer, must remove all sensitive data from filings you submit, regardless of whether they are eFiled or paper filed. If you must include the sensitive date, you are required to notify the clerk of court as specified in Rule 21c. If you file a document with sensitive data and fail to provide notice as required, the clerk of court may return the filing for correction. For more information on Rule 21c, click here.

How do I submit a filing with attachments?

The filing that is to be docketed into the case (e.g., petition, motion, answer, counterclaim, notice, etc.), should be specified as your lead document. Documents you wish to append to the pleading as exhibits or attachments should be specified as such. You may either attach the exhibits to your pleading/lead document separately, or you may scan the exhibits/attachments behind the pleading and upload. It is not necessary to attach the exhibits separately. Please feel free to use either method, whichever is more convenient for you.

Can I eFile in Texas if I'm representing myself and don't have an attorney (i.e. I'm a pro se/pro per litigant)?

Pro per and pro se parties are currently not eligible to use the e-filing system. Pro se parties will receive documents from the court and other parties using the currently applicable paper process, whether it is by personal service or by mail.

If pro se parties request a copy of a court record, they would also use current paper methods request and pay for a paper copy of the document either by mail or by coming to the Records Center for a copy.

What's the process for filing a proposed order?

Proposed orders may not be combined into one computer file with a motion or other document.

A proposed order may not be the lead document in an envelope containing a motion or other document. When filed with a motion or other document, a proposed order must be filed as an attachment in the same envelope as the motion or other document. If nothing else is being filed along with the proposed order, the proposed order must be the lead document. 

In most court (it's recommended that you check with your specific court if you are uncertain of the process):

  • The clerk will include the proposed order in the case management system at the court for judicial review. 
  • The judge will modify (if necessary) and sign the proposed order (and so transforming it into an order) and return it to the clerk for filing. 

Are there any exceptions to electronic filing in Texas?

The court's rules state that: "A party represented by counsel must eFile any documents... except:

  • Wills;
  • Documents to be presented in court in camera, solely for the purpose of obtaining a ruling on the discoverability of such documents;
  • Documents sealed pursuant to Tex. R. Civ. P. 76a; and
  • Documents to which access is otherwise restricted by law or court order.

Persons not represented by counsel (self-represented litigants/pro per) may eFile documents, but eFiling is not required. 

Counsel may file a motion in connection with a particular case requesting permission to file documents in paper form and after notice and hearing; a court may grant such a motion upon a showing of good cause.

What are the rules regarding signatures?

Counsel's electronic signature constitutes the attorney's signature on the document in compliance with the signature requirements in the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, and authorizes the payment of all filing fees and service fees associated with the eFiling. 

  •  Notarized documents: If a document must be notarized, sworn to, or made under oath, the eFiler may electronically notarize the document or must scan the page with the notarized signature(s) or oaths and must include the page with the scanned notarized signature(s) or oaths with the document.
  • Signatures of opposing parties: If a document requires the signature of an opposing party, the eFiler must scan the page with the signature(s) of the opposing party and must include the page with the scanned signature(s) with the document.
  • Retention of original signatures: When an eFiler eFiles a scanned image of a notarized signature or oath, pursuant to the above, the eFiler must retain the original document from which the scanned image was made until the case in which the document was eFiled is resolved. If the original document is in another party's possession, that party must retain the original document until the case in which the document was filed is resolved.

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