Introduction to CE-FILE



During the lifetime of a civil court case, formal documents have to be sent to ("filed at") the court office and sent to ("served on") the other parties. Traditionally documents were provided to the court office in paper form either by post or by handing them over the counter at the court office but some courts now use the CE-FILE system under which documents are filed online.

The CE-FILE system can be accessed here and the system itself contains "help" screens which explain how to use it but the following is an overview.

Starting a Case

To start a new case using an initial PDF document - usually some kind of Claim Form - select Create Filing with a Filing Category of New Case. You will be prompted to specify which court (or list) the new case is to be started in (e.g. Property Trusts and Probate, or Technology and Construction Court, or Commercial Court, or Business List, etc.) which hearing centre it should be issued in, what type of case it is (e.g. whether it is a Part 7 Claim or a Part 8 Claim), and the names and addresses of the parties, and you select the initial PDF document to be issued.

Depending on the type of case there may be further PDFs to file at the same time as the Claim Form in which case for each additional PDF you tap Add Another select a Filing Subtype depending on what type of document the PDF is (e.g.  Particulars of Claim, Annexes - Particulars of Claim) and select the additional PDF. When all the documents you wish to file have been added, you tap Save and Next and the Filing Summary screen appears.  

On the Filing Summary screen you tap Add to Basket and then Submit Filings. An E-Filing Submission Confirmation email will be sent to you confirming that the submission has been received by the court.

A further email will be sent to you once the court has accepted the filing and a copy of the Claim Form, stamped with the court seal and the case number allocated, will then be available to download. You can view and download documents using the Case View screen.


Filing further documents in an existing case

During the many months that a typical court case takes to get to the final trial (or other final hearing), you will, from time to time, need to file further documents by deadlines specified by the court rules or as specifically directed by the court. In addition you or another party might decide to make an Application - i.e. ask the court to make some order in advance of the trial. For example, you might apply to a judge for an interim injunction (to stop something happening pending the trial) or you might apply to a master for the court to impose a sanction on another party because the other party has failed to meet a deadline (generally the court does not itself monitor whether its orders are complied with but relies on the other party to make an Application to complain about non-compliance). So your reason for filing a document could be one of the following:     

1. The court rules require the document to be filed by a certain deadline.

2. The court has directed the document to be filed by a certain deadline.

3. You want to ask a master to make an interim order (i.e. an order part way through the case before the eventual trial) and so are filing an Application Notice document with supporting documents such as a witness statement.

4. You want to ask a judge to make an interim order (i.e. an order part way through the case before the eventual trial) and so are filing an Application Notice document with supporting documents such as a witness statement.

5. Another party has filed and served an Application Notice and you want to file a witness statement in response so that at the court hearing of the Application the court can consider your witness statement as well.

6. You want to file a witness statement in response to a witness statement filed by another party under (5) above.

Ordinary Filings

In the case of 1, 2, 5, or 6, you select Create Filing with a Filing Category of Existing Case and a Filing Type of Filing, enter the case number, select the PDF document you wish to file and select the appropriate Filing Subtype depending on what type of document it is (e.g. Particulars of Claim, Annexes - Particulars of Claim, Acknowledgement of Service, Defence, Directions Questionnaire, Disclosure Report, List of Issues, Witness Statement - General, Certificate of Service, Statement of Costs). If there is another document to be filed at the same time you can tap Add Another. When all the documents you wish to file have been added, you tap Save and Next and the Filing Summary screen appears.  

On the Filing Summary screen you tap Add to Basket and then Submit Filings. An E-Filing Submission Confirmation email will be sent to you confirming that the submission has been received by the court. A further email will be sent to you once the court has accepted the filing


Issuing an Application Notice - to be heard by a Master

In the case of 3 you select Create Filing with a Filing Category of Existing Case and a Filing Type of Application to a Master, enter the case number and other details, select the Application Notice PDF which you wish to be issued, and select the appropriate Filing Subtype - e.g. Application for General Hearing (On Notice) or Application to Judiciary on Paper (On Notice). If there is another document to be filed at the same time you tap Add Anotherselect a Filing Subtype depending on what type of document the additional PDF is (e.g.  Multiple Parts if the witness evidence is not wholly contained in the Application Notice itself and a separate witness statement is being filed, Draft Order, Exhibit or Correspondence) and select the additional PDF. When all the documents you wish to file have been added, you tap Save and Next and the Filing Summary screen appears. 

On the Filing Summary screen you tap Add to Basket and then Submit Filings. An E-Filing Submission Confirmation email will be sent to you confirming that the submission has been received by the court. 

further email will be sent to you once the court has accepted the filing and a copy of the Application Notice, stamped with the court seal will then be available to download. You can view and download this using the Case View screen.


Issuing an Application Notice - to be heard by a Judge

In the case of 4 you select Create Filing with a Filing Category of Existing Case and a Filing Type of Application to a Judge, enter the case number and other details, select the Application Notice PDF which you wish to be issued, and select the appropriate Filing Subtype - e.g. Application for Injunction (On Notice). If there is another document to be filed at the same time you tap Add Another, select a Filing Subtype depending on what type of document the additional PDF is (e.g. Multiple Parts if the witness evidence is not wholly contained in the Application Notice itself and a separate witness statement is being filed, Draft Order, Exhibit or Correspondence) and select the additional PDF. When all the documents you wish to file have been added, you tap Save and Next and the Filing Summary screen appears.

On the Filing Summary screen you tap Add to Basket and then Submit Filings. An E-Filing Submission Confirmation email will be sent to you confirming that the submission has been received by the court.

A further email will be sent to you once the court has accepted the filing and a copy of the Application Notice, stamped with the court seal will then be available to download. You can view and download this using the Case View screen.

 

Disclaimer

The above brief introduction to CE-FILE is provided to help you decide whether to instruct a barrister directly (in which case you have to use CE-FILE if used by the particular court proceeding have been or are to be issued in) or whether to engage a solicitor (who would then deal with CE-FILE as necessary for you). It is only an overview and in order to be reasonably concise I have had to leave some details out - details which are likely to affect your own case - so please do not rely on the details above - they are provided purely to give you an general idea of what is involved. 

This page was lasted updated in October 2017          Disclaimer