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Attorney Case Opening Checklist


Before Opening a New Civil Case


  • Read documentation on Opening a New Civil Case

  • Prepare documents to file and convert to pdf

    • Initiating document

    • Civil cover sheet

    • Summons(es), if applicable

    • U.S. Marshal forms, if applicable

    • Any additional documents to be files (i.e., Application/Motion to proceed informa pauperis)

  • Have credit card available

  • Open civil case

    • Enter all the statistical information

    • Enter all the parties in exact order they are listed on the complaint
      Do not add address

    • Change the party role type of the correct role

    • Create a link for the attorney and party
      Attorney for plaintiff(s), if Complaint is filed
      Attorney for defendant(s), if Notice of Removal is filed

  • File initiating document

    • Attach supporting documents to the complaint as a separate attachment (i.e., exhibits)
      Do not attach applications/motions to proceed informa pauperis. This document should be filed as a separate entry.

    • Attach a completed and signed civil cover sheet as a separate attachment

    • Attach summons(es) as a separate attachment

    • Attach US Marshal forms, if applicable as a separate attachment

  • File any additional documents using the appropriate event
    Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, Motion to Proceed Informa Pauperis


If you have any questions, concerns or experience problems during the process, please contact the Clerk's Office for assistance.


Akron: (330) 252-6019
Cleveland: (216) 357-7002
Toledo: (419) 213-5500
Youngstown: (330) 884-7415
CM/ECF Help Desk: 1-800-355-8498


The CM/ECF system is typically available for filing 24 hours, seven days per week. In the event help desk support is needed and to avoid any unscheduled system downtime required for system maintenance, attorneys needing to meet filing deadlines should attempt to file during normal business hours (Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.).