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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 filed (i.e., Application/Motion to proceed in forma pauperis)
  • Have credit card available
  • Open civil case
    • Enter all the statistical information

      Please note that the completed civil cover sheet will need to be uploaded as an attachment to the complaint

    • Enter all the parties in exact order they are listed on the complaint

      Using the drop down menu, select the appropriate party role for each party (i.e., plaintiff, defendant)
      Do not add address

    • Click Create Case
  • File initiating document using the appropriate event (i.e., complaint, notice of removal)
    • Make appropriate party/attorney link when prompted
    • Upload main document (i.e., complaint) first
    • Attach supporting documents to the complaint as separate attachments (i.e., exhibits)

      Do not attach applications/motions to proceed in forma pauperis or corporate disclosure statements. These documents should be filed as separate entries.

    • 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 In Forma Pauperis, Corporate Disclosure Statement


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

Akron: (330) 252-6020
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.).