- How do I know what cases must be E-filed? Top
There are many benefits to electronic filing. New York State mandates the electronic filing of certain case types on a county specific basis. All counties have different case types that are subject to mandatory or voluntary e-filing. Any new case types added for Westchester County or changes made to Legislation will be made public by announcements on the Westchester County Clerk’s website at www.westchesterclerk.com or the NYSCEF website at www.nycourts.gov/efile. Our office will also post notices and may also reach out by telephone or by mail to law firms and local bar associations to ensure that the public is aware of any impending changes.
- How do I know what category to choose when commencing an action in NYSCEF? Top
The case types in the dropdown menu vary based on the Court that you choose. If you select ‘Westchester County’, you will only see case types eligible for electronic filing in Westchester County. There are multiple case types available for selection. Please select the case type that best describes the content of the action or proceeding you are commencing.
- I don’t see the document type I am looking for. Does it matter what I select? Top
Yes. The document type that you select determines how the document will flow through the court system. The selection of a document type indicates that the document .pdf attached is that document. For example, if you select “Petition” as your commencement document, you must attach a “Petition”. Using the document description field to change the title of your document is not recommended as it will be returned to you for correction or you will need to apply for a refund and re-file your case. The document list in NYSCEF is very thorough and specific. For example, the document menu for commencements will only provide document types that an action or proceeding can be commenced with. Please contact our office at (914) 995-3071 if you have questions regarding document types and availability.
- I have just uploaded my documents to NYSCEF. Do I need to send copies to the County Clerk or the Court? Top
If you have already uploaded your documents into the NYSCEF system, there is no need to forward courtesy or additional copies to the Westchester County Clerk’s Office as we do not maintain a paper file for such. If you do so, our office will return them to you.
It is important to note that ‘Working Copies’ (i.e.: Courtesy Copies) of Motions or Orders to Show Cause may be required by some Judges. Please check with your respective Judges’ Rules by contacting the part directly or refer to the Unified Court System website at http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/9jd/westchester/judgesrules.shtml for information on how and where to deliver your papers.
- Do I get stamped copies returned to me in NYSCEF? Top
You do not get stamped paper copies returned to you from the County Clerk’s Office. Once you upload a filing and pay your filing fee(s) in NYSCEF, your file stamped copy becomes immediately available by accessing the document details list. Do not upload multiple copies of a document as the procedure for e-filing can differ from paper. For example, you will only upload one image of a Request for Judicial Intervention, which is traditionally required in triplicate when filing in paper. In addition, there is no need to submit cover letters and the submission of some may result in your document being returned for correction so you can remove it.
- I uploaded the wrong pdf file or spelled my Plaintiff name incorrectly- What do I do? Top
The County Clerk’s Office may be able to correct a minor issue such as a spelling error when indexing a caption, if we are made aware of it. However, we are unable to correct issues such as attaching an incorrect pdf file or an upside down image. The item, as well as all other documents filed with it, will be returned to you for correction with instructions on how to proceed. If our office is able to make a minor correction to your submission, we will do so and the NYSCEF system will send an automatic notification to all recorded parties that a change was made and what the change was.
Please note that we cannot remove or delete any filings due to filer error. The documents must be returned for correction or the filer must file an amended pleading to rectify the issue.
- How do I proceed if an adversary has opted out of e-filing ? Top
Opting out is permitted for very limited circumstances in NYSCEF. If you meet the necessary qualifications to opt out;
For Plaintiffs: A Plaintiff must complete and submit the Notice of Opt-Out form to the Westchester County Clerk. You must also serve the notice on the Defendants in the action. The Plaintiff opting out does not indicate that the case will revert to paper. Any filings done in paper for this case must bear a “Notice of Hard Copy Submission” form and the County Clerk’s Office will upload your papers into the NYSCEF website, as we do not maintain a paper file. The Defendants can continue to e-file in the case, but service of pleadings must be done in paper rather than via the NYSCEF website.
For Defendants: A Defendant served with pleadings for an electronic case and wishing to opt out must complete and submit the Notice of Opt-Out form to the Westchester County Clerk. You must also serve the notice on the Plaintiffs in the action, as well as your responsive pleadings. The Defendant opting out does not indicate that the case will revert to paper. Any filings done in paper for this case must bear a “Notice of Hard Copy Submission” form and the County Clerk’s Office will upload your papers into the NYSCEF website, as we do not maintain a paper file. The Plaintiffs can continue to e-file in the case, but service of pleadings must be done in paper rather than via the NYSCEF website.
Papers will not be accepted by the County Clerk’s Office unless accompanied by a fully executed Notice of Hardcopy Submission form.
Please note that the Westchester County Clerk’s Office and the Supreme Court Law Library have computer terminals and scanners available for NYSCEF filings, at no charge. If you need assistance, we would be happy to walk you through and show you how to file and use the equipment.
- How do I serve my pleadings? Do I need an Affidavit of Service? Top
Commencement pleadings must be served in paper. An Affidavit of Service of the commencement papers is still required to be filed after service is complete. Once the parties record their consent in the NYSCEF system, then service of documents as well as notifications of court filings is done automatically by the site. There is no need to serve papers upon your adversary personally or by mail UNLESS specifically directed by the Court to do so, or unless the party you are serving has opted-out of E-filing. If you serve in paper or outside of the NSYCEF website, you are required to file an Affidavit of Service. If you serve via the NYSCEF website, an Affidavit of Service is not necessary.
- I’m concerned that my document says ‘Pending’. What does that mean? Top
The document status is not indicative of the acceptance of your document. ‘Pending’ merely indicates that the document has further steps to go through in the workflow process and may be marked as such for several days. This does not mean your document has not been filed. A file stamped copy is available by clicking the document link in document details. The file stamp across the top indicates that the item has been filed.
If you have submitted a proposed document awaiting a Judge or Clerk’s signature, these will always be marked ‘pending’. The signed and/or entered document will be uploaded by the Court or the Clerk. For example, a ‘Clerk Default Judgment-Proposed’ will always appear as ‘pending’. Once entered, the County Clerk will upload it as a ‘Judgment’ and it will remain marked as ‘pending’ until the County Clerk’s workflow process has been completed. The document is filed once uploaded by the Clerk and a file stamped copy is immediately available once uploaded.
- Can I convert a paper case to NYSCEF? Top
Yes. A paper case may be converted to NYSCEF by the filing of a Stipulation and Consent to E-filing form. This form is available here: https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/nyscef/forms/EF-10.pdf and must be executed by all parties to the action. The original Stipulation and Consent to E-filing must be delivered in paper to the Westchester County Clerk’s Office by mail or in person. Our office will convert the case and send you a detailed e-mail within five (5) business days which will include the newly assigned NYSCEF Index Number.
- Who do I call if I need help? Top
For information regarding specific local protocols and procedures in Westchester County please review the Joint Protocols for New York State Courts E-filing (NYSCEF) available on www.westchesterclerk.com.
You may also contact the Westchester County Clerk’s Legal Division at (914) 995-3070 or 3071. Our staff is very knowledgeable in Westchester County procedures as well as navigating the NYSCEF website. You may also send an e-mail to: .
If you have technical issues, such as error messages or questions about your NYSCEF account, please contact the E-filing Resource Center at (646) 386-3033 for assistance.