E-Filing Resources

For Procedural Assistance on E-Filing, Contact Clerk of Court Office @ 920-683-4030
For Technical Assistance on E-Filing, Contact CCAP Public Support Line @ 1-800-462-8843
Or send an email or initiate a chat session

 Manitowoc County became a mandatory e-filing county effective March 1, 2017 for CV, SC, FA, PA and Criminal Cases (CT, CM, CF)

-"mandatory" applies to all attorneys or high volume filers filing 10 or more cases per year

-pro se litigants can become voluntary e-filers

-refer to "E-Filing Resources" for more information on becoming an e-filer and for information and guidelines relevant to e-filing

Cases that Cannot Currently be E-Filed 

-Temporary Restraining Orders (except supplemental filings can be made for civil and commercial
  TROs with case class code 30704....the case just can't be initiated by e-filing at this time)

-Injunctions (except supplemental filings can be made for civil and commercial injunctions with
  case class code 30704....the case just can't be initiated by e-filing at this time)

-Chapter 980 (CI)
-Complex Forfeitures (CX)
-Judgments and Liens
-Civil Commitments (ME)
-Guardianship (GN)
-Adoption (AD)
-Juvenile (JV, JC)

View Wis. Stat. 801.18 - Electronic Filing

(1) Definitions
(2) Effective Date; Applicability 
(3) Registration Requirements
(4) Time and Effect of Electronic Filing
(5) Commencement of Action
(6) Filing and Service of Subsequent Documents
(7) Payment of Fees
(8) Format and Content of Filings
(9) Official Record
(10) Authentication
(11) Notarization and Oaths
(12) Signatures of Users
(13) Signatures of Court Officials
(14) Confidential Information
(15) Transcripts
(16) Technical Failures

NOTE:  Subsection (7)(c) provides that the $20.00 opt-in fee will not be charged to a Wisconsin 
governmental unit, such as the district attorney, public defender and appointed counsel, 
court-appointed counsel, GALs, Child Support Agency, Attorney General,  and county or municipal 
attorneys.  Trustees on Ch. 128 Amortization filings are also not charged a $20.00 opt-in fee.  
When opting in, there is a section where you would state that you are court appointed.
These attorneys need to be entered as a party on the case before they can opt-in at no cost....
call Clerk of Court office at (920)683-4030 to ensure this is done so you don't get charged the
opt-in fee.

New E-Filing Rules Affecting Filing Copies vs. Originals 

New rules under §801.18(9)(h), Wis. Stats. become effective when Manitowoc
County becomes mandatory for e-filing, however, practice can be implemented
during voluntary transition to mandatory period. 

  • e-filing parties file copies by virtue of using the e-filing system
  • non-efiling parties (pro se litigants) must file copies and retain the original 
    for their records
  • Court may request a filer to produce the original document if authenticity is
     challenged.  If an original document is produced, it must be retained as an
     exhibit as provided under  SCR 72.03(4). 

While we will not refuse an original filing, parties are encouraged to maintain
the original document for their records to preserve authenticity, because after
documents are scanned into the court record, they are discarded after 48 hours
pursuant to Supreme Court Rule.

It’s OK to hand a clerk paper in court (stipulations and exhibits); clerks will
scan into court record.

Copies vs. Originals also applies to exhibits presented in Court at Hearings / Trials 
  • For documentary exhibits, parties shall submit a copy of the exhibit and not
    the original
  • Court may request a filer to produce the original exhibit if inspection is necessary.
    Any original exhibit so produced shall be retained as provided under SCR 72.03(4)
     and offered back to proffering party.
  • Non-scannable exhibits (i.e. CDs, DVDs, physical objects, voluminous records,
    photographs, maps, or other documents where scanning will not capture all 
    information due to detail, size, color or other quality considerations) will be retained
    pursuant to SCR 72.01(45)-(46) and offered  back to proffering party. 
E-Filing and Facsimile Transmission Filing Deadlines 

The new e-filing rule under §801.18(4)(e) says that a document is considered filed on a
particular day if the submission is completed by 11:59 p.m., central time, as recorded by the
electronic filing system, so long as it is subsequently accepted by the clerk of court upon
review.  Documents filed after 11:59 p.m. are considered filed the next day the clerk’s office
is open.  Pursuant to §801.16(2)(f), the same language applies to facsimile transmissions.

Court Appointed Counsel (Public Defender) or Guardian Ad Litem Appointments

When an attorney gets appointed by the court as court appointed counsel, public defender,
or guardian ad litem, the Clerk of Court needs to check a box designating that attorney as
either guardian ad litem or court appointed when adding that attorney as a party to the case
to allow that attorney to be able to opt-in as an e-filing party (at no charge).  Opting in can be
done as an action by itself or when electronically filing a document with the court.  

If you are a court appointed attorney and are unable to electronically file a document, or
unable to opt into the case, you should contact the Clerk of Court office to make sure you are
properly designated on the case as a court appointed attorney, to give you e-filing access to the case.

Non-Party E-Filers (s.801.18(3)(j), Wis. Stats.)

Additional documents may be filed on an e-filed case by an individual or agency who may
be associated with the case  but  is not a party or attorney on the case, for the purpose of filing
reports, letters, administrative agency records or return of service.  Non-party filers  will not
receive notices of scheduled case activity, nor will they have access to case documents.  

Non-party filers do not opt-in on the case and are not required to pay the $20 e-filing fee. 

When filing a document on a case as a non-party filer, the filer enters the county and case
number and is only able to see the case caption if the case is not restricted.  Therefore, it is
very important that accurate case number  information is entered in this situation. 

Currently there are no fees associated for non-party filers to e-file documents on CV, SC, FA
and PA cases.  However, as additional case types become available for e-filing, forms submitted
by  non-party filers will require payment of any fee associated with said filing (i.e. PR-1819 Claim
Against Estate requires  a $3.00 filing fee to be paid to file the claim). 

To electronically file documents with the circuit courts, you will need to create an eCourts account,
where you can register as a non-party filer.  Upon successful registration, you will be emailed a PIN
which you will need to activate your account and for future e-filing.  See procedure below under
"e-filing Links" on How to File as a Non-Party.

Request Clerk to add convenience fee and e-filing fee as costs to be included in judgment:

Mail or fax a letter to the Civil or Small Claims Clerk requesting that the convenience fee and e-filing
fee be included as part of the costs of filing for purposes of entering a judgment.  If payment was made
by an electronic check, the convenience fee is a flat $1.95 (down from $2.50), and if payment is made
by a debit or credit card, the convenience fee is 2.75%.  Manitowoc County Clerk of Court fax number
is (920)683-2733.

CONFIDENTIAL documents/cases are confidential by statute
SEALED documents/cases are made confidential by court order

Earnings Garnishments

-use same case number, clerk will add alpha tag 
-clerk can now apply electronic court seal to garnishment notice
-$20 e-filing fee is due for each garnishment filed
-creditor must serve on debtor, even if debtor is an e-filing party  (for Non-Earnings Garnishments,
  creditor must serve on garnishee and debtor)

-effective 7-1-16, no filing fee or e-filing fee charged for garnishment of restitution (must check box to 
  indicate restitution)

Notes to Clerk Box

There is a message box available for your use when e-filing  where you can add notes for the clerk which
may be pertinent to your filing, like “please have judge review prior to hearing on 2-15-16” or “please call
Mary at 555-1234 to schedule”  or  “"state the reason a document is being amended," etc.  These would be
special handling instructions, requests for actions that you want the clerk to take, or something about the
filing that you want to bring to the clerk/court’s attention, similar to things you would verbally relay to the
clerk if you were filing in person, or things you would write on a post-it note.  These notes will help insure
that appropriate action gets taken, because the clerks only briefly overview the documents when accepting
them into the record, they don't read them in detail.

Small Claims Mail Service (E-Filed Cases)

For all small claims actions initiated as e-files, the Clerk of Court will print off copies of the Summons and 
Complaint for mail service on defendants who reside in Manitowoc County.  If personal service is required
or preferred by the filer, the filer will be responsible to print off copies for purposes of process service.  

Upgrading a Small Claims Case to Civil

There will no longer be a mechanism available for a plaintiff to upgrade a small claims case to a civil case
when plaintiff's claim exceeds the statutory limit of $10,000.  The small claims will have to be dismissed and
a new civil case will need to be filed, paying the applicable civil filing fee and e-filing fee. 

Viewing Restricted Cases and Documents (Temporary Access Code)

Clerk of Court staff can assign a temporary access code (TAC)  to allow authorized users to view
restricted case information and documents on public access computers located in the Clerk of Court lobby.
The TAC is available for the amount of time set by the clerk.  The upper right hand corner of the public
access screen will indicate when your access code expires.

Forms / Instructions

E-Filing Guidelines (Manitowoc County document  REV: 5-5-17)
Tips to assist parties and attorneys with e-filing procedure.

Circuit Court e-Filing Release Notes and Updates (wicourts.gov)
(Wisconsin e-Filing Update, Volume 1, 11-4-16; includes Release Notes
Version 16.4.A, Documents Submitted for Signature By a Court Official)

E-Filing Instructions (Manitowoc County document)
Basic instructions on how to become an eFiler

Electronic Case Filing for Attorneys (Jan 2015 brochure)
CCAP brochure outlining overview of e-Filing procedure

Mandatory Electronic Case Filing for Attorneys (May 2016 tri-fold brochure)
CCAP brochure outlining overview of mandatory e-Filing procedure
(NOTE:  When printing this brochure, under "Page Size & Handling" in the print settings of Adobe
Acrobat Reader, be sure to select "actual size")

Preparing Your Office for Mandatory e-Filing (wicourts.gov flyer)
How to Get Ready

Technical Requirements and e-Filing Document Specifications (wicourts.gov)
Equipment and software required for efiling; document specifications; signature block specifications

Enhancements to the current e-Filing System & Major Differences Between the Old & New e-Filing Rules (wicourts.gov)

Request to Convert to E-File  (Manitowoc County form)
Request form to convert a case to an electronic file..... this needs to be done before a party can opt-in
as an e-filer if the file was not initiated as an e-filed case or already converted to an e-file by another
party to the action

FAQs (wicourts.gov)

E-Filing Links

Creating an eCourts Account (wicourts.gov) 

Updating Attorney Account Information (wicourts.gov)

Updating Self-Represented Party Account Information (wicourts.gov)
e-Filing a New Case 

e-Filing to an Existing Case  (wicourts.gov)

Becoming an Electronic Party on an Existing Case (Opting In)  (wicourts.gov)

Becoming an Electronic Party on an Existing Case (Opting in as a self-represented party) (wicourts.gov)

e-Filing as a Non-Party (wicourts.gov) 
intended to allow non-parties to file reports, proofs of service, etc. 

Creating and Managing a Court Debit Account  (wicourts.gov)
intended for use by frequent efling parties to help streamline the payment process 

Viewing Case Information and Documents  (wicourts.gov)

Flattening PDFs  (wicourts.gov)
intended for converting documents which contain complex elements into a simple, "flat" image; may also
be used to reduce the size of a PDF document

Merging PDFs into a Single Document  (wicourts.gov)
intended to combine multiple PDF documents into one filing

e-Filing an Amended Summons and Complaint - Small Claims  (wicourts.gov)

e-Filing a Proposed Order  (wicourts.gov)

Creating a Template for Frequently Used Parties  (wicourts.gov)

e-Filing a Petition for Waiver of Fees (wicourts.gov)
waiver will be valid for a party until entry of judgment; filings made after judgment must be accompanied
with a new Petition for Waiver of Fees

e-Filing Earnings Garnishments (wicourts.gov)

e-Filing Non-Earnings Garnishments (wicourts.gov)

Withdrawing From a Case (wicourts.gov)

Child Support:  e-Filing a New Case  (wicourts.gov)

Special Prosecutors:  e-Filing a New Case (wicourts.gov)

Court Reporters:  e-Filing and Sharing Transcripts  (wicourts.gov)

Filing Agents:  Creating an eCourts Account (wicourts.gov)
Filing Agents:  Updating Filing Agent Account Information (wicourts.gov)
Filing Agents:  Opting in on a Case (wicourts.gov)

New "FILE PREP" feature provides paralegals, legal secretaries and local government staff the ability
to prepare e-filings using eCourts accounts geared specifically to their needs rather than by logging in
via accounts associated with their attorneys.  These new eCourts accounts can be leveraged to assist
one or more attorneys and allows staff to prepare new case filings and additional documents on existing 
cases.  FILE PREP offers the following advantages:

(1) Templates can be designed by support staff for their particular needs, reducing mundane data entry
and accelerating the filing process;

(2) Once authorized, support staff can access all of the documents available to the attorney on their
"My Cases" screen;

(3) An "In Progress" page is provided to help track filings under preparation that haven't yet been sent
to the attorney for submission to the court.  Filings visible in this queue are only accessible to the person
preparing them,not to other support staff or attorneys.

File Prep:  Creating an eCourts Account for Legal Staff (wicourts.gov)
File Prep:  Updating File Prep User Account Information (wicourts.gov)
File Prep:  Granting Access to Legal Staff for File Prep (wicourts.gov)
File Prep:  Using File Prep-Legal Staff  After Access Granted (wicourts.gov)

E-Filing Release Notes & Updates (wicourts.gov)
(to keep e-filing parties advised of current features. fixes and improvements relating to e-filing)

Video Tutorials  (wicourts.gov)
-Registering for an eCourts Account (5:39)
-Updating your eCourts Account  (5:25)
-Opting in on a Case as an Attorney (4:19)
-Opting in on a Case as a Pro Se Litigant (4:57)
-eFile a Case (7:53)
-Service Procedures (2:59)
-Upload Documents on an Existing Case (6:20)
-Document Requirements (3:18)
-eCourts Account Recovery (Username/Password/PIN) (5:12)
-Viewing Case Information and Documents (6:16)
-Payment Options (8:26)