For Procedural Assistance on E-Filing, Contact Clerk of Court Office @ 920-683-4030
Manitowoc County became mandatory for e-filing effective 3-1-17 for CV, SC, FA, PA, CT, CM, and CF cases;
mandatory 9-1-18 for TJ, FJ, OL, HL, CO and CL cases; and
mandatory effective 3-4-19 for CI, CX, JD, JO, JV, JC and TP cases
- "mandatory" applies to all attorneys or high volume filers filing 10 or more cases per year
("high volume filers" is defined in Wis. Stats. 799.06(2); does not apply to people representing
themselves (i.e. landlord, personally, but not an LLC or corporation)
- 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
Mandatory efiling of Temporary Restraining Orders and Injunctions effective 12-15-19
Mandatory efiling of Judgments (TJ & FJ) and Liens (CO, CL, HL, OL) effective 9-1-18
No $20.00 efiling opt-in fee will be charged for these case types
(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
(11) Notarization and Oaths
(12) Signatures of Users
(13) Signatures of Court Officials
(14) Confidential Information
(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 $20 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 GAL 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 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
- 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 2-15-18” 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
A counterclaim can be filed by a defendant to an existing small claims case to upgrade it to a civil case. When done correctly, the necessary upgrade fee ($125.50) can be paid through the efiling site. There is no $20.00 efiling fee charged to opt-in to the new civil case.
For plaintiffs requesting an upgrade from small claims to civil, file an Amended Summons and Complaint in the small claims action and include a note to clerk requesting the small claims case to be upgraded to civil, and pay the $171.00 upgrade filing fee. Plaintiff should contact our small claims or civil clerk for assistance working through the payment process.
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.
E-Filers Opting In on Multiple TR, FO or JO Cases
stemming from the same event will now be charged a single $20 efiling fee. For a set of cases to qualify, cases being opted in on must have the same party first and last name, date of birth, offense date and issuing agency. (NOTE: To ensure that efilers are charged only one efiling fee per set of related cases, efilers should opt in on all cases in a single filing, rather than opting in one case at a time.
E-Filing Guidelines (Manitowoc County document REV: 10-23-18)
Tips to assist parties and attorneys with e-filing procedure.
E-Filing Instructions (Manitowoc County document)
Basic instructions on how to become an eFiler
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
Document Specifications to comply with September 1, 2018 Court Official eSignature change on Orders
Circuit Court e-Filing Release Notes and Updates
(Wisconsin e-Filing Update, Volume 1, 11-4-16; includes Release Notes
Version 16.4.A, Documents Submitted for Signature By a Court Official)
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
How to Get Ready
Technical Requirements and e-Filing Document Specifications
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
Wisconsin Court System, Circuit Court eFiling
User Guides and Training; Video Tutorials
E-Filing Release Notes & Updates
(to keep e-filing parties advised of current features. fixes and improvements relating to e-filing)