The latest eCourt Open Hours held by Oregon’s Fourth Judicial District revealed some useful tips and reminders. The session was recorded by the Professional Liability Fund and is available on the PLF website as eService for Criminal Filings.
Whether you practice criminal or civil law, there are good lessons to be gleaned from this presentation:
- Adding yourself as a service contact is required: “At the time of preparing the filer’s first eFiling, a filer must enter in the electronic filing system the name and service email address of the filer, designated as a service contact on behalf of the party the filer represents.” UTCR 21.100(2). You must attach your service contact information to every case the first time you eFile into a matter.
- Until the other side appears and adds itself as a service contact, you must use conventional methods of service. Reminder: you cannot add the opposing party as a service contact to accomplish eService.
- In criminal cases, the defense may be the first side to “appear.” If this is true, use conventional service methods until the district attorney eFiles into the case. In some counties (Deschutes), the district attorney’s office may file a “Notice of Acceptance of eService” at inception. In such cases, eService is permissible.
- To accomplish service in the Tyler Odyssey system, change your selection from eFile (the default setting) to eFile & Serve. Avoid multiple methods of service – they are a waste of time.
- It is permissible to use a generic Certificate of Service where you check a box indicating the method of service (eService, personal service, etc.)
- For what to include in a Certificate of Service, see UTCR 2.020 or the form below. Other sample certificates were shown during the eService for Criminal Filings presentation, recorded by the PLF.
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I certify that I eServed the within (Name of Document) on the following person(s) at the party’s email address as recorded on the date of service in the eFiling system:
(Name of Person Served)
(Title of Party, such as Attorney for Plaintiff)
(Insert signature line)
- Complete the “filing on behalf of field” so court staff and others know which party filed the document.
- File Certificates of Service with the document being served. UTCR 21.040(2), requiring unified, single PDFs.
- Reminder: the system does not automatically notify filers when a document is filed in a case.
Substitutions of Counsel
If you are substituting in for another attorney, file a Notice of Substitution not a mere Notice of Representation. Include:
- The date of any scheduled trial or hearing.
- Serve the substitution on the current attorney and opposing party/attorney.
- Attach a Certificate of Service (filed with the notice as a single unified PDF).
- Add yourself as a service contact in the case. UTCR 3.140(1).
Use the “admin copy” area of eFile & Serve to add email addresses for others in the firm who wish to be copied on documents filed in the case.
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