Emailing the civil and family courts
What you can file by email
What you cannot file by email
What the court can send via email
Which address to send emails
Form and content of emails
Where to send your email
What the court will do with your email
Points to remember
You are responsible for the security of the information you are sending and therefore you must assess its sensitivity and whether email is a secure enough method of communication.
If you are filing a document by email that contains a statement of truth you are reminded that you should retain the document containing the original signature. The version of the document which is filed by email must satisfy one of the following requirements:
(a) the name of the person who has signed the statement of truth is typed underneath the statement:
(b) the person who has signed the statement of truth has applied a facsimile of his signature to the statement in the document by mechanical means;
(c) the document that is filed is a scanned version of the document containing the signed original statement of truth.
Please consider this list carefully before continuing with your email correspondence with the court.
Civil matters only
- Pre-trial check list (listing questionnaire), provided that no fee is payable by the party filing the check list (N170)
- Allocation questionnaire, provided that no fee is payable by the party filing the questionnaire; (N150)
- Particulars of claim (after filing of claim form)
- Request for judgment in default under rule 12.4(1) or for judgment upon admission under rule 14.4(3), 14.5(6), 14.6(4) or 14.7(5) (N225)
- Acknowledgement of service (N9)
- Claimant's response to notice of admission under rule 14.5(3) or rule 14.7(3); (N225A)
- Admission, other than one under rule 14.4 (N9C)
- Claimant's response to notice under rule 15.10, where defence is that money claimed has been paid (N236)
- Defence, provided that no counterclaim is made (N9B)
- Notice of discontinuance, provided that the claimant does not require permission to discontinue, and is not required to attach to the notice the consent of another party (N279)
- Reply to defence
- Re-issue/amend process, no hearing (provided that no fee is payable) (N446)
- Re-issue/amend process, hearing (provided that no fee is payable) (N446)
- Claimant/Defendant List of Documents (provided documents comply with 4.7 of PD 5B) (N265)
- Notice of Admission (ROG) (N228)
- Admission of Liability (unspecified amount) (N226)
- Amended Defence
- Part Admission not accepted (N225A)
- Intention to proceed with states paid defence
- Request for Interlocutory Judgment (provided that no fee is payable) (N277)
- Notice of acceptance and request for payment (N243A)
- Application to claimant to vary judgment (N294)
- Request for Certificate of Judgment (N293A)
- Notice by solicitor of acting (N434)
- Certificate of service (N215)
- Statement of witness (provided the document is no more than 10 pages and the total size of the email does not exceed 2Mb as set out in 4.7 of PD 5B)
- Experts Reports
- Notice of change of address
- Notice of change of solicitor
- List of documents (265)
- Skeleton arguments/case summaries
- Draft judgments/orders and editorial suggestions for them
- Any document which the court has specifically directed to be filed by e mail
You may also correspond with the court by email, making general enquiries about the progress of a case, or providing information to the court, for example: -
- Information for the bailiff
- Confirmation of appointments
- Listing information such as dates to avoid
- Chasing up replies
- A party, save for public law proceedings issued by a Local Authority, must not use email to take any step in a claim which requires a fee to be paid. If a party sends a document by email for which a fee is payable upon filing, the document will be treated as not having been filed.
- Anything in Insolvency or Adoption proceedings
- Anything that does not meet the requirements of Civil Practice Direction 5B and the Family Practice Direction 6A.
When you email the court the subject line of your mail must contain (in the following order): -
- The claim number
- The title of the claim (abbreviated if necessary) **
- The subject matter (e.g. defence)
- If relating to a hearing the date and time of hearing
- The judge or legal advisers name, where the correspondence/document is for their attention
**If your email is in relation to a family matter, please refer to the initials only.
Your message should also contain the name, telephone number and email address of the sender. If you email us we will normally send any reply to you by email.
Correspondence and documents may be sent as either text or attachments. Where there is a practice form, it must be sent in that form by attachment.
Attachments must be in one of the following formats and the complete email (including any attachment(s)) must not exceed 10Mb
Document file types
- Rich Text Format files (.rtf)
- Plain/Formatted Text files (.txt)
- Hypertext documents files (.htm)
- Microsoft Word viewer/reader files (.doc) minimum Word '97 format
- Adobe Acrobat files (.pdf) minimum viewer version 4
Spreadsheet file types
- Hypertext document files (.htm)
- Delimited files (.csv)
Presentation file types
- Hypertext document files (.htm)
General and compressed file types
- Zipped (Compressed) files (.zip, .gz, .tgz, .tar)
Graphics file types
- Joint Photographic Experts Group (ISO 10918) files (.jpg)
Vector graphics file types
- Scalable Vector Graphics files (.svg)
The court will check your email and either respond to your enquiry or, where further action is required, will confirm in due course: -
a) that your document has been accepted, and
b) the date of filing
The date of filing will normally be the date of receipt unless the time of receipt is recorded as after 16.00 in which case the date of filing will be the next day the court office is open.
If your email does not comply with the requirements of the Practice Direction you will be sent a reply stating that it has been rejected and the reasons why.
The court will, where possible, reply to you electronically, although for the present orders of the court will generally be dispatched by post as they are not currently produced in electronic form.
- This guide does not replace the Civil Practice Direction 5B and Family Practice Direction 6A.
- When you file documents by email you must still comply with any rule or Practice Direction requiring the document to be served on any other person.
- There is nothing in the Practice Direction or FPR 2010 that requires any person to accept service of a document by email.
- Where a time limit applies it is the parties responsibility to ensure that the document is filed in time.
- Email is not a secure medium. Any message or reply to your message could be intercepted and read by someone else. Please bear this in mind when deciding whether to send an email
- If you require any assistance or have an enquiry regarding the email service please contact the appropriate court or Business Centre.
CJS Secure Email Service (CJSM)
If you are a solicitor and have any doubts about the sensitivity of the contents that you intend to email then you should consider signing up to CJS Secure Email (CJSM). This is a service currently provided by MOJ ICT.
CJSM is currently free for civil and family solicitors to sign up to and use, and allows users to securely send and receive information up to and including data that attracts a security marking of restricted. It is not available to the general public.
Emails transmitted via the gsi network and other equivalent secure Government networks, can send and receive from CJSM accounts.
More information about signing up to this service is available at www.cjsm.cjit.gov.uk/what/index.php