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What Is a Civil Court Filing?


    • A civil action is officially commenced when a plaintiff files a complaint in court against a defendant. The civil clerk's office then opens a new case file that contains the names of the plaintiff and defendant. Each case is also assigned a unique docket number.


    • The civil clerk's office in each court is responsible for filing, organizing and maintaining all legal papers associated with each case. All documents submitted for the court's review in connection with the civil action must be filed with the clerk's office in the court where the action is pending.


    • When a party files a pleading with the clerk's office, written certification must be included that indicates a copy of the document was simultaneously served on the other party.


    • The scope of civil court filings can range from breach of contract actions to class action litigation.


    • Filing of papers with the clerk's office is the official manner by which the pleading will be presented for the court's review. Filing allows courts to schedule any requested hearings and to manage their caseloads efficiently.

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