Guidance

CE-File system information and support advice

Guidance and support for people wanting to file documents online in the Royal Courts of Justice.

CE-File can be used by a legal professional on behalf of a client or by an individual who is not legally represented i.e. a ‘Litigant in Person’ in the Business and Property Courts, Senior Courts Costs Office and or for claims and appeals in the Queen’s Bench Division in the Royal Courts of Justice or the Senior Courts Costs Office.

Video: An introduction to CE-File

You must register to use CE-File to file documents electronically, search for cases and order office copies. A fee may be payable online when you submit your claim or appeal.

More information about:

How to access and use the system

Video: setting up a CE-File account

CE-File is very easy to use, just follow these 5 simple steps to register:

  • access the CE-File system and register for an account by following the ‘Register as an E-Filer’ link. You will need to provide some personal details, and then once your registration has been completed you will receive a user name and password which you will need each time you use the system

User guide - E-Filing: create account, dashboard and navigation (PDF, 432KB, 7 pages)

  • select ‘create new filing’. Ensure you select the correct court eg Chancery Appeals and then select whether this is a filing for a new or existing case
  • explain what is being filed and upload the claim form or documents in Microsoft Word or PDF format.
  • pay any necessary fees either by credit or debit card or use a PBA account.
  • once accepted a case number will be created and you will be notified of it in CE-File and via email. In CE-File this will appear in the top right corner of the screen

For more information on filing papers please refer to the relevant guidance:

Filing papers as a litigant in person (PDF, 1.63MB, 16 pages)
Filing papers as a professional user (PDF, 1.88MB, 29 pages)

The maximum capacity is 50MB. If a document is too large send it in sections and make a note in the comments box.

If you are a legal professional, use of the CE-File system is mandatory for the Business and Property Courts, Senior Courts Costs Office or the Central Office of the Queen’s Bench Division. Attempts to file documents by post, DX, fax or email will not be accepted.

Manage your account

You can manage your account details and settings by clicking on the drop-down menu under your name in the top right-hand corner of the screen, and then selecting ‘My Account’.

Email alerts

If you are getting too many emails from CE-File, you can turn them off by navigating to ‘My Account’, select ‘Application Notification’ next to the ‘Notification Type’, then click save.

Locked accounts

If your account is locked, you must wait 2 minutes for the account to unlock before you can log back into the system again, or you can reset your password from the login screen.

Users who will be filing on behalf of a legal firm can link their account with their firm by selecting ‘My Account’, navigating to the bottom left of the page and selecting ‘View Associated Legal Organisations’.

Fees and help with fees

Court fees must be paid online by credit or debit card or via a fee account (PBA). Find a list of the applicable court fees

If you need help understanding the fees you are required to pay, please contact the court. Get help with fees.

If you are a regular user of the courts you can set up a fee account. Paying fees via a fees account (PBA)

Filing

The court will aim to process work received as soon as possible. Once your files have been accepted by the court, you can monitor the progress of your cases and see the sealed documents by searching for them via the CE-File system.

It is the responsibility of the person filing the case to inform the court that the filing is urgent. When an urgent application is filed, the filing party will need to upload a letter with the document outlining the reason(s) why a case must be dealt with urgently. The filing party must also place a comment in the ‘Comments’ field stating that the filing is urgent.

Confidential papers

If papers are confidential, on the ‘Filing Information’ page, click on the arrow by ‘Confidential Reason’ and select from the options either ‘Classified’, ‘Information’ or ‘Other’. On receipt, the court will review your request for your documents to be confidential. If accepted then the document/case will be highlighted in red. This confirms that the document/case is confidential. This does not replace the need to make an application.

Rejected filing

If your filing is rejected, you will receive an email informing you of this. There are a number of reasons why papers may be rejected. It is usually that the form is has been completed incorrectly, scanned incorrectly, the incorrect fee has been paid or the correct supporting application has not been sent. If your file is rejected and resubmitted the next day it will be sealed with the date you resubmitted the document. You can contact the court if this happens.

When issuing a claim the issuing party is responsible for updating all of the party details. If the relevant information is not included, the claim form will be rejected.

Amending filing

It is possible to submit an amended claim form to the court through CE-File. If you are in any doubt or would like some guidance contact the court. Once court staff approve the claim a case number will be created and you will be notified of it in CE-File and via email. Where a document is accidentally filed, and has not been rejected by the Court office, the person who filed the document will need to contact the court for assistance as soon as possible

Public searches

You can make a public search of the courts’ register and/or order office copies (this functionality is only available in some courts). You cannot file documents with the court using this service.

User guide for public searches (PDF, 1.28MB, 13 pages)

Service availability

CE-File allows registered users to file documents 24 hours a day, including weekends and bank holidays. This will enable claim forms to be issued and documents to be filed in electronic format out of normal court office opening hours.

The only exceptions are:

  • during planned periods of system maintenance and upgrades when CE-File will not be available.
  • in the event of unplanned periods during which CE- File will not be available, for example, due to a system failure or power outage.

Security and data protection

The information you enter on the CE-File system is secure and has a high-level of built-in security based on roles and confidentiality tags. The solution is hosted by Thomson Reuters at an ISO270001 compliant data centre.

Support and enquiries

If you are experiencing problems accessing the CE-File system please contact efilesupport@justice.gov.uk.

If you would like to give feedback about a service issue, a suggested improvement, change or general comment about the system please contact RCJGIT@justice.gov.uk.

Published 10 March 2017
Last updated 26 May 2020 + show all updates
  1. Welsh user guides for litigants in person, law forms and public searches updated and replaced by new versions.

  2. User guides updated.

  3. Revised public search guide published.

  4. Public search guide updated.

  5. You tube videos added.

  6. Guide updated.

  7. Senior Courts Costs Office added to list of courts where CE-file can be used.

  8. Updated PDF user guides

  9. Litigant in person and law firm user guides updated.

  10. Electronic filing mandatory in Queen’s Bench 1 July 2019

  11. CE-file for all professional users mandatory in all Business and Property Courts.

  12. Added translation

  13. Introduction videos added

  14. User guide added.

  15. Guide updated.

  16. Business and Property Court changes

  17. terms and conditions added

  18. Insert public search link

  19. First published.