Electronic Filing Document
Important things you should
File formats accepted by the
Tips for reviewing
your final product.
This article was written by Steve Winsett, the developer and technical
consultant for the Business Court electronic filing and case management system. This
Court does not endorse any of the programs mentioned in this article. The Court uses Microsoft Office products exclusively for consistency with all other
superior court officials and staff in the state of North Carolina. The materials contained within are the views and
philosophies of the author and do not necessarily reflect
those of the North Carolina Judicial Department.
Scan your documents for viruses.
The Court's virus
protection is the best available and is updated frequently. This does not, however, eliminate the inconveniences
associated with cleaning and repairing infected files. The applicant and all
parties notified of a filing in the Court will also receive notice of any
viruses associated with that particular filing. It will then be the decision of
the Court as to acceptance of the infected document.
There are two major concerns when preparing documents for use in an electronic
court system: Electronic Filing and Courtroom Presentations.
documents for electronic publishing is in many ways easier than preparing
documents for print.
The document formats described below have been selected to offer
convenient access to all applicants.
Although you may not have the programs they were composed on, you can easily
obtain viewers for these files at no charge from the companies that developed the
technologies. We will provide you with links to these
products whenever possible.
The criteria for selecting these formats is
reviewed on an ongoing basis, and additional formats will be added if they meet
the Court's standard. In order to ensure access to the electronic filing system, facilities will
be made available at the Court to allow pro se applicants as well as counsel to convert their information
to an electronic format. In addition, the Court presentation
equipment is specifically designed to allow presentation of files
and exhibits that cannot be compiled into electronic format.
Important things you should
An objective of this Court is to be
able to review all documents on a computer display.
However, there are some important differences
between preparing electronic documents and paper documents. You should become familiar with
the differences in order to present your information
for both review by the Court and for presentation during hearings.
Footnotes are formatted a variety of ways in word processing programs.
Some of that formatting does not translate into electronic formats.
Therefore, the Court recommends the use of endnotes rather than footnotes.
Further, to avoid formatting problems, it is recommended that the endnotes
be typed in as regular text. Instead of using the footnote or endnote
tool, type [fn1], [fn2], etc. at the appropriate place in the
text, and then type the note at the end of the document.
2. Document Layout
If you use a lot of special formatting in a document such as columns,
special paragraph formatting, section breaks and multiple tabs, you should
preview your document in another program to make certain the special formatting
is retained when viewed by others. The generic nature of most display viewers
does not allow for each special formatting you might use for a printed document.
If you are using a font other than the generic fonts that came with your
Windows operating system, your font selection in most cases will be
discarded when viewed on a computer that does not have that font installed.
Where possible, use only the standard fonts that are shipped with Windows.
These fonts are:
- Times Roman
Tables, graphics and embedded objects.
Be careful of the special features of your word processor. Inserting items
such as graphics and tables into your document does not necessarily mean that
the formatting will be retained in the electronic format.
The following document formats are currently
used by the North Carolina Business Court.
See also, Business Court Technology Frequently Asked Questions. (Click
on "Support" on Home Page tool bar. Link to "Business Court
Technology and E-Filing Questions."
Most of the following file types can be generated by any
late model word processors. We will soon have a variety of downloadable files available
examples of the file formats that follow.
Hyper Text Markup Language HTML (file
extension .htm or .html). Example: " pleading.htm "
This is the standard used by the Internet. This document
was composed in html, and like other html documents can be viewed in any Internet
browser. This Court uses the latest version of Microsoft Internet Explorer
(Version 5.0) for a variety of viewing capabilities. HTML documents
can also be viewed with Netscape Navigator and other web browsers. If you follow
the guidelines of html you can easily check the document you have prepared in
your own web browser.
Rich Text Format (file
extension .rtf). Example: " pleading.rtf "
Definition: a standard for generating portable formatted documents
that can be viewed in leading word processors retaining the author's formatting.
Note: Rich Text Format may be the best format to use when creating
documents which contain hyperlinks. To save a word processing document in
Rich Text Format, go to "File," "Save As," and then select
Rich Text Format (.rtf) as the file type.
Adobe Acrobat PDF File (file
extension .pdf). Example: " pleading.pdf "
PDF files allow an easy means of combining scanned documents and documents
composed in your word processor.
Microsoft PowerPoint (file
extension .ppt). Example: " exhibit.ppt "
PowerPoint is an excellent and easy to use presentation
program. The program appears to adjust its slide show screen to multiple display
resolutions, providing a more universal application for use in a wider
variety of applications and equipment. The Court software is designed to
interact with this product in most applications.
JPEG Graphic Files (file
extension .jpg ). Example: " exhibit.jpg "
Text documents (file
extension .txt example: " pleading.txt ")
Standard text files have been around since the
beginning of personal computers. There are countless computer programs that use
and read these type files. These files are the most generic of your
options and provide the fewest document layout capabilities, such as
text and paragraph formatting.
Document types under consideration by the court:
TIFF Graphic Files (file
extension .tiff ). Example: " pleading.tiff "
TIFF graphic files are not accepted by the Court's system at this time.
TIFF files are commonly used by document scanners and outside scanning
companies. There are several versions of this file format that are used in the
industry, and the Court is currently considering accepting them into the system.