The Court made upgrades to their e-filing system on June 8th, 2013 which now allows their software to “auto-reject” any rich text format (RTF) filings that do not meet their criteria.  We’ve listed below some of the most common reasons for these “auto-rejections” with some tips on how to resolve them.

In addition to reviewing this article, we highly recommend you read the article, Why Rich Text Format (.rtf) and how can I fix RTF formatting problems?, to help you better understand why Rich Text Format documents are required when e-filing documents for the judge or clerk to sign, and why formatting issues are a concern for the Court.

TIP!  The Court has posted what they term an “e-Filing Friendly” template. If you can’t resolve your issue following the tips below, one option is to download this template and use it to generate your pleading. Download Here.

Rejection Reason #1 – Form Fields must be converted to plain text.

“Form fields” may not be embedded in your documents. To find and remove all form fields, follow these steps:

  1. Press CTRL + A to select all the text in your document.
  2. Press SHIFT + F9 to “unhide” or “toggle” any formfields that might be in your document. They will display highlighed and gray with curly brackets, “{” and “}”, on each side.
  3. If those form fields have no significance, simply delete them. If the form field contained data that was needed in your document, then you need to delete the form field and re-type the data on the document in plain text.
  4. Use File > Save As and select Rich Text Format to save this new version of your document

Rejection Reason #2 – RTF file cannot have a drawing object.

Drawing objects may not be embedded in your document. You’ll need to find and remove anything in your document that is considered to be a “drawing object”. These things include:

  • Lines or Box Drawings – Do not use the Word or Word Perfect drawing tools to make lines or boxes in your document.
  • Text Boxes – Do not use the Insert > Text Box feature.
  • Images – Do not embed logos or other images in your document.
  • Scanned Signature – Do not scan your signature and embed it as an image in your document.

Rejection Reason #3 – RTF file cannot have section breaks.

Section breaks or page breaks may not be placed in your document. If your document includes any of the following they must be removed. Section breaks are any of the following:

  • Page borders
  • Vertical alignment of text on a page
  • Headers and footers
  • Columns
  • Page numbering
  • Line numbering
  • Footnotes and endnotes

Rejection Reason #4 – Invalid or corrupt RTF document.

Renaming a Word “.doc”, Word Perfect “.wpd” or a file with any other extension to change the extension to “.rtf” does not create a document in RTF format. Only having the document open in an editor and performing a “save as” and selecting the RTF format will create a “.rtf” document that can be efiled.