Part 24 of Probate in Washington, DC: Electronic Filing Requirements and Exceptions
We’re almost to the end of our series on probate in Washington DC, and by now you’ve probably learned everything you ever wanted to know about probate. If you missed any of our prior posts, please see our index with links to all posts in the series to catch up.
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In this post, we’re talking about electronic filing and how to view the status of your case online. The Probate Division began mandatory e-filing in November 2013. The rule requires all documents submitted in Probate Division cases are to be eFiled by mandatory eFilers and by parties who are not mandatory eFilers but chose to register in a particular case for eFiling.
However, there are a lot of exceptions for the documents that can be e-filed in the Probate Division. This is different from the Civil Branch when it comes to documents that are NOT accepted. Where the Civil Branch requires everything electronically filed, the Probate Division requires in-person filing of the following extensive list of documents:
Wills and codicils;
Initial pleadings that open a Probate Division case (all subsequent filings of proofs of service should be eFiled);
Petitions to Re-Open the Administration of an Estate and Requests for Extension of
Personal Representative’s Appointment in a closed case;
Verifications and Certificates of Notice when additional court costs are due;
Sealed documents and documents for which a request to be placed under seal has been filed, but not motions to seal;
Personal Identification Information (Form 26) forms, generally filed with the initial pleading that opens a Probate Division case;
Filings that require payment of court costs that vary in amount or deposits into the Estate Deposit Account;
Inventories and accounts and supporting documents containing financial information;
Exhibits or other documents that are real objects, such as x-ray film or blueprints, or that otherwise may not be viewed comprehensively in an electronic format;
Matters reviewed by the Office of the Register of Wills and forwarded to the Judge in Chambers, such as Petitions for a General Proceeding seeking appointment of an emergency guardian or health care guardian, subpoenas for medical records; and
Applications requesting that the filer be granted permission to proceed in forma pauperis in a particular case.