Many eFiling providers allow users to eServe (electronically serve) through their platform. eService through an eFiling provider, rather than relying on physical service or other electronic communication like email, allows users the opportunity to take advantage of secure software specifically built for large-scale legal document distribution. This software can both simplify their workflow and add a higher level of security, often needed when serving important or sensitive documents.
Here, we will review a few of the reasons you may want to eServe using an eFiling platform, as well as what to look for in an effective eService provider.
How can eFiling Providers offer eService?
Generally, there are two different eService options available through an eFiling provider:
- File with the Court and eServe: If you are both filing and serving documents in a case, using an eFiling provider can save you time by simultaneously eFiling and eServing, combining the processes into one transaction.
- eServe Only: In cases of discovery and other instances where documents don’t need to be filed with the Court, users can opt to “eServe Only,” which skips filing and delivers service directly to their chosen parties. Different eFiling platforms may allow for public and private eServe options, giving you complete control over document access.
Logistically, it makes sense for eFiling providers to offer eService. eFiling and eService both require safe, secure environments for handling document transactions, and often the processes go hand in hand.
File & ServeXpress offers eService nationwide, even in states where we do not offer eFiling. We also offer eServe-only options on our individual state platforms; File & Serve California, File & Serve Delaware, File & Serve Illinois, File & Serve Maryland, and File & Serve Texas.
What are the added benefits of using an eFiling Provider for eService?
Many eFiling providers can do more than just securely eFile and eServe documents, offering heightened security and premium features that can save you time and frustration in the long run. Most EFSPs are even formatted specifically for a court’s filing and service requirements, which gives users an easy-to-follow template for proper eService and reduces human errors and rejected filings or service from the court.
The most valuable feature in general for eService is the read receipts. They provide verifiable proof of service, helping you avoid hearings regarding claims of non-service of documents. They’re so important that we recently expanded our read receipts to include documents read via email outside of our application. Other providers may offer read receipts as well with varying levels of coverage.
Bottom line, if you want to use an eFiling provider for eService, be sure to choose one with Read Receipts.
Below are a few additional examples of features to look for when eServing through an eFiling provider (all of which are available on File & ServeXpress):
- Cloud-Based Security: Physically served documents can be lost, stolen, or destroyed. eServing documents on a cloud-hosted platform ensures they’ll be on-hand when you need them, and protected from common security threats.
- Digital Service Recipient List: Storing your service recipient list within an eFiling platform gives you the ability to add multiple people to your service list, send automated copies of eService to additional addresses, and save your eService preferences for future use.
- Read Receipts: Read receipts allow for total transparency in the eService process, by notifying the server when opposing counsel has opened the document or read the service notification email. Never be left wondering if your service documents made it through email filters.
- Permanent Document Storage: Most eFiling providers will hold onto your filed and served documents for a jurisdiction’s minimum requirements, usually at least a few months. File & ServeXpress stores all filed and served documents permanently, so you’ll always have a record of your transactions for future reference.
- Documents Search and Reports: You can find documents you have served using the same search tools available for filed documents. This allows you to find documents filtered by case name, case number, or even by sender name/organization. With File & ServeXpress, you can even run a transaction report to verify proof of service across your cases.
- Simultaneously Paper Serve/US Mail and eServe: You don’t have to pick one or the other. Let’s say you only have the physical mailing address of a party, and not their email address for Service. On File & ServeXpress, you can simultaneously paper serve and eServe your full service list, in one workflow and with one receipt.
How do I eServe documents through an eFiling Provider?
Once you’ve found an eFiling service provider that suits your needs, it should be easy to eServe your documents. Be sure to have all of the important information about your service documents and service parties on hand, as you’ll need to enter them into the eFiling system:
- Documents to be served
- Service List
- Case number
To eServe with File & ServeXpress, simply register for an FSX account to get started. From there, you can log in and start eServing on your own, or you can contact our support team to set up Concierge eService – our eFiling experts will handle every step of your eService for you.
Lastly, download our perfect eService checklist. This checklist reviews important steps to ensure seamless eService, including tips and tricks for getting the most out of File & ServeXpress.