In April 2020, the Judiciary began transitioning to a new electronic filing system called Odyssey File and Serve (“OFS”). By the end of 2021, all Vermont courts will be accepting electronic filings via OFS. The following courts are currently using OFS: Windsor, Orange, Windham, Judicial Bureau, Addison, Bennington, Chittenden, Rutland, and the Environmental Division.
While there are processing fees for submitting documents via OFS the legislature has appropriated CARES Act funds for a grant to Legal Aid to cover the cost of the Tyler eFiling use fees through March 31, 2021. This grant is to ensure all court users have timely access to justice as the judicial system resumes operations relying on greater digital remote online processes to ensure public health and safety after closure due to COVID-19. During this period, the Tyler eFiling use fee will not be charged to filers, but will be charged to the CARES Act grant to Legal Aid. There is a $5.25 fee per envelope submission and a credit card service charge of 2.89% of any filing fees paid by credit card. If you are a member of an agency that is exempt from filing fees, you must be sure to submit your OFS filings using a waiver account created by your firm administrator. Self-represented litigants and those who do not already have waiver accounts must create a waiver account in OFS in order to avoid the automatic assessment of fees. Instructions on how to create a waiver account are available here:
|Odyssey File and Serve||eCabinet|
For Attorneys ONLY
eCabinet continues to be the source of attorney email addresses in certain automated processes
|Register for e-filing using OFS (to submit documents to the court)||Register or update eCabinet|
WATCH: Electronic Filing with Odyssey File and Serve
Attorneys filing in Windsor, Windham, and Orange counties must now e-file all filings in all divisions for new cases as well as subsequent filings for all existing cases. If you are a self-represented filer, you have the option of e-filing or paper filing. However, if you begin e-filing into a case, you must continue to e-file for the duration of your case, per the Vermont Rules of Electronic Filing.
Judicial Bureau e-filing began in April 2020. Only subsequent filings will be permitted for the Judicial Bureau. Attorneys are required to e-file all filings at the Judicial Bureau, including in all cases existing prior to the new system. Self-represented filers are permitted to e-file or paper file. If you begin e-filing into a case, you must continue to e-file for the duration of your case, per the Vermont Rules of Electronic Filing.
Before filing documents please be sure to do the following:
- Register for e-filing (to submit documents to the court) https://vermont.tylerhost.net/ofsweb
- Register and participate in a Tyler e-filing instructional webinar (Webinars and other resources available for both filers and administrative staff)
Please Note – OFS is hosted by Tyler Technologies, which provides primary customer support to users. Court staff have only a limited ability to assist with e-filing questions and problems. For assistance:
- Please see the OFS guide and resources
- Note the contact information of Tyler Technology's e-filing support desk:
To VIEW your case details and documents, you must:
Please note: These documents are NOT intended to be comprehensive guides to use of the Odyssey File & Serve System. These documents provide supplemental division-specific guidance for efiling.
During the initial launch of Vermont’s new Odyssey File and Serve efiling program, it is anticipated that these user guides will be subject to frequent updates and revisions. It is recommended that users NOT print hard copies of these guides, but refer as needed to the version online, which will be kept current with all updates.
WATCH: Creating and Using Public Service Contacts
Attorneys must e-file new civil cases in the Rutland division, Environmental division cases, and small claims cases in the Addison and Rutland divisions. If you are a pro se litigant (representing yourself), you have the option of e-filing or paper filing in the same divisions. Please review the information below or contact the Judiciary help desk with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-828-4357.
The Vermont Superior Court emails notices of hearing to attorneys to the email addresses provided in eCabinet. If you are an attorney and are not already registered in eCabinet, please click here to register up to three email addresses. Please contact us if you need help with registration or account problems.
View the Vermont Rules of Electronic Filing:
Availability of E-Filing
You must file via eCabinet to the Superior Court in the Rutland Division, small claims cases in the Addison and Rutland divisions, and Environmental division cases. But not all civil cases are e-filed. For example, you cannot e-file a stalking/sexual assault case.
You can only file new cases or additional filings into electronic cases (created either by eCabinet or from a paper filing after October 18, 2010). The system will display an error message if you attempt to use eCabinet to file in a case that is not electronic (in other words, any cases filed before October 18, 2010).
To find out more about which cases can be e-filed, log into eCabinet. On the first screen of filing (the "Case Info" screen), you will see that the system has several drop-down list fields :
- Court type/ Unit/ Division
- Case type/ Case Subtype
The values in these drop-down lists control the types of cases and the locations in which these cases can be e-filed.
To use eCabinet, you will need:
- Windows PCs using Windows 7 or above
- Software to create a PDF document (see below: you cannot submit a JPG attachment)
- A scanner is optional; however, if you want to electronically file a paper document, you will need to scan in that document and create a PDF image of it for e-filing.
No other operating system (for example, Linux) or browser is supported on eCabinet. WordPerfect files are incompatible with eCabinet.
Because eCabinet is a browser-based system, designed for use over a broadband internet connection, you need to have either DSL or a cable modem internet connection. Please note that any Judiciary training webinars operate best via a broadband connection.
Saving Your Work
- The system automatically saves your data as long as you go from screen to screen using the "Next" button.
- To attach a document, click "Add Document," then click the "Save" button at the bottom of the screen to upload the file specified.
- To file additional documents, click "Add Document" (you can attach more than one document to one filing session for one case) or click "Next" to continue.
- You must not use your browser's "Back/Next" arrow buttons. If you use your browser's buttons, you will lose all data for that filing and will need to start again.
- The system can time out. The time-out is set for two hours. If you are in the middle of a filing and leave your computer for more than two hours, you will lose all of the data you entered for that filing.
- You may save a partial filing by clicking "Save" at the bottom of a given screen and then logging out of eCabinet. To retrieve the document, sign in, click "Filing Options," then "Filings Pending Submission." A list of cases not completed will be displayed. Click on the appropriate "Work Item Number" to access your partial filing and continue.
Currently, eCabinet accepts attachments only in Word (DOC, DOCX) or PDF format. PDF attachments are preferable because Word documents may include leftover change tracker or other marks.
A picture file is usually a JPG (often also called a JPEG) file. Because you cannot attach a JPG file directly to a filing in eCabinet, you will need to convert it to a PDF file. One way to do this might be to open a new Word document, type in what the picture is, then insert the JPG file ("Insert", then "Picture") into the Word document and save the Word document as type PDF (in Word 2007). There are other software products on the market (e.g., Adobe Acrobat Standard or Pro) that can convert a JPG to a PDF. If you scan the picture, your scanner may be able to save the image as a PDF.
Attaching documents with confidential data involves another process. When you attach a document, eCabinet will ask two questions from Rule 6 of the Rules for Public Access to Court Records:
- Is the document you are filing public under Rule 6?
- If the document is public, does it contain data that is confidential and therefore redacted?
Depending on your answers, you will follow these steps:
- If the entire document is not public under Rule 6, you can indicate that. It will be filed electronically with applicable security.
- If the document is public but has confidential data, the filer is responsible for redacting confidential data under Rule 6. The system will allow you to file two documents "clipped" together—the redacted parent document and a second, connected document that contains the reference list of confidential elements (or an unredacted copy of the redacted document)
- If you file a public, redacted document with a confidential redacted document attached, you will see a paper clip icon next to the public document listed on the eCabinet "Review Filing" screen
Submitting and Viewing Filings
Each time you successfully submit a filing, eCabinet will issue you a filing number. That number is unique to each filing and is important to help court staff find your filing. Please refer to that filing number if you have a question or you pay the filing fee by check.
You can look up your filings by signing into the system and going to your "My Filings" screen. You can see the documents in each filing by clicking the plus sign next to each filing row. Members of the public can view any public documents in eCabinet by using the public access terminals at the civil divisions in Addison, Orange, Rutland, and Windsor counties; the environmental division; and the Vermont Supreme Court building. At this time, you cannot view documents other eCabinet members have filed in a case other than through the public access terminals.
Updating Personal Data
To change an email address or other contact information, sign into eCabinet, click on "Account," then go to "My Profile." After you have entered your changes, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Save."
The only data entered into eCabinet that will update other courts' systems are:
- Handling instructions, which will be generated to an electronic document and stored in the court's case file, similar to a cover letter
- PDF or Word documents attached to the filing, which will become part of the official electronic court case file
All other data entered into eCabinet will be used by eCabinet only. It is important to note that:
- The filing registration data—name, email address, address, phone number—will not update the Attorney Licensing database. Under Administrative Order 41, you must contact Attorney Licensing with changes. Likewise, updating contact information (for example, an email address) with Attorney Licensing will not update the information in eCabinet.
- Party information you enter when filing an initiating document for a new case will not update the court's records for that case in the court's case management tracking system.
If you have any questions, please call the court.
Emails from eCabinet
The eCabinet system provides automated email responses for such things as registration, account activation, password changes, delivery confirmation, and acceptance of filed documents. The automatic emails are sent from email@example.com. This address does not accept incoming email. Please make sure that emails being sent from the firstname.lastname@example.org are not being blocked as spam or junk email in your email system.
If you are not receiving these automatic email messages, there may be another problem:
- The email addresses ("Primary," "Optional email 1 and 2") in your eCabinet registration may not be valid. You can verify and update your email address(es) by logging into your profile.
- From time to time the court may send you an email from the court's email address. If your email system is blocking any email from @vermont.gov, you should be able to add it as a trusted address within your email settings. The court unit/division specific emails are in the general format of:email@example.com. For example, the Rutland and Windsor Civil Division email addresses are firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
The eCabinet registration screen allows you to fill in a maximum of three email addresses, which eCabinet uses for all notifications—every notification from eCabinet will go to all the addresses simultaneously. The system does not have the capability to allow you to separate email notifications by case.
You can find your eCabinet registration number (ERN) in one of two ways:
- Sign into eCabinet. In the upper right corner is a system message: " Welcome, John Doe ERN 1234"
- On the eCabinet sign-on page, scroll to the bottom, click on "Registered Users" and search for your name. The return screen has a column entitled "ERN."
You should file the pleadings separately in order to get a prompt for payment. In other words, file a counterclaim separate from an answer.