Any litigant may e-File in Odyssey File and Serve. e-Filing is mandatory for Attorneys and governmental agencies.
You must be a registered user to File and Serve. You can register here.
Go to Odyssey File and Serve here and click Register.
You will also find self-help tutorials, frequently asked questions, and web training sessions to help you e-File for the first time.
The registration process you will follow includes setup of all information required for you to e-File:
- If you are an individual e-Filer, you will complete your personal contact information, create any Attorney or Service Contacts you need, and create your Payment Account(s).
- If your firm wishes to have multiple e-File users, you will complete the Firm Administrator information, Firm contact information, and information for the individual e-File users, Firm Attorneys and Service Contacts, and Payment Accounts.
When setting up Payment Accounts, you may set up one or more Payment Accounts for each of these Payment Account Types: eCheck (or ACH, which uses a bank account), Credit Card (to use MasterCard, VISA, or American Express), Waiver (for use by indigent filers and any group that is exempt from filing fees).
- E-Cabinet - Attorneys must still register up to 3 email addresses in e-Cabinet to receive eNotification from the court
- File and Serve - Attorneys must add their email address as a Service Contact in File and Serve per the V.R.E.F. Attorneys can designate other office personnel to receive copies of Service.
- Court - Attorneys should keep the court apprised of any change in email address to maintain up to date information in Odyssey Navigator, used by the courts. Updating an email address in one court updates the state wide Odyssey system. It is important that the local courts maintain correct contact information for attorneys in the event an individual clerk needs to contact an attorney by email. Again, this has nothing to do with receiving e-Notifications from the courts.
- Public Portal - Attorneys will use their email address to register for the Public Portal. The Public Portal is a separate web-based platform that offers court users and members of the general public customized role-based access to court records, hearing calendars and other data. The Portal is not connected to File and Serve.
Vermont Attorney e-Filers must register in File and Serve with their Bar Number, called Attorney Number in OFS, not their e-Cabinet ERN number. **Only Firm Administrators can edit the Bar Number in the firm attorney’s section**
If an attorney e-files with the incorrect Bar/Attorney Number, the filing will error out, resulting in a rejected filing and the Attorney having to refile.
To edit the Bar Number after registration is complete, do the following:
- Log into the OFS site
- Click Actions – top left
- Select Firm Attorneys
- Click Name to edit number
Attorneys are required to electronically serve opposing counsel unless an alternate agreement is arranged. Attorneys must add their service contact information to their firm account and check the box to make that service contact public.
Attorneys should not enter service contact information for other attorneys outside of their firm.
To add attorney’s own electronic service contact information, click Actions, Firm Service Contacts, Add Service Contact (see images below).
To add the electronic service contact information to the public list, simply check "Make This Contact Public" (see image below).
You should never add a firm service contact for opposing counsel because you cannot find them on the Service Contact List. If you do this, you are not perfecting service correctly. You may only add opposing counsel from the Service Contact List, or they may attach themselves to a case for service. Otherwise, you must serve them conventionally.
All Odyssey File & Serve firm administrators must amend the firm’s service contacts by deleting contacts for service recipients outside of their firm or organization. Under current procedures, filers and filing organizations must maintain firm service contacts only for members of their own organization. Any existing service contacts for external recipients outside that organization must be deleted immediately to reduce or eliminate duplicate listings in the Service Contacts list.
Follow the steps below to delete service contacts associated with your firm:
- From the Actions drop-down list on the Filer Dashboard page, select Firm Service Contacts.
- Locate the service contact that you want to delete.
- From the Actions drop-down list for the specified service contact, select Delete Contact.
- Click Delete to delete the contact. Once you delete the service contact, it is removed from the Firm Service Contacts list and from any filings to which it was attached.
Odyssey File & Serve provides filers with the ability to electronically serve their filings on other parties. When a filer wishes to use eservice, they must update the “Filing Type.” The “Filing Type” default setting is “Efile.” However, to complete eservice, filers must select “EFileAndServe,” and then select the parties to be served.
Filer then selects a Filing Code, attaches the document, clicks Save Changes and Service Contacts box opens.
Click Actions next to party and then select “Add From Public List” to add the attorney’s service contact information.
NOTE: For each separate Lead Document and accompanying Filing Code, the service contact must be selected for each individual Lead Document.
If electronic service is properly selected on the filing, the document itself is served after the clerk’s review, it is not immediate.
If electronic service is not required, filer can send a copy of what was filed by adding an email address in the “Courtesy Copies” field.
To begin a New Case in the Civil, Probate, or Family Division, filer should use Filing Code “Initial Filing”.
To begin a Criminal Case, you select the applicable Filing Codes: State's Attorney Information and Probable Cause Affidavit, Citation, Arrest Custody Report; Investigative Request; or Civil Miscellaneous Case Filed.
The Judicial Bureau does not permit e-Filing of a New Ticket.
To being a new case in the Environmental Division, select the appropriate code: Notice of Appeal to the Environmental Division, Complaint Filed, and add any other initiating documents.
In subsequent filings, filer should select the Filing Code that best describes the filing, an exact match is not always possible.
There are division specific guides here under "Odyssey File and Server User Guides."
To e-File a form-fillable PDF, including all of the court forms on the judiciary website, you must first save them as a flat file. Otherwise, the filing will fail, and you will need to refile.
Follow the steps below to "flatten" a completed PDF fillable form:
- Open fillable form
- Add appropriate data
- Right click on document and select Print. NOTE: If document opens in Adobe, Select File and select print
- Select the PDF printer. (The Adobe PDF printer is installed automatically with Adobe Acrobat. Numerous free PDF printer drivers are available for download from the Internet.)
- Select OK.
- Specify location to save the printed "flattened" version of the form.
- Select Save
The Filing Description and Document Description can only be 100 characters in length including spaces. If the text is longer than 100 characters, it will cause an error in OFS and acceptance of the filing could be delayed.
There are many reasons a filing may be rejected. Some of the most common reasons include: pleading not signed; confidential information is not redacted; and motions not properly separated per Vermont Rules of Electronic Filing.
In those circumstances, filer can refile a corrected filing by copying the envelope as long as it is within 7 days of the date of rejection. A rejected envelope for a new Criminal case should not be copied, however, due to a current technical issue.
Filer can only use the Copy Envelope function if all the Lead Documents in the Envelope were rejected. Thus, if a rejected envelope includes any accepted documents, filer cannot refile by copying the Envelope.
If the above conditions are met, and envelope is copied, filer will obtain the original filing date.
To Refile by Copying the Rejected Envelope:
- Log into OFS account
- Select Returned Filings
- Find rejected envelope
- Click Actions
- Click Copy Envelope
- Make necessary changes to filing. This may include removing an existing document in the envelope to replace with a corrected document, depending on the reason for rejection
- After making corrections, complete the submission process.
There is another scenario whereby an envelope is rejected and it is because it errored out.
There are a few common reasons for the errors and include:
- Incorrect or Missing Bar Number in Attorney's OFS Registration; OR
- PDF is not flattened properly; OR
- Issue with a Template used in filing process (often used by State's Attorneys).
In the above situations, clerk will notify filer of the error in the rejection email, and filer will need to correct the defect, and then refile with a new envelope, not a copied envelope. If filer attempts to refile with a copied envelope, the error may continue. Filer will need to make a note to the court on the new envelope that filer is refiling a rejected envelope originally submitted on “x” date in order for filer to receive original filing date.
The Financial Reconciliation Report contains a report at the envelope level designed to help filers reconcile the filing fees to the credit card statement.
To run a reconciliation report:
- Click Actions
- Click Reports
The Reports page opens:
In the Financial Reconciliation Report panel, Click "Run Report":
- Report Parameters:
- From "Filings Submitted By" drop down, select either "Me" or "My Firm"
- In the "From" and "To" date fields, click calendar image to select report date range, or type the dates manually (i.e. 7/31/2015)
- "Locations" - select all
- "Status" field - select all
- Click Download Report to run the report
- Open the report in Microsoft Excel or save the report to another location
Each filer pays $14 to Tyler Technologies the first time the filer files into a case. If a party changes representation to a different law firm, the $14 will be incurred the first time that “new” filer efiles even though there is no change in party. PLEASE NOTE: When selecting the person responsible for fees, the filer should select the same party each time, not a different party each time or you will be charged for both of those envelopes. That is, if for example there are 2 plaintiffs, one plaintiff should be selected each time, not a different plaintiff.
Also, it is important to note: if you file multiple envelopes into one case before the clerk has a chance to review and accept the first envelope, each envelope will show the $14 due. However, once that first envelope is accepted, the fees on the subsequent envelopes by the same filer will be removed.
No filing fees, including use fees, are required for proceedings for relief from abuse, 15 V.S.A. § 1103(f), abuse prevention for a vulnerable adult, 33 V.S.A. § 6933(b), or for orders against stalking or sexual assault, 12 V.S.A. § 5133(f). Waiver of court fees is for persons found to be unable to pay a filing fee under 32 V.S.A. §§ 1431(h) and 1434(b), and V.R.C.P. 3.1 and V.R.P.P. 3.1.
Additionally, court staff and persons acting in an official capacity on behalf of the court--for example, masters, parent coordinators, guardians ad litem, and court-ordered forensic evaluators--are exempt from paying an efiling fee. see Reporter's Notes V.R.E.F. 10.
As an OFS filer completes the filing screen, the Fees section will display the use fee until the party responsible for fees is selected:
Some filers may be erroneously re-assessed the $14 charge as a result of merging of system entities in Odyssey (a process to correct duplicate records Page 4 of 9 for the same individual). When a party entity for whom the per case fee has been paid is merged into another entity for whom the fee has not been paid, the fee will assess again. Filers in those situations may contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, when selecting the person responsible for fees, the filer should select the same party each time, not a different party each time or you will be charged for both of those envelopes. That is, if for example there are 2 plaintiffs, one plaintiff should be selected each time, not a different plaintiff. To obtain a refund, contact email@example.com.
You must contact Tyler using the number or email provided if there are any technical issues within the Tyler website. To contact Tyler, call 1-800-297-5377 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also a chat function located on the File and Serve site.
All process questions related to File and Serve can be submitted to Jud.eFileSupport@vermont.gov. Specific form or other procedural questions should be directed to the court.