How does the eLodgment system work?
eLodgment automates the production and lodgement of court documents. When creating a document the system automatically inserts into the document any information already in the system (eg party names). This level of automation means that the registered user can focus on the substance of the document. Where the substance of the document requires the party to enter more than a few lines of text, eLodgment provides the party with the option of uploading a ‘Word’ document. The text entered, and any uploaded ‘Word’ document, are added to the pro formas in the system to form the court document. The registered user has the option of reviewing the document in draft.
Once the user has settled the document, the user authorises it to be filed at the court. The document is automatically entered into the courts’ electronic file management system.
eLodgment also provides for the payment of any filing fees - see Court Fees, How do I pay court filing fees? and Court Fees, What do I need to do if my client wishes to have fees waived or deferred?
Once registered for eLodgment, a user can access the eLodgment facility in place for the Supreme Court, the District Court and the Magistrates Court.
Why should I use eLodgment?
The main benefit gained by registered users is the ability to file documents at the court without the need to physically attend at the Registry. eLodgment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, subject to the courts’ rules covering the electronic lodgement of documents. eLodgment saves firms and their clients the expense of sending an outside clerk down to court to lodge documents. There are no extra filing fees for using eLodgment.
eLodgment also enables registered users to search certain courts’ databases – see Search Function, What can I search if I am a registered user? and Search Function, What documents can I view if I am the solicitor on the record?
Who can use eLodgment?
To use eLodgment you will need to be a registered user. eLodgment is designed to be used by law firms, government departments and local municipalities. In order for the system to be efficient, it assumes a basic familiarity with the practice and procedure of the courts. It is not the current practice of any court to allow self-represented litigants to become registered users and access eLodgment.
Other online systems have been specifically developed for self-represented litigants. These are:
- Magistrates Courts Online Forms, which accommodates the online creation and lodgement of: Form 3 General Procedure Claim; Form 4 Minor Case Claim; Form 6 Consumer Trader Claim Minor; Form 7 Consumer Trader Claim General (these also include the Declaration of Small Business Form). Form 6 Residential Tenancy and Form 12 Residential Tenancy can be created through Magistrates Online Forms but they are for download only, and cannot be lodged online. This system can be accessed through www.magistratescourt.wa.gov.au.
- Supreme Court Probate Online Forms is an e-wizard designed to simplify the process for non-contentious probate applications. At the end of the wizard, the system will produce the motion, affidavit, statement of assets and liabilities and the renunciation schedule (if applicable). The applicant can download, save and print the application which must be lodged in person at the Supreme Court Probate Registry. The wizard does not allow the user to lodge the application online. Probate Online Forms is accessible from www.supremecourt.wa.gov.au.
Where is eLodgment Authorised?
In the Supreme Court, eLodgment is authorised by Rules of the Supreme Court 1971(“RSC”) O67 r20. O67 r.20 requires that eLodgment occur by means of the Court's website. The Supreme Court has approved a website for the purposes of eLodgment only.
In the District Court, eLodgment is authorised by District Court Rules 2005 (“2005 DCR”) r20. The District Court of Western Australia has approved a website address in accordance with rule 20 for the purposes of filing and lodgement of documents.
In the Magistrates Court, eLodgment is authorised by Magistrate Court (General Rules) 2005 (“MCR”) r12(1). The Magistrates Court of Western Australia has approved a website address in accordance with MCR r12(1) of the Rules for the purposes of filing and lodgement of documents.