Feedback

Part XIII: Electronic Filing Service

80. Application

(1) The Practice Directions contained in this Part shall apply to the filing, service, delivery and conveyance of documents under Order 63A of the Rules of Court (Cap. 322, R 5).

(2) All other Practice Directions shall also apply to the filing, service, delivery and conveyance of documents under Order 63A of the Rules of Court, except and to the extent that the contrary is specified.

(3) If anything in this Part has the effect of modifying any other direction, whether expressly or impliedly, then such other direction shall apply in relation to the filing, service, delivery and conveyance of documents under Order 63A of the Rules of Court with such modification.

(4) Where the words and phrases set out in Order 63A, Rule 1 of the Rules of Court are used in this Part, they shall have the same meaning as defined in Order 63A, Rule 1 of the Rules of Court, unless otherwise specified.

81. Establishment of Electronic Filing Service and appointment of network service provider

In exercise of the powers conferred by Order 63A, Rules 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court (Cap. 322, R 5), the Registrar, with the approval of the Chief Justice, hereby —

(a) establishes an Electronic Filing Service known as the Integrated Electronic Litigation System or eLitigation and accessible at www.elitigation.sg; and

(b) appoints CrimsonLogic Pte Ltd as the  Electronic Filing Service provider for this service, with the Electronic Litigation Systems Committee of the Singapore Academy of law as its superintendent pursuant to Rule 13A(2) of the Singapore Academy of Law Rules (Cap. 294A, Rule 1).

82. Appointment of agent to establish service bureau

Pursuant to Order 63A, Rule 4 of the Rules of Court (Cap. 322, R 5), the Registrar hereby appoints CrimsonLogic Pte Ltd as an agent to establish a service bureau at 133 New Bridge Road #19-01/02 Chinatown Point Singapore 059413 (or such other address in Singapore as may be deemed suitable), with the Electronic Litigation Systems Committee of the Singapore Academy of Law as its superintendent pursuant to Rule 13A(2) of the Singapore Academy of Law Rules (Cap. 294A, Rule 1).  

83. Documents which must be filed, served, delivered etc., using the Electronic Filing Service

(1) Pursuant to Order 63A, Rules 1 and 8 of the Rules of Court (Cap. 322, R 5) and rule 64 of the Women’s Charter (Matrimonial Proceedings) Rules (Cap. 353, R 4), the Registrar hereby specifies that all documents to be filed with, served on, delivered or otherwise conveyed to the Registrar in all proceedings, subject to the exceptions which appear later in this Practice Direction, must be so filed, served, delivered or otherwise conveyed using the Electronic Filing Service.

(2) Parties are to note that the documents which are to be filed pursuant to Order 34, Rule 3A(1) of the Rules of Court may, instead of being filed through the Electronic Filing Service, be filed in accordance with the procedure outlined in the provisions of Practice Direction 71(3) to (7) (Documents for use in trials in open Court).

(3) In respect of appeals under Order 55D of the Rules of Court, it shall not be necessary to file, deliver or convey any document at the High Court using the Electronic Filing Service if its filing, service, delivery or conveyance is not required under Order 55D of the Rules of Court.

(4) Where documents are served using the Electronic Filing Service, a Certificate of Service will be automatically generated and stored in the electronic case file.

(5) Bundles of authorities can be filed, served, delivered or otherwise conveyed using the Electronic Filing Service.  A party may also choose not to file bundles of authorities and may instead use hardcopies for hearings in accordance with the Directions contained in this Part.

84. Limits on the size and number of documents submitted using the Electronic Filing Service

(1) The following limits apply to the filing of documents using the Electronic Filing Service:

(a) the total number of documents in a single submission must not exceed 99;

(b) the total number of pages in a single document must not exceed 9,999; and

(c) the size of a single submission must not exceed 400 mega-bytes.

(2) The limits described above apply to filing both online through the Electronic Filing Service and the service bureau.

(3) The resolution for scanning, unless otherwise directed by the Court, must be no more than 300 DPI.

(4) In the event that any solicitor wishes to file documents which exceed the limits specified in paragraph (1), he should inform the Registrar at least 14 days before the intended filing date. The solicitor will then be asked to attend before the Registrar for directions to be given on how the documents should be filed.

85. Form of documents

(1) It is not necessary for documents that are electronically filed in Court to have a cover page or backing sheet.

(2) Parties are reminded that they must, at all times, ensure that the information stored in the front end system is up-to-date and free from errors as the same information will be reproduced in electronic forms that are generated by the Electronic Filing Service.

(3) Documents generated by the Electronic Filing Service containing out-of-date or wrong information will be rejected by the Registry and the fee payable shall be that stipulated in Appendix B of the Rules of Court.

(4) In the event that the Electronic Filing Service fails to automatically generate an information page, parties may undertake the procedure outlined in Practice Direction 88(2) (Rejection of documents, etc.).

86. Pagination of documents

Every single page of a document must be paginated so that the pagination on the actual document corresponds with the pagination of the document in the electronic case file. This is to facilitate hearings involving documents.

87. Documents which cannot be converted into an electronic format

(1) If a document cannot be converted in whole or in part into an electronic format for any reason, the hardcopy of the document must be filed at the Civil Registry of the State Courts.

(2) If the Court receives a document which the filing party says cannot be converted in whole or part into an electronic format, and it can discern no good reason why the document cannot be wholly converted into an electronic format, the document may be rejected.

88. Rejection of documents, back-dating and refund of penalty

(1) Care must be taken to enter correct, complete and accurate information into the electronic form. If the information entered into the electronic form and the actual document differ, the document is likely to be rejected by the Court. If a document is rejected by the Court for any reason, a penalty may nonetheless be payable in respect of the document as specified in Appendix B of the Rules of Court (Cap. 322, R 5). In this regard, solicitors’ attention is also drawn to Order 63A, Rule 17 of the Rules of Court.

(2) In the event however that any document is rejected through no fault of the filing party, a solicitor may —

(a) re-file the document with a request that the date and time of filing or issuance, as the case may be, be back-dated to an earlier date and time, pursuant to Order 63A, Rule 10 of the Rules of Court; and

(b) request a refund of the penalty by filing the requisite electronic form through the Electronic Filing Service.

(3) Where leave of Court has been obtained to expunge parts of a document or affidavit from the Court record, an applicant or his solicitor must re-file the document or affidavit with the expunged parts redacted and with a request that the date and time of filing or issuance, as the case may be, be back-dated to an earlier date and time, pursuant to Order 63A, Rule 10 of the Rules of Court.

(4) For the avoidance of doubt, a filing fee will be payable in respect of the re-filed document or affidavit as specified in Appendix B of the Rules of Court and the filing fee paid on the earlier filing of that document or affidavit will not be refunded.

89. Hearings

(1) Subject to any directions in this Part to the contrary, all documents for use at any hearing should be filed using the Electronic Filing Service at least one clear day in advance of the hearing. This will include written submissions, skeletal arguments, bundles of documents, bundles of authorities, and bundles of pleadings. In the event, however, that it is not possible to file the documents in advance of the hearing, the solicitor may apply to the District Judge, Magistrate or Registrar conducting the hearing for leave to use paper documents during the hearing. The solicitor must explain why it was not possible to file the documents in advance of the hearing, and must also give an undertaking to file all the documents used at the hearing using the Electronic Filing Service by the next working day after the hearing. Any document not filed using the Electronic Filing Service will not be included in the Court’s case file.

(2) Subject to the directions of the Court, solicitors may appear before the District Judge, Magistrate or Registrar with paper documents for an urgent hearing. The solicitors so appearing must give an undertaking to file all the documents used at the hearing using the Electronic Filing Service by the next working day after the hearing. Any document not filed using the Electronic Filing Service will not be included in the Court’s case file.

(3) Notwithstanding anything else in this Practice Direction, in the event that a party chooses to use bundles of authorities in paper form for a hearing, the following directions in this paragraph shall apply:

(a) The party using the paper copy of the bundle of authorities shall bear the onus of producing the bundle at every hearing at which it is required. The Court will neither retain nor undertake to produce for hearings the paper copy of the bundle.

(b) The party using the paper copy of the bundle of authorities should file through the Electronic Filing Service a list of authorities to be used at least one clear day in advance of the hearing. In the event that it is not possible for the party to do so, he must explain to the District Judge, Magistrate or Registrar conducting the hearing why it was not possible for him to do so and must also undertake to file the list of authorities using the Electronic Filing Service by the next working day after the hearing.

(c) The District Judge, Magistrate or Registrar may, if he so chooses, retain the paper copy of the bundle of authorities for his own reference. The paper copy so retained will not however form part of the Court’s record in respect of the proceedings in which it was used.

90. Filing documents through service bureau

(1) Solicitors and law firms are encouraged to file documents through the Electronic Filing Service. However, in the event that certain documents cannot be filed through the Electronic Filing Service, solicitors and law firms may file documents through the service bureau. Litigants in person may also file documents through the service bureau.

(2) The operating hours of the service bureau may be found on the Electronic Filing Service website at https://www.elitigation.sg.

(3) Any document which is accepted for filing outside the time periods specified on the Electronic Filing Service website at https://www.elitigation.sg will be treated by the service bureau as having been accepted on the following working day.

(4) Documents to be filed through the service bureau must comply with these Practice Directions and all applicable administrative instructions and procedures prescribed by the service bureau with the approval of the superintendent.

(5) Documents to be filed through the service bureau must comply with these Practice Directions and all applicable administrative instructions and procedures prescribed by the service bureau with the approval of the superintendent.

(6) Documents filed through the service bureau shall be subject to a Manual Handling Charge prescribed by Appendix B to the Rules of Court and additional services made available by the service bureau may be subject to other administrative charges imposed by the service bureau with the approval of the superintendent.

91. Filing of documents to the State Courts through a Supreme Court service bureau

Pursuant to Order 63A, Rule 18(4) of the Rules of Court (Cap. 322, R 5), the Registrar hereby prescribes that any service bureau established or authorised to be established by the Registrar of the Supreme Court may assist in the filing, service, delivery or conveyance of documents pertaining to proceedings in the State Courts using the Electronic Filing Service if the service bureau, or, if there are more than one, all the service bureaux, established or authorised to be established by the Registrar are unable to provide such services owing to failure of hardware or software, or both.

92. Registered users and authorised users

(1) Under Order 63A of the Rules of Court (Cap. 322, R 5), any entity may apply to be a registered user and a registered user may designate one or more of its partners, directors, officers or employees to be an authorised user. Such applications shall be dealt with by the eLitigation Project Director. For the purpose of Order 63A of the Rules of Court, the identification code of an authorised user shall be his or her SingPass ID.

(2) The following procedures shall apply to applications to become a registered user and for designating authorised users:

(a) The application to become a registered user must be made to the eLitigation Project Director using Form 14 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions. In Form 14, the registered user must nominate at least one authorised user. Form 14 must be accompanied by the following:

(i) a recent business profile report from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of the registered user;

(ii) an application form including the subscriber agreement for subscription to the Electronic Filing Service; and

(iii) two sets of GIRO application forms for the electronic payment of filing and hearing fees and electronic filing and other charges.

(b) After the application to become a registered user has been approved, the application forms for subscription to the Electronic Filing Service and GIRO electronic payment will be forwarded to the Electronic Filing Service provider.

(c) After the Electronic Filing Service provider has processed the applications and made arrangements for GIRO electronic payments, the registered user will be provided access to his or her Electronic Filing Service account. The initial authorised user may designate additional authorised users by providing the identification code of each authorised user to be added through the administration module of the Electronic Filing Service.

(3) Registered users approved hereunder shall be deemed to be approved by the Registrar of the Supreme Court and the Registrar of the State Courts. Registered users shall be responsible for all transactions conducted and liable for all fees and charges incurred by any of their designated authorised users in the Electronic Filing Service.

(4) The registered user shall be responsible for ensuring that the list of designated authorised users is kept updated at all times through the administration module of the Electronic Filing Service and for updating the eLitigation Project Director of any changes in the list of its advocates and solicitors in accordance with the procedure stated in paragraph (5) below.

(5) A registered user shall submit to the eLitigation Project Director on an annual basis, and in any event by the end of May each year, a list of its advocates and solicitors as at the 1st of May of each year.

(6) Additionally, a registered user may at any time submit to the eLitigation Project Director an updated list of its advocates and solicitors in the event of any significant change in the number of its advocates and solicitors.

93. Hard copies of documents filed electronically

(1) The Registrar may, at his discretion, request for hard copies of any documents filed electronically.

(2) Upon such request, the filing party or his solicitor shall furnish hard copies of the relevant documents at the venue specified by the Registrar —

(a) within the specified time frame; or

(b) within 24 hours of the request, if no time frame is specified.

(3) The Registrar may also direct that any or all documents shall be filed in hardcopy instead of using the Electronic Filing Service for such period or periods as he in his discretion thinks fit.

94. Responsibility for accuracy and completeness of information submitted using the Electronic Filing Service

(1) The solicitor having the conduct of any cause or matter may delegate the task of filing originating processes and documents in Court to an assistant or a suitably experienced law clerk or secretary, provided always that the solicitor shall personally satisfy himself as to the accuracy and completeness of the information submitted to the Court, and shall personally bear responsibility for any errors or deficiencies.

(2) In particular, solicitors should ensure the following:

(a) that the title of the action generated using the Electronic Filing Service is accurate and correct;

(b) where an action is commenced by way of a writ of summons, that at least one nature of claim is selected that adequately represents the subject matter of the action; and

(c) where an action is commenced by way of an originating summons, that either the relevant legislation under which the action is brought is provided or at least one nature of claim is selected that adequately represents the subject matter of the action.

95. Requests and other Correspondence

(1) All Requests relating to or in connection with any pending cause or matter are to be made using the electronic forms available through the Electronic Filing Service.

(2) Where an electronic form is available through the Electronic Filing Service for the Request that is sought, the Registrar has the discretion to refuse acceptance of other forms of written correspondence (including letters or facsimiles) and to refuse to act on such correspondence.

(3) Apart from Requests coming within the description of paragraph (1), all correspondence relating to or in connection with any cause or matter shall be addressed to the Registrar.

(4) In addition, all letters should be captioned with the number of the cause to which they relate and the names of the parties.  For example:

DC SUIT (if a writ action) NO. 12345 OF 2013 Between AB (and ANOR or ORS, if there are 2 or more plaintiffs, as the case may be) and CD (and ANOR or ORS, if there are 2 or more defendants, as the case may be)’

(5) If the correspondence relates to an interlocutory application or applications, the reference number of that application or those applications should be stated in the caption below the parties’ names.  For example:

SUMMONS NO. 98765 OF 2013

(6) Compliance with the provisions of this Practice Direction will facilitate the expeditious location of the relevant cause file.

Cases which have been commenced using the Electronic Filing Service

(7) For cases which have been commenced using the Electronic Filing Service, a letter is liable to be rejected if it is sent to the Court by a law firm in any way other than by filing the applicable Request through the Electronic Filing Service.

(8) Paragraph (7) does not apply to litigants in person.

(9) If a letter is sent to the Court by a law firm without the information specified in paragraph (4), it is also liable to be rejected.

(10) Registrar’s Directions and Notices from the Registry will be sent to law firms who are registered users of the Electronic Filing Service through the Electronic Filing Service.

(11) Registered users are to ensure that the inbox of their Electronic Filing Service account(s) are checked and cleared regularly.