State Courts Practice Directions 2021

PART XII: ELECTRONIC FILING SERVICE

82. Application

(1) The Practice Directions contained in this Part shall apply to the filing, service, delivery and conveyance of documents under Order 28 of the Rules of Court 2021.

(2) All other Practice Directions shall also apply to the filing, service, delivery and conveyance of documents under Order 28 of the Rules of Court 2021, 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 28 of the Rules of Court 2021 with such modification.

(4) Where the words and phrases set out in Order 28, Rule 1 of the Rules of Court 2021 are used in this Part, they shall have the same meaning as defined in Order 28, Rule 1 of the Rules of Court 2021, unless otherwise specified.

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

In exercise of the powers conferred by Order 28, Rules 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court 2021, 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 https://www.elitigation.sg; and

(b) appoints CrimsonLogic Pte Ltd as the Electronic Filing Service provider for this service.

84. Appointment of agent to establish service bureau

Pursuant to Order 28, Rule 5 of the Rules of Court 2021, 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).

85. Documents which must be filed, served, delivered and/or conveyed etc., using the Electronic Filing Service

(1) Pursuant to Order 28, Rule 8 of the Rules of Court 2021, 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 procedure for filing of the documents which are to be filed pursuant to Order 9, Rules 25(9)–(10) of the Rules of Court 2021 shall be in accordance with the procedure outlined in the provisions of Practice Direction 73(3) to (5).

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

(4) Bundles of authorities shall be filed, served, delivered or otherwise conveyed using the Electronic Filing Service.

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

(1) Subject to the provisions of the Rules of Court 2021, 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.

87. Form of documents

(1) Unless otherwise provided for in these Practice Directions or directed by the Court, 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 the 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 the Fourth Schedule of the Rules of Court 2021.

(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 90(2).

88. 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.

89. 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 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.

90. 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 the Fourth Schedule of the Rules of Court 2021. In this regard, solicitors’ attention is also drawn to Order 28, Rule 16 of the Rules of Court 2021.

(2) However, in the event 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 28, Rule 10 of the Rules of Court 2021; and

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

(3) Where permission 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.

(4) For the avoidance of doubt, a filing fee will be payable in respect of the re-filed document or affidavit as specified in the Fourth Schedule of the Rules of Court 2021 and the filing fee paid on the earlier filing of that document or affidavit will not be refunded.

91. 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 the Manual Handling Fees prescribed at https://www.elitigation.sg, 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.

92. Filing of documents to the State Courts through a Supreme Court or Family Justice Courts service bureau

Pursuant to Order 28, Rules 17(4) and 17(6) of the Rules of Court 2021, the Registrar hereby prescribes that any service bureau established or authorised to be established by the Registrar of the Supreme Court or the Registrar of the Family Justice Courts 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.

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 an Originating Claim, 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 Application, 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/OC [NO. 12345/2021] (if originating claim) Between AB (and ANOR or ORS, if there are 2 or more claimants, 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 2021”

(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 inboxes of their Electronic Filing Service account(s) are checked and cleared regularly.

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