FAQs - Getting Started
Note: (eC)= eCourtroom | (eL) = eLodgment
What are the Federal Court's online applications?
(eL & eC) eLodgment – a web based service to electronically file documents in general federal law (Federal Court (FCA) & Federal Circuit Court (FCC)) proceedings;
eCourtroom – a web based service to conduct particular proceedings in general federal law (Federal Court (FCA) & Federal Circuit Court (FCC)) via a virtual courtroom
What is eLodgment?
(eL) eLodgment makes it possible for litigants to electronically lodge documents with the Federal Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (General Law).
Without the need to attend a Registry to lodge documents, the process becomes more efficient and cost effective.
What is eCourtroom?
(eC) eCourtroom is a virtual courtroom that assists in the management of pre-trial matters, ex parte applications for substituted service in bankruptcy proceedings and applications for examination summonses by allowing directions and other orders to be made online, in general Federal Law matters.
eCourtroom is a secure internet based facility that enables parties to a matter to participate in on-line discussions. It ameliorates the need to present at a physical courtroom at a prescribed time.
What is the difference between eCourtroom and eLodgment?
(eL & eC) eCourtroom is a virtual courtroom where as eLodgment is an online document filing service.
Who can use eLodgment?
(eL) Any person wanting to file documents in the Federal Court or the Federal Circuit Court (General Law), whether they are practitioners, law firms, corporate bodies or self represented litigants can register to use eLodgment.
Currently, there is no provision in eLodgment for third parties to a matter (such as interveners) to lodge documents on a file.
Who can use eCourtroom?
(eC) An eCourtroom is commenced only at the Judge or Judicial Registrar's discretion. Then only parties to the matter can contribute to an eCourtroom. Parties must register with eCourtroom in order to access the matters in eCourtroom.
How do I use eLodgment?
(eL) There are 5 easy to follow steps to eLodge documents via eLodgment. Once your registration has been accepted, all you have to do is:
- Select the Jurisdiction and Type of Action
- Upload the documents and any supporting documents
- Enter the contact details of the person responsible for the eLodgment
- Pay any necessary fees either via credit card, an account or ask the Court to exempt the fees (lodgment of an application to exempt from payment of court fees form is required)
- Finalise and submit the eLodgment.
What are the benefits of eLodgment?
(eL) eLodgment is a quick and efficient way to file documents with the Federal Court and the Federal Circuit Court. There are a number of significant benefits and features:
eLodgment allows registered users to lodge documents any time, on any day of the week. However, documents eLodged outside of the normal registry hours (check website) will be processed during normal business hours. Registries will process documents submitted up to 4:30pm as being submitted on that day. Any documents received after 4:30pm will be deemed to be filed the next business day.
- Reduced costs
Reduction of paper, photocopy, postage and courier costs.
Lodging parties can view and save their electronically lodged document as soon as it is accepted for filing. This greatly speeds delivery and eliminates costs to both the court and parties.
- Customisable templates
For large volume users there are customisable user templates enabling users to save any standard data and re-use it as required for future eLodgments.
Do I need to pay to use eLodgment or eCourtroom?
(eL & eC) No - there are no fees for using eLodgment or eCourtroom. There are however fees attached to lodging particular document types which are payable by either credit card or account.
How do I establish a credit account facility?
(eL) To be provided with a credit account from the Court you need to meet certain conditions set out in section 2.16 of the Federal Court and Federal Circuit Court Regulation 2012 and submit an application form. Refer to Credit accounts for approved users for further information and an application form.
How long does it take to get an account?
(eL) You must first register with eLodgment before using it. The turnaround time for processing eLodgment registrations is within 1 business day.
If you have applied for credit facilities with the Court please allow 2 weeks for the processing of the application. In the meantime you may use Credit Cards (Visa, MasterCard and American Express).
Can I lodge all documents through eLodgment?
(eL) You can lodge any initiating document and any supporting document. Similarly, documents can be lodged on existing matters via eLodgment as long as you know the file number.
Since July 2014, you can lodge case administration documents such as correspondence, draft or consent orders and draft Certificates of Taxation.
eLodgment accepts documents in their native format such as .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx,.rtf or documents converted to .pdf.
How will urgent applications be identified in eLodgment?
(eL) The onus is on the filing party to tell the Court that an application needs to be heard urgently.
When an urgent application is eLodged, the filing party will need to tick the 'Urgent' box. A letter, which sets out the reason why a hearing must be convened urgently, needs to accompany the application. The accompanying letter will be eLodged.
By ticking the 'Urgent' box, the application will come to the immediate attention of the appropriate registry officer (if filed during normal registry hours). That officer will then seek guidance from the Duty Registrar and, if appropriate, advise the chambers of the Duty Judge, who can obtain access to the documents immediately. The existing practice of parties notifying the Duty Registrar of a request for an urgent hearing will continue.
An obligation page reminds parties that they need to tick the urgent box for these applications.
How will confidential documents be identified and treated in eLodgment?
(eL) The filing party can identify confidential documents that are being eLodged. An obligations page advises the filing party to tick the 'Confidential' box when lodging the document, and accompany the document with a letter, which sets out the reason why they consider the document is confidential. The accompanying letter will be eLodged.
By ticking the 'Confidential' box, the document will come to the immediate attention of the Registry (if filed during normal registry hours). It will be a matter for the Duty Registrar or a judge to determine whether the document is confidential.
How will a suppressed document be identified in eLodgment?
(eL) The filing party will need to tick the 'Suppressed' box when a suppressed document is eLodged. A letter, which sets out the details of the Court order (including date and paragraph number) which restricts access to the document must be eLodged with the document.
By ticking the 'Suppressed' box, the application will come to the immediate attention of the appropriate registry officer (if filed during normal registry hours).
An obligation page reminds parties that they need to tick the 'Suppressed' box for these documents.
Will there be a confirmation that a document has been flagged as urgent/ex parte confidential when I submit them?
(eL) When you submit a document and flag it as urgent/ex parte or confidential the document will not be automatically processed and instead will be stopped for consideration by the Court prior to it being accepted for filing. Once the document has been considered by the Court you will then receive confirmation as to the decision the Judge or Judicial Registrar has made about the status of the document.
How will a request for listing be handled by eLodgment?
(eL) When an application is eLodged, filing parties will be given the option of requesting a preferred hearing date and/or an ex parte hearing.
For ex parte hearings, the application must be accompanied by a letter, which sets out why an ex parte hearing is necessary. This accompanying letter will be eLodged.
For requesting a specific listing date, the filing party can provide information via eLodgment about a preferred date and the Court can determine if the date can be accommodated.
An obligation page reminds filing parties that they need to provide further information about the request.
How will a request for leave be handled by eLodgment?
(eL) When a filing party eLodges a document requesting leave of the Court, they must tick the 'Request Leave' option. This document must be accompanied by a letter which sets out what the filing party seeks leave to do and the Court Rule or section relied upon. The accompanying letter will be eLodged.
Can I use eLodgment to file documents that require sealed envelopes?
(eL) Certain Rules currently require the use of sealed envelopes when filing certain types of documents (e.g. preliminary acts in admiralty matters, and affidavits in support of applications for public examinations in bankruptcy and corporations matters). For the moment, current practice will continue. Parties should not use eLodgment for these documents and should file hard copies of such documents in sealed envelopes.
What if a document has been lodged on the wrong file?
(eL) Where a document is inadvertently lodged on the wrong file, the person who lodged the document will need to contact the Registry for assistance as soon as possible.
Can I view the documents that I have eLodged?
(eL & eC) Yes. You can monitor the progress of your eLodgments as well as review the processed documents through your 'Lodgment History'. You can access the sealed or stamped electronic versions of the documents if you want to email or print out for service. The Court will be implementing an archiving practice where documents will remain accessible in eLodgment for three months and will then be deleted from the system. You should make sure you have downloaded and saved the stamped versions of the documents within three months of lodging them.
If you have registered with the Commonwealth Courts Portal (CCP) you will be able to view any eLodged documents on a matter that you are linked to through the CCP. The only exception is confidential or suppressed documents which will not be sent through to the CCP. Click here for information about registering for the CCP.
If you have eLodged the document(s) from within an eCourtroom discussion, once they have been accepted for filing by the Court you will be able to access the document(s) from within the eCourtroom discussion as well as through eLodgment and the CCP.
How do I get my copies of sealed documents?
(eL) Once the documents have been processed you will receive an email containing a link to the processed documents. Once in eLodgment, under Lodgment History you can access and download your processed documents through eLodgment.
If you have eLodged the document(s) from within an eCourtroom discussion, once they have been accepted for filing by the Court you will be able to access the document(s) from within the eCourtroom discussion.
How long does it take for my documents to be processed?
(eL) During registry business hours your eLodged initiating document(s) will generally be processed within an hour after being received by the registry. Once processed, they will be available via the Lodgment History area of eLodgment.
Some documents may require more time to process.
In July 2014, the Court introduced electronic court files (ECFs). If your matter is an ECF, any supporting document will be processed automatically unless it has certain conditions attached such as being marked as confidential.
Please Note: Processing of documents does not necessarily mean accepting the documents.
Who do I contact if I have any queries?
(eC & eL) If you have any questions you can contact your local Federal Court Registry or email
Revised June 2015