Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Delivery by Doxpop: FAQ

 
We developed Delivery by Doxpop striving to make service as easy as it was before e-filing started but there are some circumstances we've learned of that as of right now we can't handle as smoothly as we'd like. 

So in this blog, we'll look at those situations and how to still utilize Deliver by Doxpop. Plus, we'll answer some frequent questions we've gotten as we've launched this new feature. 


What is actually sent when I select Delivery by Doxpop?

Initial filings: When filing a new case, the documents sent via the Delivery by Doxpop method you choose will be the file stamped version returned by the Clerk after the filing is accepted. The same version you receive back via the "filing accepted" email from the e-file manager. 

Subsequent filings: When filing in an existing case, the documents sent via the Delivery by Doxpop method you choose are the exact same document you uploaded. We immediately send those documents for processing. This is very similiar to the e-service that is send on subsequent filings.

Service Only Filings: Just like the e-service and subsequent filings, the documents sent via the Delivery by Doxpop method you choose are the exact same document you uploaded.


How can I use Delivery by Doxpop to serve documents that need a clerk, or judge signature, or when I need to wait for information from the court, such as a court date, to include in the service?

As mentioned in the details in the first question we can not automatically send version of documents that come for the clerk or court. Those documents are send outside the e-file system and therefore at this time we do not have access to them. That does not mean you can't use Delivery by Doxpop, it just means a small extra step once you have those documents or information from the clerk.

Sheriffs Service (new case): If you intend to use Delivery by Doxpop to send civil process service via the sheriff for your filing but need to wait on court documents/information there are just a few steps to follow.

    • In your initial filing make sure to add the optional $28 sheriff service fee to one document so the clerk can collect that fee for the case.
    • Do not select Delivery by Doxpop at this time for any parties that you will need additional information from the court. 
    • Submit your new case filing
    • Once the new case is accepted and you have received the signed documents or information to include in the served documents you will want to do a 'service only' filing on the case. 
    • Pull up the case like you typically would to e-file into. 
    • Above the Case Parties section use the button to "Switch to Service Only"
    • In the Envelope Contents section choose the files you want to send and complete the required fields and save. Note: that while filing type is required, it is not sent with the service information so you can just choose motion here.
    • In the Contacts to E-Serve at least one service contact must be selected. This can be your own firm/attorney. 
    • In the Delivery by Doxpop section, you can select the sheriff service for the parties you wish to service. 
    • Then just complete the required payment account and checklist and submit your service only envelope. This will send the documents you uploaded for Delivery by Doxpop. 


Certified Mail or First Class (new or existing cases)If you intend to use Delivery by Doxpop to send service via Certified or First Class mail for your filing but need to wait on court documents/information there are just a few steps to follow.
    • Do not select Delivery by Doxpop at the time of filing to the court for any parties that you will need additional information from the court. 
    • Submit your filing as you normally would. 
    • Once the filing is accepted and you have received the needed signed documents or information to include in the documents you wish to serve, you will want to do a 'service only' filing on the case. 
    • Pull up the case like you typically would to e-file into. 
    • Above the Case Parties section use the button to "Switch to Service Only"
    • In the Envelope Contents section choose the files you want to send and complete the required fields and save. Note: that while filing type is required, it is not sent with the service information so you can just choose motion here.
    • In the Contacts to E-Serve at least one service contact must be selected. This can be your own firm/attorney. 
    • In the Delivery by Doxpop section, you can select the service information for the parties you wish to send physical service to. 
    • Then just complete the required payment account and checklist and submit your service only envelope. This will send the documents you uploaded for Delivery by Doxpop. 
Sheriff's Service (existing case)If you intend to use Delivery by Doxpop to send service via the sheriff for a case that already exists but need to wait on court documents/information just follow the steps for initial case. As long as the $28 sheriffs service court fee has been paid on the case through doxpop you can use a service only filing to send documents to the sheriff. 


What exactly does Doxpop send to the Sheriff?

Doxpop worked with several county civil process departments to built a packet that makes it easier on them to execute your service. We print and send the Sheriff's Department the following:

  • Cover page for Sheriff including: the name and address for the Sheriff, the name and address of the filer, the clerk’s address, any delivery notes/instructions provided by user, and a brief description of the content, and proof of payment for the $28 sheriff's fee. 
  •  An Affidavit of Service with as much filled as we know in advance for the Sheriff to complete and return to the Clerk.. 
  • Three copies of the documents with separator sheets that denote what each copy is for. 


 Will my USPS service be mailed or postmarked the same day I filed?

The short answer: Yes, if you file before 5pm EST most mailings will be postmarked the same day but we can't guarantee that 100% of the time. 

The long answer: We can't guarantee the same day. Equipment can break down, Sudden demands can slow processing. All we can do is certify that we've put together a system that, if nothing goes wrong, will typically get your documents into the mail on the same day, and more importantly, that an irrevocable hand-off from you to that service has already occurred. 

We note the time of that hand-off in case there's ever any question about when that happened. Both you and Doxpop can tell the court that we are both making a good faith effort to get all postal envelopes into the hands of the USPS on the same day filing occurs. As it turns out, this isn't strictly required by the rules as the folks at the state interpret them. However, we feel more comfortable being able to tell you that it is unusual for a delay to occur.

Does this service meet the rules in regards to the mailing date I put on the Certificate of Issuance of Service?

Yes

We ran this service past several members of the State's E-Filing Business Steering Committee and we specifically asked about timing because we were concerned about whether it was safe for Doxpop filers to attach a Certificate of Issuance of Service to a document that certifies that you have mailed the document, when in fact, you've just handed off the document to the system that mails it for you.

Their answer was that it isn't a problem, because in practice, it is already implicitly understood that filers submit their documents to the court and then someone in the office puts them in the outbox to be mailed at the next opportunity. Therefore, they all interpreted the date on the Certificate of Issuance of Service to mean delivery was commenced "contemporaneously" with submission to the court. It means you started the process and certify that the "hand-off" to a third party agent for delivery happened. 

To make sure we're making a good-faith effort to follow both the spirit and the letter of the rule in this regard, we've written our program to hand off delivery to our printing/mailing service before submitting the filing to the court. It's a matter of milliseconds, but we really do that hand-off first.

So the answer from that perspective is that handing it off to Doxpop for processing is the equivalent of handing it to the person who runs envelopes down to the mailroom or nearest mailbox under your existing procedures.


 

 



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