When a filer needs to scan paper documents for e-filing, there are several best practices to follow. This will help filers avoid unnecessary rejections from either the court’s filing clerk or court’s software.
Scan Documents to PDF
- Scan at 300 DPI – To ensure image quality, scan all documents at 300 DPI (dots per inch). This is the minimum resolution most courts require.
- Black and White – While a filer may scan documents in color, states like Texas do not allow color documents. It’s recommended only do so when it’s necessary to properly illustrate the document’s content. Color scans creates larger file sizes. This makes it more difficult for viewers of the document to download and open it.
- Keep File Size Small – Different courts have different file size limits. Most have a 25MB document size limit and a 35MB total submission size limit. If your document is too large, you will want to compress or reduce the PDF’s file size. Some courts allow filers to split up exhibits.
- Format the Page Size to 8.5″ x 11″ – The courts want each and every page in your PDF to be 8.5″ x 11″ which is the size of a piece of paper. Anything larger renders the court’s official file stamp illegible. Most courts will automatically reject such large documents. Learn more about document page sizes.
- Portrait Orientation – The court wants all pages of a PDF to have a portrait orientation. This refers to the vertical design typically associated with letters which are taller than wide.
- Caption Pages – For each PDF you intend to e-file, you need to include a caption page with the case information. This is especially true when splitting up exhibits that exceed the 25mb limit.
- Make Your Scanned Document Text-Searchable (OCR) – Some scanners have an option to make your document text searchable (OCR). However, you will want to make sure that your scanner is enabled to OCR the document before beginning the scan. If your scanner doesn’t offer that feature, you can make that scanned document text searchable using proprietary software like Adobe Acrobat.
- Retain originals – Always keep the original and store it securely.