Detailed guide: CE-File system information and support advice

Hm Courts Tribunals Service

September 23
10:39 2019

CE-File can be used individually or by a legal professional on behalf of a client.

Video: An introduction to CE-File

A fee may be payable online when you submit your claim or appeal.

You must register to use CE-File to file documents electronically, search for cases and order office copies.

Filing papers as a litigant in person (PDF, 1.2MB, 14 pages)

Filing papers as a professional user (PDF, 1.52MB, 27 pages)

More information about the Business and Property Courts and the Queens Bench Division.

User name and passwords

To get a username and password to access the CE-File system, please follow Register as an E-Filer on the CE-File home page.

Setting up a CE-File account video

How to use the system

CE-File is very easy to use, just follow these 5 simple steps:

  • access the CE-File system and register for an account.
  • ensure you select the correct court eg Chancery. Enter details of a new case or search for an existing case.
  • explain what is being filed and upload the claim form or documents in Microsoft Word or PDF format.
  • pay any necessary fees either by credit or debit card or on account.
  • once accepted a case number will be created and you will be notified of it in CE-File and via email. In CE-File this will appear in the top right corner.

User guide - E-Filing: create account, dashboard and navigation (PDF, 432KB, 7 pages)

The maximum capacity is 50MB. If a document is too large send it in sections and make a note in the comments box.

If you are a legal professional, use of the CE-File system is mandatory for the Business and Property Courts or the Central Office of the Queens Bench Division. Attempts to file documents by post, DX, fax or email will not be accepted.

Public searches

You can make a public search of the courts register and/or order office copies. You cannot file documents with the court using this service.

User guide for public searches (PDF, 1.15MB, 14 pages)

Security and data protection

The information you enter on the CE-File system is secure and has a high-level of built-in security based on roles and confidentiality tags. The solution is hosted by Thomson Reuters at an ISO270001 compliant data centre.

Fees and help with fees

Court fees must be paid by credit or debit card or via a fee account.

Civil and Family Court Fees

Paying fees via a fees account (PBA)

If you need help with fees please contact the court.

Get help with fees.

Confidential papers

If papers are confidential, on the Filing Information page, click on the arrow by Confidential Reason and select from the options either Classified, Information or Other. On receipt, the court will review your request for your documents to be confidential. If accepted then the document/case will be highlighted in red. This confirms that the document/case is confidential. This does not replace the need to make an application.

Turning off email alerts

If you are getting too many emails from CE-File you can turn them off by clicking on the drop-down menu under your name in the top right-hand corner of the screen, select My Account, select Application Notification next to the Notification Type, then click save.

Locked accounts

If your account is locked, you must wait 2 minutes for the account to unlock before you can log back into the system again, or you can reset your password from the login screen.

Service availability

CE-File allows registered users to file documents 24 hours a day, including weekends and bank holidays. This will enable claim forms to be issued and documents to be filed in electronic format out of normal court office opening hours.

The only exceptions are:

  • during planned periods of system maintenance and upgrades when CE-File will not be available.
  • in the event of unplanned periods during which CE- File will not be available, for example, due to a system failure or power outage.


The court will aim to process work received as soon as possible. Once your files have been accepted by the court, you can monitor the progress of your cases and see the sealed documents by searching for them via the CE-File system.

It is the responsibility of the person filing the case to inform the court that the filing is urgent. When an urgent application is filed, the filing party will need to upload a letter with the document outlining the reason(s) why a case must be dealt with urgently. The filing party must also place a comment in the Comments field stating that the filing is urgent.

Rejected filing

There are a number of reasons why papers may be rejected. It is usually that the form is has been completed incorrectly, scanned incorrectly, the incorrect fee has been paid or the correct supporting application has not been sent. If your file is rejected and resubmitted the next day it will be sealed with the date you resubmitted the document. Contact the court if this happens.

When issuing a claim the issuing party is responsible for updating all of the party details. If the relevant information is not included, the claim form will be rejected.

Amending filing

It is possible to submit an amended claim form to the court through CE-File. If you are in any doubt or would like some guidance contact the court. Once court staff approve the claim a case number will be created and you will be notified of it in CE-File and via email.

Where a document is accidentally filed, and has not been rejected by the Court office, the person who filed the document will need to contact the court for assistance as soon as possible

Support and enquiries

If you are experiencing problems accessing the CE-File system please contact

If you would like to give feedback about a service issue, a suggested improvement, change or general comment about the system please contact

Published 10 March 2017
Last updated 23 September 2019 +show all updates
  1. Updated PDF user guides

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