60-day Public Review for Electronic Court Filing V4.01 COS01

Members of the OASIS LegalXML Electronic Court Filing TC [1] have recently approved a Special Majority Ballot [2] to advance Electronic Court Filing Version 4.01 as a Candidate OASIS Standard (COS). The COS now enters a 60-day public review period in preparation for a member ballot to consider its approval as an OASIS Standard.

Electronic Court Filing Version 4.01
Candidate OASIS Standard 01
17 January 2013

Specification Overview:

This specification describes the technical architecture and the functional features needed to accomplish a successful system for submitting electronic filings to courts of law. It defines both the normative (required) and non-normative (optional) business processes it supports. The non-functional requirements associated with electronic filing transactions, as well as the actions and services needed to accomplish the transactions, such as network and security infrastructures, are defined in related specifications, namely:

• Service interaction profile specifications that define communications infrastructures, within which electronic filing transactions can take place
• Document signature profile specifications that define mechanisms for stating or ensuring that a person signed a particular document

This specification supports a number of automated information exchanges such as:

• Transmission of documents in electronic form from law firms and from other persons and organizations to a court for entry ("official filing") into the court's official case records
• Recording of documents in electronic form from members of the court and court administrators into the court's official case records
• Transmission of data needed to complete (or demonstrate the previous completion of) financial transactions involving filing fees or the payment of any other court fees, fines and financial obligations
• Transmission of the metadata needed to initiate a new case record in a court's automated case management system (CMS) when the document being transmitted is one that commences a new case in that court
• Messages returned to the sender that confirm a court's receipt of the sender's filing message
• Messages notifying the sender of events such as the entry of the document(s) submitted by the sender into the court record (or an error message stating that the document[s] could not be accepted for filing and stating the reason[s] why)
• Transmission of copies of documents submitted for filing to the other parties in a case who are registered to receive service electronically

This specification defines a set of core structures that are common to most types of court filings and defines specific structures that apply to filing documents in the following types of court cases:

• Appellate
• Bankruptcy
• Civil (including general civil, mental health, probate and small claims)
• Criminal (both felony and misdemeanor)
• Domestic relations (including divorce, separation, child custody and child support, domestic violence and parentage, i.e., maternity or paternity)
• Juvenile (both delinquency and dependency)
• Violations (including traffic, ordinances and parking)

The basic structure will support other types of court filings and is extensible through court-specific and case-type-specific extensions.

National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) conformance, as defined by the NIEM Implementation Guidelines (NIEM Guide), is a core objective of this specification. The NIEM is an XML standard designed specifically for justice information exchanges, providing law enforcement, public safety agencies, prosecutors, public defenders and the judicial branch with a tool to effectively share data and information in a timely manner. The NIEM removes the burden from agencies to independently create exchange standards. ECF V4.01 uses the NIEM version 2.0 where the structures and definitions correspond to the requirements of ECF V4.01. The development process, including the NIEM modeling process, is described in Appendix B.

OASIS Universal Business Language (UBL) is an OASIS Standard that provides a single ubiquitous language for business communication, and takes into account the requirements common to all enterprises. ECF V4.01 employs OASIS Universal Business Language (UBL) to describe filing payments and payment receipts.

The W3C XML Signature Syntax and Processing (XMLSIG) specification describes a mechanism for signing electronic documents. This mechanism allows recipients of electronic documents to identify the sender and be assured of the validity of the electronically transmitted data. ECF V4.01 employs the XMLSIG specification to describe digital signatures applied to the entire ECF V4.01 message transmission in order to provide authentication, encryption and message integrity. XMLSIG is also used in the ECF XML Document Signature Profile.

OASIS Reference Model for Service Oriented Architecture (SOA-RM) is a framework for understanding significant entities, and the relationships between those entities, within a service-oriented architecture. ECF V4.01 describes such an architecture and includes terminology that conforms to the SOA-RM.

OASIS Code List Representation (Genericode) is a model and XML schema that can be used to encode a broad range of code list information. The XML format is designed to support interchange or distribution of machine-readable code list information between systems. All ECF V4.01 code lists that are not defined in the NIEM are provided in Genericode 1.0 format.

ECF V4.01 received Statements of Use from Intresys Inc., ImageSoft Inc., and URL Integration Inc. [3]. The Committee Specification Draft had three public reviews [4].

Public Review Period:

The 60-day public review starts 31 January 2013 and ends 01 April 2013.

This is an open invitation to comment. OASIS solicits feedback from potential users, developers and others, whether OASIS members or not, for the sake of improving the interoperability and quality of its technical work.


The prose specification document and related files are available here:

Editable Source (Authoritative):



XML schemas:

XML sample messages:


Genericode code lists:

ZIP distribution file (complete):

For your convenience, OASIS provides a complete package of the prose specification and related files in a ZIP distribution file. You can download the ZIP file here:


Additional information about the specification and the OASIS LegalXML Electronic Court Filing TC may be found at the TC's public home page located at:


Comments may be submitted to the TC by any person through the use of the OASIS TC Comment Facility which can be accessed via the button labeled "Send A Comment" at the top of the TC public home page, or directly at:


Feedback submitted by TC non-members for this work and for other work of this TC is publicly archived and can be viewed at:


All comments submitted to OASIS are subject to the OASIS Feedback License, which ensures that the feedback you provide carries the same obligations at least as the obligations of the TC members. In connection with this public review of Electronic Court Filing Version 4.01, we call your attention to the OASIS IPR Policy [5] applicable especially [6] to the work of this technical committee. All members of the TC should be familiar with this document, which may create obligations regarding the disclosure and availability of a member's patent, copyright, trademark and license rights that read on an approved OASIS specification.

OASIS invites any persons who know of any such claims to disclose these if they may be essential to the implementation of the above specification, so that notice of them may be posted to the notice page for this TC's work.

========== Additional references:

[1] OASIS LegalXML Electronic Court Filing TC

[2] Candidate OASIS Standard ballot

[3] Statements of Use
Intresys Inc.: https://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/legalxml-courtfiling/201301/msg000...

ImageSoft Inc.: https://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/legalxml-courtfiling/201209/msg000...

URL Integration Inc.: https://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/legalxml-courtfiling/201208/msg000...

[4] Public reviews
15-day public review, 5 April 2012: https://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/tc-announce/201204/msg00003.html
15-day public review, 1 October 2011: http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/tc-announce/201110/msg00001.html
30-day public review, 26 February 2011: http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/tc-announce/201102/msg00001.html

Public Review Comment Resolution Log

[5] http://www.oasis-open.org/who/intellectualproperty.php

[6] http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/legalxml-courtfiling/ipr.php
RF on Limited Terms

Associated TC: 
LegalXML Electronic Court Filing
Associated MS: