eCourts Guide and File

Beginning May 10, 2022, updated court forms for some case types (see list below) will be available through Guide & File. These updated forms will make it even easier for self-represented litigants and attorneys to prepare court documents online.

Among the updates are mandatory changes to many of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) forms, as well as some of the most frequently accessed interviews, such as those used for divorce and small claims.

For all updates, an emphasis was placed on using plain language. This will help make the document preparation process more user-friendly and support the Judicial Branch’s ongoing efforts to expand access to justice.

"Updates to court documents are required for a variety of reasons, including process changes and legislation. It is something that we must continually review and act on when necessary," said Brad Fowler, chief business officer of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts (NCAOC). "Moving forward, when we make these changes, we’re going to emphasize the use of plain, easily understood language, and eliminate as much as possible the legalese that can be confusing to users and create challenges, especially for those without an attorney. We are doing all we can to make engaging with our court system as user-friendly as possible."

Case types that have been updated:

  • Absolute Divorce
  • Adult Guardianship
  • Adult Name Change
  • Complaint In Summary Ejectment
  • Domestic Violence Protective Order
  • Petition To Proceed as an Indigent (PPI)
  • Small Claims Complaint

Guide & File launched in August 2020 and more than 1,000 interviews are completed each month. Divorce currently makes up about 40% of those completed, while small claims is about 20%. Updates for estates and a new interview for motion to remit fines and fees are expected soon. Reminder: When a county goes live with the Odyssey ICMS, the eFiling option will be enabled for that county in Guide & File.


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