eCourts Guide & File Launching August 31 for Attorneys and Self-Represented Litigants

Launching statewide in all counties on August 31, eCourts Guide & File allows self-represented litigants and attorneys to prepare court documents online for free in 3 easy steps.

eCourts Guide & File logo draft

  1. Answer online questions
    to prepare the case filing
  2. Automatically create legal
    documents for free
  3. Print documents to file
    with the clerk of court

Guide & File will be announced to the public August 31We are excited to offer you this special sneak preview so that you can help us spread the word about this transformative service when it launches for the public next week.

Guide & File is the first component to launch as part of the Judicial Branch’s multi-year effort with Tyler Technologies to transform North Carolina’s court system with an integrated case management system (ICMS).

Under the leadership of Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, North Carolina’s Judicial Branch continues to make great strides in improving access to justice for all North Carolinians. With free, 24/7 online access and easy-to-understand interview questions, Guide & File will eliminate barriers and simplify the legal process for hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians who come to our courts each year without the assistance of an attorney.

This online document preparation not only improves access to our courts, it will also bring improved efficiency and safety for our court personnel during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Guide & File walks users through the interview process to ensure paperwork is procedurally correct, legible, and complete. This decreases the time anyone needs to spend at the clerk’s office completing forms and minimizes processing delays resulting from insufficient paperwork.

eCourts Video Play Button

Working much like popular tax preparation software, this web-based tool guides users through a series of questions (an interview) to generate court forms that are ready to be printed and then mailed to or filed at the courthouse. We hope that you will familiarize yourself with how Guide & File works, the case types available, and see how much it has to offer self-represented litigants, paralegals, and attorneys.

Case Types Available

  • Absolute Divorce
  • Adult Name Change
  • Domestic Violence Protective Order
  • Motion to Claim Exempt Property
  • Petition to Proceed as an Indigent
  • Probate
    • Year’s Allowance
    • Summary Administration
    • Small Estate Administration
  • Small Claims
    • Money Owed
    • Repossession of Personal Property
  • Summary Ejectment
    • Complaint in Summary Ejectment
    • Tenant’s Answer and Counterclaims
    • Appeal to District Court
  • More case types are in development


Once completed, users will print their forms and submit them for filing at the clerk of court’s office or via mail as they do currently. As the integrated case management system becomes available in each county over the next four years, users will be able to file their forms electronically through Guide & File. Until then, all forms must be printed and then filed either in-person or via mail (encouraged during COVID-19). While the Guide & File service is free, the standard filing fees do apply.

Guide & File Fact Sheet FINAL

Resources and Fact Sheet

Anyone with internet access can use the service anytime, anywhere at

See the Guide & File fact sheet for details.

Users will be able to access Tyler Technologies’ How-To Video, FAQs, and Technical Support through the Guide & File site for instructions and any issues that arise. Please note that these are general materials and not specific to North Carolina.

While configuration of the new case management system continues, Guide & File is available August 31 to users in all counties statewide.