Interpreting Your Filing Receipt

I file my uncontested divorce cases electronically with Talladega County. After I file your case, I send you three documents. The first is the engagement letter between you and me, signed by both of us. The second is called “fd.pdf” and consists of all the documents you signed and sent to me for filing. The third document is a filing receipt from the court. Because it’s both loaded with useful information and a tad difficult to decipher, I added this page to help you unpack and understand the various pieces of data in it. Here’s what to watch for, all of it in the amber block:

County: “61” stands for the Talladega division of Talladega County, where I file almost all my cases.

Case Number: The letters “DR” indicate that this is a Domestic Relations case. The next four digits state the year in which the case was first filed. The next six digits are assigned to cases sequentially. No one else will have these six digits for their domestic relations case number this year in the county where your divorce is filed. All case numbers filed electronically have two digits after the period, reserved for post-divorce filings. For a new divorce case, those numbers will always be zeroes.

Style: This shows the names of the parties. The first name is that of the plaintiff, and the second name is that of the defendant

JID: This stands for “Judge Identification.” It’s usually left blank.

Document Filed: For an uncontested divorce filing, this will say “Answer/Waiver Divorce,” meaning a divorce in which all the key documents signed by both parties are submitted together for the court’s approval.

Electronic Document Stamp: The first 13 characters in this field will be your Case Number. Then follows the part you care about, which is the date and time I filed it with the court. First the date, written in the form most of us are accustomed to seeing for a date, and then the time shown as AM or PM. What follows is a series of numbers that I’ve never attempted to decipher, so I doubt if you need to either.

The following Documents were attached to this filing: This is a table showing all the documents included in your divorce filing. “Certificate of Divorce” is a document the court’s system creates based on information you gave me and that I input on the court’s system. Here’s an example of a blank one. “CS Information Sheet” stands for “Child Support Information Sheet,” which is a misnomer, because the court system creates one of these for every divorce case, even cases involving no children and no child support. It has much of the same information that shows up on the Certificate of Divorce. If you have children together, there may be a reference next to an “Withholding Order.” “Complaint” refers not just to the complaint but to all the documents for your divorce case, in the form of a file called “fd.pdf.” This is the same “fd.pdf” file I sent to you when I filed your divorce case.

Notice of this filing must be served on the following parties: This will show the name and address of the defendant. All my uncontested divorces involve a waiver of service, so the sheriff’s not going to knock on their door.

Finally, because this page talks about my legal practice, I’m going to include that phrase we must use with anything that might be construed as advertising. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

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