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Minnesota Guide & File

Minnesota Guide & File is a web-based electronic tool that helps you create court forms in certain types of cases.  In most situations, you can then file your forms electronically (eFile) through Guide & File, or print and file at a courthouse.
Start Guide & File

Minnesota Guide & File is a free online interview tool provided by the Minnesota Judicial Branch (MJB).  There are currently six question-and-answer interviews to help you fill out the MJB court forms needed:

Start a Guide & File Interview.


At the end of a Guide & File interview, most users have three options:

  • File the forms electronically (eFile);
  • Print the forms, then file the paper forms at a courthouse; or
  • Print the forms, then file electronically through the eFS System.
Minnesota Guide & File will also give you Next Steps instructions to tell you what to do with your forms, and how the court process works. The Next Steps are also available on the Guide & File Tools & Resources tab. 
 
Basics of Guide & File
1. How much does it cost to use Minnesota Guide & File?
It is free to use Minnesota Guide & File to create, save and print your court forms. If you choose to file your forms electronically (eFile), either at the end of the Guide & File interview or through the eFS System, there will be a $5 fee, as well as the filing fee.
2. What forms can I create through Minnesota Guide & File

There are six interviews available:


 
3. How do I get to Minnesota Guide & File?
The link to Guide & File is https://minnesota.tylerhost.net/SRL/SRL .
4. Do I need to have a user account in Guide & File?
No, you do not need to have a user account in order to create and print court forms in Guide & File. However, your information is not saved anywhere unless you have a user account. If you are using a public computer, information might disappear after a certain period of inactivity. You have to complete the interview and print your forms in one sitting.
5. What are the benefits of having a user account in Guide & File?
  • Guide & File automatically saves your work at the end of every page;
  • You can go back into the interview to finish answering questions, or to edit what you have already answered;
  • You need a Guide & File account in order to electronically (eFile) at the end of an interview; and
  • Your Guide & File account credentials (username and password) will also give you access to the eFS System (if you decide to eFile at the end of your interview).
6. How long is my information kept in Guide & File?

With a Guide & File account: Your completed or draft interview is saved for 3 months. After 3 months, the interview may be deleted automatically.


Without a Guide & File account: your information is not kept at all once you leave the interview.

7. Will court staff be able to access my Guide & File account?
No. You are the only one who can access your Guide & File account, unless you choose to share your username and password with someone else.


Using Guide & File
8. I lost my password. How can I find it?
Click on the "Forgot Password" link on login page on Guide & File for help. You will need the following information:
  • Email address (the one used to create your Guide & File account); and
  • The answer to your security question.
Guide & File will send your password to you by email.
 
9. What are my options for filing my forms?
Once you are done answering all of the questions in the interview, you can either:
  • File the forms electronically (eFile) through Guide & File*;
  • Print the forms, then file the paper forms at a courthouse; or
  • Print the forms, then file electronically through the eFS System.
*Note: If you have more than one Plaintiff/Petitioner (person filing the case) you will not have an option to eFile through Guide & File because signatures are required from each Plaintiff/Petitioner. After printing and signing the forms, you still have the option to file through the eFS System.
10. What is the difference between a "reusable" account and a "one-time" account?
When eFiling through Guide & File you can either upload the correct forms to have the fees waived or you have to pay a filing fee by credit or debit card. You can either create a "reusable" account or you can create a "one-time" account.

If you choose to create a one-time account:
  • This is only good for one filing and does not carry over in the eFS System or future Guide & File interviews.
  • If you need to file any forms through the eFS System, even if it does not require a fee, like the Affidavit of Service, you will need to add a payment account if you used the one-time account in Guide & File.
If you create a reusable account:
  • This information will be saved for any future Guide & File interivews or subsequent filings in eFS.
Your credit or debit card will not be charged when filing forms that do not require a fee or if you have an active order waiving filing fees for that case.
 
11. I finished the interview. What do I do next?
Your next steps depends on whether you printed or eFiled your forms at the end of the Guide & File interview. There are Next Steps instructions included on the Summary Page at the end of your interview.

If you did not print or save a copy, you can find them on the Tools & Resources tab. Choose the Next Steps instructions for your situation.
12. When is my credit card charged?
When eFiling through Guide & File, and eFS, a hold is placed on your credit card when you first submit your forms. Once the forms are accepted, your credit card is then charged. If your forms are not accepted then your credit card is not charged and the hold is removed.
13. How do I change my answers on my forms before filing?
If you have reviewed your forms and you need to change an answer, you will need to return to your interview in Guide & File.  Follow the steps below if you have not yet filed. If you have already filed then review FAQ 15 for amending your forms.

Return to Guide & File to create your corrected forms:
  1. Log into your Guide & File Account.
  2. Go to "My Interviews" and choose the interview that was completed. If you started multiple interviews, find the interview that you completed and created the forms and consider deleting the incomplete interviews.
  3. Use the arrows for the "actions" to choose "resume."
  4. The interview should open up to the last page you were on, which is usually the Summary Page. Click the "Return to Interview" button on the bottom of the screen. You can then use the "Go To" with the dropdown list of pages to find where your question may be.*
  5. Make any changes to your answers as you move through the interview. If there are multiple parts to the interview then choose the part that needs to be changed. Again, you may then have to click "next" through the questions.
  6. Upload any required forms again. Be sure to use the "Prepare for eFile" for any fillable smart form on the website.
  7. Review your completed forms on the Summary Page to be sure all of your answers are correct.
*NOTE: If the interview has been updated since the last time you used it, you may have to start at the beginning of the interview and click "next" since there may be new questions for you to answer. Your answers are still saved though.
 
14. I received an email saying my forms were not accepted. What now?

After eFiling your case through Guide & File, court staff will review the filings to be sure they meet all requirements. A file may not be accepted for any number of reasons. Be sure to read your email for an explanation of why your file was not accepted.

Return to Guide & File to create your corrected forms:

  1. Log into your Guide & File Account.
  2. Go to "My Interviews" and choose the interview that was filed.
  3. Use the arrows for the "actions" to choose "Start a Copy."
  4. Your answers are saved but you will need to move through the interview by clicking "next." Be sure to make any updates, as needed.
  5. Upload any required forms again. Be sure to use the "Prepare for eFile" for any fillable smart form on the website.*
  6. Complete the rest of the steps for electronically filing your forms.

*NOTE: If you received notice that your filing was not successfully submitted with a "Document Failed to Submit - Error" and an explanation that you must be sure to flatten the document, this could be because when uploading a form in your interview you did not use the "Prepare for eFile" button to create an uneditable flattened document when using a Fillable Smart Form. If saved to your computer, open the file and use the "Prepare for eFile" button to flatten the form. This can then be used to upload within the interview.

15. I already filed my forms but need to change my answers. What next?
If you have already filed your forms, whether electronically (eFiling) or by filing the papers, if you need to change your answers you will need to file an "Amended" form. Depending on how much you need to change, the easiest thing may be to return to your forms in Guide & File.

Return to Guide & File to create your corrected forms:
  1. Log into your Guide & File Account.
  2. Go to "My Interviews" and choose the interview that was filed.
  3. Use the arrows for the "actions" to choose "Start a Copy." If you did not eFile it may have an option for "Resume" instead.
  4. Your answers are saved but you will need to move through the interview by clicking "next." Make any changes to your answers as you move through the interview.
  5. Upload any required forms again. Be sure to use the "Prepare for eFile" for any fillable smart form on the website.*
  6. If you eFiled your forms the first time, answer "yes" that you want to eFile now, so that you can apply a new signature on your forms.
  7. Review your completed forms on the Summary Page to be sure all of your answers are correct.
  8. DO NOT click "Submit Now" to eFile your forms (if that is an option.)
  9. Print* the updated form from the Summary Page in Guide & File after reviewing that everything is correct.
  10. Write in "Amended" above the title of the form. For example, if you update the Petition for Harassment Restraining Order, it should now read "Amended Petition for Harassment Restraining Order."
  11. File the amended form with the court the same way you filed your original paperwork. If you eFiled, then you will need to scan the printed forms to your computer and save them as a PDF to upload into the eFS System. There are helpful Quick Reference Guides (QRGs) available on the  eFile and eServe Training - Training Materials webpage, as well as contact information for the eFS Support Center.
* If you are comfortable using Adobe Reader, you may be able to open the form in Adobe and edit the form by adding in "Amended" above the title of the form. This way you have an electronic version of the form to eFile, if needed.


 

 
If you have questions about Minnesota Guide & File, contact the Statewide Self-Help Center.
  • By phone: (651) 435-6535 (M-F, 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)
  • By email: Contact Us Form
If you have questions about electronic filing (eFiling), electronic service (eService), or the eFS System, contact the eFile Support Center.
  • (612) 902-9585 (M-F, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
  • (844) 918-1724 (if calling long distance from a landline phone)