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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 five question-and-answer interviews to help you fill out the MJB court forms needed:

You can start a Guide & File interview here.

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 five interviews available:

  • Conciliation (Small Claims) Court - create forms to start a Conciliation Court case;
  • Divorce with Children - create forms to start a divorce when you have minor children together (under the age of 18) and do not have an agreement at this time;
  • Eviction - create forms to start an eviction case;
  • Affidavit of Service - used to upload your signed Affidavit of Service in a Conciliation Court or Eviction case.
  • Harassment Restraining Order - create forms to ask for a HRO; and
  • Order for Protection - create forms to ask for an OFP.

3. How do I get to Minnesota Guide & File?
The link to Guide & File is .
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 information is available for 30 days.
Without a Guide & File account: your information is not kept at all.
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. 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.

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
  • (844) 918-1724 (if calling long distance from a landline phone)