CA Court eFiling Requirements – Part One

Here at Rapid Legal, we often get asked which courts are moving to eFiling and when. To start, eFiling means to electronically file your legal documents over the Internet, typically through a court-approved Electronic Filing Service Provider. And while it’s nothing new on the Federal level, for California state courts, it’s a different story, but we can cover that topic another time. To address the original question in this post, “What CA courts are moving to eFiling and when?” we’ve created a 3 part series that shares eFiling developments in the Sunshine State. Here we discuss Orange County Court eFiling and Los Angeles County eFiling.

Please note: This information is current as of January 2015. While we’ve made every attempt to verify its accuracy, you should always consult CCP, local court rules and/or CA Rules of Court. Also, this is only information, not legal advice.

Orange County Superior Court

January 1, 2013: OCSC mandates that all documents filed in limited, unlimited and complex civil actions must be filed electronically pursuant to CCP Sec. 1010.6 and OCSC Rule 352. Two caveats exist, however; self-represented litigants are exempt from the eFiling mandate, but are strongly encouraged to eFile, and parties facing undue hardship may apply for an exemption from eFiling in accordance with rule 2.253.

Additionally, California Rules of Court, rule 2.251 states that a party by electronically filing any document with the court thereby agrees to accept electronic service.

September 3, 2013: OCSC mandates that all documents (exceptions are listed below) for Probate and Mental Health must be electronically filed pursuant to section 1010.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure , rule 2.253 (b)(2) of the California Rules of Court , and Local Rule 601.01.

Along with these mandates, filers must use one of the court-approved Electronic Filing Service Providers (EFSPs). Shameless plug: Rapid Legal is an EFSP. Need to eFile some documents? Give our team a call at 800.366.5445!

Take note, the following original documents may not be filed electronically:

Civil Cases:

  • Bench Warrants
  • Subpoenaed documents
  • Labor Commissioner deposit of cash or check
  • Bonds
  • Undertakings

Probate/Mental Health Cases:

  • Affidavit re: Real Property of Small Value
  • Bonds
  • Financial Documents submitted by Private Professional Conservator
  • Letters (probate, guardianship, conservatorship)
  • Subpoenaed documents
  • Undertakings
  • Will/Codicils – originals for filing or safekeeping

In a proceeding that requires the filing of any original documents, an electronic filer may file an electronic copy of a document if the original document is then filed with the court within 10 calendar days. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 2.252(e))

We know this is a lot of information. Orange County Superior Court does a great job answering many of the pressing questions you might have. Check out their FAQs here.

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Rapid Legal delivers unrivaled process serving for law firms and legal departments

Curious about how Orange County eFiling works? To become an approved Electronic Filing Service Provider with OCSC, we had to first determine a way to connect with the court’s Electronic Filing Manager (EFM). Some attorney services who are also EFSPs chose to use a third party application built by someone else, at Rapid Legal, we chose to build our own eFiling portal to connect to the court’s EFM. As a result, our court-integrated proprietary technology allows us to process legal documents quickly and efficiently. Check out the illustration below.

EFSP eFiling order court workflow

Interesting, huh? We’ll talk more about Rapid Legal’s eFiling technology in future posts, but for now, let’s see what’s going in with eFiling in the Los Angeles County courts.

Los Angeles Superior Court

As it stands today, LASC only allows for permissive eFiling for Small Claims. Parties who want to eFile a Small Claims action can do it online through the Court’s website, except when:

  • The claim is against a government agency
  • The claim involves an attorney-client fee dispute
  • The claimant is requesting a waiver of Court fees and costs
  • The claimant is a minor, a legally incompetent person, or a person for whom a conservator has been appointed

So maybe you already knew this and you’re asking when eFiling is going to be instituted for other case types at Los Angeles Superior Court? We’ll here’s what we know…

In 2013, LASC appointed a new CEO, Sherri Carter, known for her achievements in technological innovation. Last year, the court hired the Chief Information Officer, Snorri Ogata, from Orange County Superior Court to serve as their CIO.  Our guess? LASC is making these types of moves because they’re getting serious about expanding electronic filing. As the largest court system in the nation, LASC’s eFiling expansion will be quite significant and will likely take at least 3-4 years, if not longer, to fully implement.

In our next post in this 3 part series, we’ll be discussing eFiling with San Francisco county courts.