eFiling and eService Guide for Superior Court of California, County of Orange

Central Justice Center - Orange County Superior Court’s

This 2022 Orange County eFiling and eService guide provides essential information every attorney and paralegal needs to meet the Orange County Superior Court’s latest electronic civil filing requirements. For all Orange County Court eFiling requirements, please visit the court’s website.

Table of Contents

General OCSC Civil eFiling Information

Court Website: www.occourts.org

Local Rules: www.occourts.org/directory/local-rules/local-rules-of-court

Mandatory Case Types: Civil, Probate/Mental Health, Small Claims

Filing Deadline: Documents electronically filed by the 11:59 p.m. deadline on a court day, will be deemed filed as of that day. Electronically filed documents that are received by the Court at 12 midnight—or filed on a non-court day—will be deemed filed on the first court day after it is received.

  • It is important to remember that this provision concerns only the method and effective date of filing. Any document that is electronically filed must satisfy all other legal filing deadlines and requirements.
  • Orange County Superior Court (OCSC) notes that this Rule does not affect the timing requirements for any documents that must be filed by a set time on the due date.

Orange County Court eFiling Deadline

Formatting Requirements: Stipulations and Proposed orders must be submitted in Microsoft Word format. All other documents must be submitted in PDF format.

Courtesy Copies: Not generally required but may be ordered by a judge at any time.

Limitations on Filings: Notwithstanding any other provision of law or this rule certain original documents may not be eFiled, including but not limited to original wills/codicils.

Notes: Documents that are confidential by law should include the word “Confidential” in the caption. If a document is sealed or conditionally sealed, that fact or request should be noted in the Submitter’s Comment Box.

Automated Status Updates: At this time, the public can get access to automated status updates calling the following phones numbers.

Civil

(657) 622-8451

Family

(657) 622-8457

Probate / Mental Health

(657) 622-8452

Another way to reach a clerk is to log onto the Court’s website and select Ask a Question. This will send the clerk an email. Allow 24-48 hours for a response.

Contact: Transaction number is needed

Telephone Hours

Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed for lunch from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

  • Civil (657) 622-5300 – 2, 1, 1, 1 0 for Clerk
  • Probate (657) 622-5300 – 2, 6, 1, 1
  • Probate Direct (657) 622-7845
  • Family (657) 622-6504 – 2, 3, 1, 1

Civil eFiling Document Information

Civil eFiling Document Information

Document types that can be uploaded: PDF

Reasons to upload converted documents: Stipulation and Order documents are required to be uploaded as Word versions instead of PDFs. For more information see the Scanned Documents vs. Converted Documents section of this article.

Documents that cannot be eFiled

The following original documents may not be filed electronically:

For Civil Cases:

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

How to file documents under seal

For firms that are working with documents under seal, to successfully file those documents they must be walked into the Court and physically filed.

A case that is ordered sealed by the court is not eligible for eFiling.

Because the case is sealed, your electronic filing service provider will not have any information regarding your case. Law firms handling cases that have been sealed by the Court should submit those documents at the appropriate courthouse.

The Court’s Civil eFiling page has more details and links to additional eFiling resources.

How to upload your documents

How to upload your documents

Each document that is submitted for filing with the court or issuance by the court should be uploaded as a separate document.

For example, if your document contains a first page, which conforms to rule 2.111 of California Rules of Court, or is a judicial council form or local form, which is being presented to the court for filing or issuance it should be uploaded as a separate document.

Size limits

Individual documents as large as 35 megabytes and a transaction up to 60 megabytes can be accepted. If you believe your document or transaction may exceed these limits, please contact the electronic filing service provider for assistance in optimizing your files and/or utilizing their File Transfer Protocol (FTP) for extremely large documents.

Family Law eFiling

Family Law eFiling

Documents that cannot be eFiled

While electronic filing systems accept a variety of legal documents there are a number of documents that cannot be eFiled in family law cases in OCSC. Among the documents that appear on the OCSC General Family Law eFiling Exceptions list are:

Case processing

  • Appellate Documents
  • Application for publication/posting
  • Bonds
  • Ex parte filings
  • Non-Summary Dissolution Judgment Forms (e.g., FL-180 and FL 250), and Judgment Packets
  • Request for Dismissal
  • Writs/Abstracts

Case Type Specific

  • Adoption – Memos to Set
  • Out-of-State Registration Filings
  • Surrogacy Filings
  • Special Immigrant Juvenile Findings that include a FL-935 Application and Order for Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem (GAL)

Courtroom

  • Findings and Order After Hearing, Order After Hearing and Judgments
  • Hearing Documents Over 25MB in Size that Cannot Be Compressed
  • QDRO and QDRO Packets
  • Subpoenaed Documents
  • Trial Exhibits

Family Law Codes

A complete list of Family Law Codes for Orange County Superior Court is available on this web page. The codes can be viewed online or downloaded as a PDF.

Avoid common errors

Electronic filing was designed to help reduce errors and improve the accuracy of electronically filed court documents, yet occasionally mistakes are made. Certain errors tend to occur more often than others on eFiled documents, and the Court refers to these errors as “typical reasons for return.”

The following are typical reasons for return for an eFiling:

  • Subsequent filings submitted as new cases
  • Multiple filing documents submitted as a single file
  • Incorrect filing fee submitted
  • Incorrect court form submitted
  • Missing required information

Family Law Questions?

Get answers to more than 37 FAQs about Family Law from this OCSC guide.


Probate/Mental Health eFiling

Documents that may not be eFiled for Probate/Mental Health:

  • Affidavit re: Real Property of Small Value;
  • Financial Documents submitted by Private Professional Conservator;
  • Subpoenaed documents;
  • Undertakings; and
  • Will/Codicils – originals for filing or safekeeping

A detailed FAQ page on the OCSC website offers an expanse of information about eFiling for probate and mental health cases.

Among the valuable advice found in these FAQs is:

  • How to submit a petition for probate and original.
  • How (and whether) to submit original financial documents
  • Filing fee and fee waiver information.

eService and Orange County Superior Court

eService and Orange County Superior Court

For clarity, when this guide uses the term eService, it refers to an electronic substitute for service on opposing counsel.

Traditionally, this part of civil litigation has been carried out using paper documents such as printed facsimiles or U.S. Mail. In the modern world, however, this document exchange can occur electronically using online technologies and email. eService does, however, have certain restrictions.

What’s not allowed for eService

One restriction on eSerivce in the state of California is that papers can be served electronically only if a party or other person has expressly consented to receive electronic service in that specific action.

California also does not allow certain document to be exchanged electronically, such as a document that is required to be served by certified or registered mail.

Orange County Superior Court has not mandated eService. However, this does not mean that eService is not usable or not available in OCSC. 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.

Still sorting out the e’s?

No doubt about it, the legal world is chock full of e-terms. If you’d like more clarity about how the many soundalikes relate to each other, be sure to check out Did You Know? eFiling vs. eDelivery and eSubmit are NOT the Same!


 

Stand-Alone Electronic Service (eService) is Here!

Users may now place stand-alone eService orders on the Rapid Legal portal, independent of a court eFiling order.

Why use eService?

eSevice uses email to notify a party that a court document has been served electronically. It is paperless, fast, and efficient.

How eService Works

  • Party A sends an email notification to Party B at an email address Party B authorizes for electronic service. The email formally notifies Party B that a court document(s) has been served.
  • The email identifies the court document(s) by its specific name.
  • The email contains a hyperlink Party B can click on to securely view and download the court document(s).

To place an eService order with Rapid Legal, simply log onto the portal and select “eService” under “Place Order.”

Get complete details about eService in the California Code of Civil Procedure.

eFiling tips from Orange County Superior Court

eFiling tips from Orange County Superior Court

To help assure a smooth and successful eFiling process, OCSC offers these suggestions to electronic court document filers.

How to address bad dates – hearing requests

For law firms that need to file a document that requires a hearing for which the firm has a preferred date, the Court recommends listing dates that are unavailable instead of dates that are available.

Why list the unavailable dates?

  • When the Court knows which dates are unavailable it has more flexibility to find a date that will work. This flexibility means the Court won’t have to return the document to the law firm because of date unavailability.
  • Additionally, the Court asks eFilers to make the comments for the unavailable dates on the comment field that is the same screen as the upload for the FL-300. If the electronic filer does not do this the comments will not be seen upon processing.

How to handle documents larger than 25 megabytes (MB)

The Court has a simple rule about document size: Documents must be compressed to a size that is less than 25MB.

In some cases, however, it may not be possible to compress an electronic document to less than 25MB. For large quantity documents that cannot meet the Court’s 25MB document size limit, OCSC asks for the documents to be delivered in person to the Court.

Correcting court fees

The Court offers this helpful tip about correcting court fees:

  • When completing a filing where fees are due the Court, if you neglect to add the fee, the Court will do so and send a note with the accepted filing. This will reduce your e-filing costs by not having to resubmit the filing again.

Standard Processing Time

Time is money for law firms, so it’s vital to know what type of turnaround time is associated with electronic court filing. The Court offers this tip regarding standard processing time:

Our office is currently processing e-filed documents within 24-48 hours. For At issues and Request to Enter Defaults, the timeline is approximately two weeks.”


Scanned Documents vs. Converted Documents

What are the benefits?

According to OCSC, the most attractive benefit is that converted documents rarely exceed 5.0 MB, since you can usually get hundreds of pages into a 5.0 MB file.

On the other hand, scanned documents can be problematic because scanning creates a considerably larger file size for the same number of pages in comparison to converted documents.

It’s not possible to know for certain how many pages you’ll be able to pack into a file that is smaller 5.0 MB when scanning. With that being said, the Court offers the following examples as benchmarks:

  • 100 pages converted to PDF may be only 1.5 MB
  • 100 pages scanned to PDF at high resolution may be up to 18.0 MB
  • 100 pages scanned to low resolution may be only 3.0 MB

How to select an eFiling partner

How to select an eFiling partner

Electronic filing can be worrisome for those who are new to eFiling. It can also be concerning for law firms that are thinking about changing providers but hesitate to do so because of uncertainty over learning a new provider’s process.

Neither of these scenarios should cause anxiety, and they don’t have to.

You can begin eFiling or switch eFiling providers smoothly by partnering with an EFSP that has an online portal designed to flatten the learning curve. That provider should also have a support team that is available to help you navigate that curve should questions arise.

The portal and support team are just two points on which you’ll want to judge whether an EFSP can serve your needs. You’ll also want to ask about the following during your vendor interviews:

  • Scope of service
  • Performance and productivity
  • Domain knowledge and court filing expertise
  • Performance metrics
  • References

If you’re wondering how prospective vendors should respond to questions about these areas be sure to read A Complete Checklist for Selecting a Certified eFiling Service Provider. In less than 2 minutes you’ll learn how to recognize prospects who have the right stuff to be your preferred EFSP.


Need help with vendor interviews?

Use this checklist to cut through the hype and collect credible information.

Download the checklist now.


Deep dive into eFiling success

Every law firm that adopts eFiling should be able to look forward to spending less time-on-task and lowering the cost of doing business.

If you want a deeper understanding about how technology platforms drive these positive changes check out the resources below. They’re fast, easy reads that you can use to strengthen your own position as a 21st century legal professional.

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to eFiling in 2021 and Beyond

Did You Know? eFiling vs. eDelivery and eSubmit are NOT the Same!

Strict eFiling Requirements Enforcement and What It Means for You

If you’re looking for an electronic filing service provider (EFSP) that can meet your court filing needs as well as provide an array of other valuable services, use the following three resources to find your ideal match.

A Complete Checklist for Selecting a Certified eFiling Service Provider

How Law Firms Can Get Better eFiling Pricing and Service with a Single, Preferred Provider

Technology Your Process Server Should Be Using

Begin eFiling now

Begin eFiling now

The first step is to find an electronic filing service provider (EFSP). The court has an approved list of these providers, including Rapid Legal.

The right provider can help a law firm operate more profitably and with greater efficiency. To get these benefits, however, you’ll want to strike a partnership with an EFSP that is in good standing with the court, can provide references, and has the in-house expertise to help resolve your eFiling challenges.

Strategically, it’s also in any law firm’s best interest to select an EFSP that can file electronically into all courts that accept eFiling. Being able to conveniently eFile into any court that accepts electronic filing without having to switch providers makes a firm more agile and responsive.


Rapid Legal provides eFiling into every California Court that accepts electronic court filing.

See the current list of those courts here.


Rapid Legal excels in every area where eFiling matters most to law firms. Not only do we provide an easy-to-use online portal, but Rapid Legal also has relationships with the Courts where you need to file electronically and the deep domain expertise to make sure your eFiling initiative is a success.

Interested in eFiling using Rapid Legal? Book a demo or create an account today.

To get the most accurate and up-to-date information about eFiling in Orange County Superior Court, please consult the Court’s website.