Summary of Mandatory e-Filing in California Superior Courts

The California counties which, as of December 2015, mandate some type of e-Filing include:

Contra Costa. E-Filing is now mandatory on most Complex Litigation cases.

Orange. As of January 1, 2013, Orange County Superior Court mandates e-Filing for all documents filed in limited, unlimited and complex civil actions. (See CCP § 1010.6 and Local Rule 352.) On September 3, 2013, Orange County Superior Court mandated that all documents (with some exceptions) for Probate and Mental Health must be e-Filed. (See Local Rule 601.01.)

San Diego. San Diego County Superior Court mandates e-Filing for Provisionally Complex cases, such as Antitrust, Construction Defect, Mass Tort, Environmental/Toxic Tort and Securities Litigation Cases, class actions, and consolidated and coordinated actions where all cases involved are imaged cases. For mandated e-Filing cases, San Diego Superior Court has designated One Legal as the court-approved e-Filing vendor.

San Francisco. On December 8, 2014, San Francisco Superior Court made e-Filing mandatory for all General Civil case types, Asbestos, and Complex Litigation except Limited Unlawful Detainer and Small Claims cases. On November 2, 2015, San Francisco Superior Court extended mandatory e-Filing to all Probate Trust cases. E-Filing rules are contained in San Francisco Superior Court Local Rule 2.10. E-Filing Probate rules may be found in local rule 14.100. Under Local Rule 14.100 (e), mandatory E-Service does not apply to Probate filings. Case initiating documents (complaints) must still be physically filed in the San Francisco Court Clerk’s Office.

San Luis Obispo. Effective January 1, 2016, e-Filing will be mandatory in San Luis Obispo Superior Court for all limited civil and all probate case types. (See also Local Rules 31.01-31.05.)

Santa Clara. E-Filing is mandatory for all actions provisionally designated as complex pursuant to CRC 3.400(c), and all actions classified by the Complex Litigation Judge as Complex Litigation. See Local Civil Rule 16.

Note that in all California superior courts, self-represented litigants are exempt from mandatory e-FilingCalifornia Rule of Court, Rule 2.253 subd. (b)(2). Furthermore, parties facing undue hardship or significant prejudice may apply for an exemption from any mandatory e-Filing. California Rule of Court, Rule 2.253 subd. (b)(4). California Rules of Court 2.250 through 2.261 address e-filing and e-service.

Note that this blog post did not address permissive e-Filing, as many Superior Courts permit, but do not necessarily mandate e-Filing.

Caution: The e-Filing landscape is rapidly changing, as many Superior Courts in California are planning to accept or mandate e-Filing. You should always research the most current rules. An experienced freelance attorney can help you with the latest e-Filing requirements.

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