As of January 16, 2024, Sacramento County Superior Court has expanded electronic filing (e-Filing) to civil and probate department matters. Until July 1, 2024, e-Filing is permissive for all parties. E-Filing will become mandatory on July 1, 2024, for litigants represented by attorneys.
The following are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the new system. For a comprehensive list of FAQs, please visit the Court’s website at https://www.saccourt.ca.gov/civil/e-filing-faq.aspx.
How Does e-Filing Work?
Electronic filing of court documents occurs through a certified Electronic Filing Service Provider or EFSP. The filing party creates an account with the certified EFSP of their choice, uploads filing documents, and pays any court fees and specific service or convenience fees to the EFSP. The EFSP transmits documents and fees to the Court. Once reviewed and processed by the Court, the documents will be accepted for filing or rejected. Endorsed copies of documents are returned to the filer through the EFSP. Visit the Electronic Filing Service Providers webpage for a current list of certified EFSPs.
Is e-Filing Mandatory?
Self-represented litigants are not required to file documents electronically, though they are encouraged to do so. Beginning July 1, 2024, it will be mandatory for litigants represented by attorneys to e-File in all Civil cases handled at the Gordon D. Schaber Courthouse and Hall of Justice Building.
Do I Have to Use an EFSP?
The Judicial Council has mandated that all Courts accepting electronically filed documents use independent, certified EFSPs.
What Documents and/or Case Subcategories are Exempt from e-Filing?
- Limited Unlawful Detainer cases – these cases are handled at the Carol Miller Justice Center.
- Documents submitted by Arbitrators, Mediators, Discovery Referees, Receivers, and Special Masters.
- JCCP cases with an Order Assigning Coordination Motion Judge dated 4/1/23 or later.
- Trial documents and exhibits (submitted during a trial or hearing).
- Transfer-In Documents.
- Appeals documents.
- Peremptory Challenges (170.1/170.3/170.6).
- Out-of-County/Foreign Abstracts of Judgment.
- Gun Violence Restraining Order documents.
- Bench Warrants and Returns.
- Documents submitted conditionally under seal. The actual motion must be e-Filed. However, the documents the party seeks to file under seal must be submitted by conventional means with a conformed copy of the e-Filed motion attached.
- Documents attached to a Notice of Lodging. The actual Notice of Lodging must be e-Filed. However, the documents to be lodged must be submitted by conventional means with a conformed copy of the Notice of Lodging attached.
Documents exempt from e-Filing must be submitted in person at the Clerk’s office, by drop box, or by mail. For more information, refer to the Civil Filing Guidelines.
What are the Filing Hours/Deadline for e-Filing Documents?
You may submit your filings electronically 24 hours a day. Any documents received electronically by the Court between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on any court day are deemed filed that same day if accepted. Any documents received electronically on a non-court day (i.e., weekend or holiday) are deemed filed on the next court day if accepted.
Local rules about the cutoff time for filing ex parte documents are still in effect.
What Format Do Documents Have to Be Submitted In?
Documents submitted through e-Filing must be in PDF format, text searchable, and viewable on any standard PDF viewer.
What Is an “Electronic Envelope?”
An electronic envelope is a transaction containing one or more PDF documents on the same case number submitted through the EFSP. For example, if filing an Ex Parte Application and Proposed Order, you would submit them as separate PDF documents in the same electronic envelope.
What Is a Filing Document Name?
A filing document name is the type of filing you are submitting, such as a petition, answer, motion, stipulation, etc. The EFSP uses it to describe the document for which is being submitted. The correct filing document name is extremely important as it determines the appropriate fee and court workflow. The Court’s Civil e-Filing Document Names web page contains a list of filing document names that are available to be e-Filed.
What If I Cannot Find the Document Name for My e-Filing Submission?
If the document you are filing is not specified in the list of document names, you must use the name of the document that most closely describes your filing. You may also use a generic document name with a name extension and fill in the name extension field. Please note: Using an incorrect document name or name extension can result in either a rejected filing or the incorrect routing of your document.
What Is a “Lead Document?”
The lead document is the most important document in the electronic envelope, as it affects the priority and timing for processing by the Court and ensures that the document is directed to the appropriate workflow. The lead document can be a case-initiating document (e.g., complaint or petition), a moving document (e.g., motion), or a responsive document (e.g., answer or response). Only one lead document can be submitted in each electronic envelope. Refer to the Civil e-Filing Document Names web page for assistance determining which documents are considered “lead” documents.
Once a Document is e-Filed, What is the Processing Time?
Processing time will depend on the type of document filed. The Court strives to review and process all documents submitted via e-Filing within three business days. Some documents require further review and/or further action by the Court and may take longer than three days to process.
How Will I Receive Conformed Copies of My Documents?
Endorsed or received documents will be electronically transmitted back to the submitting party by the EFSP.
How Will I Be Notified When My Proposed Order Is Signed?
Once a proposed order is reviewed and signed by a judicial officer, the signed and filed order will be transmitted back to the filer by the EFSP.
If the judicial officer chooses to manually revise the submitted proposed order, create a new order, or sign the proposed order by hand, it will not be returned electronically through the EFSP. Instead, it will be mailed to the party that submitted the proposed order.
What If My Document Is Rejected?
Any rejected document will include the reason for the rejection, and notice will be sent back through the EFSP. Once corrected, the document may be resubmitted as a new transaction with your EFSP.
Typical reasons for rejection include, but are not limited to:
- Documents are incorrectly submitted as a single or separate PDF, e.g., multiple documents are submitted as a single PDF document when they should be separate entries.
- Incorrect filing document name or case number.
- Incorrect payment type is selected, e.g., fee waiver or government exemption.
- Incorrect case type, case category, or jurisdictional amount selected.
- Information in the data fields is incorrect and/or does not match the document image.
Do I Need to Submit Printed Courtesy Copies?
Generally speaking, no. However, specific departments or Judges may require printed courtesy copies as set forth in the local rules, public notices, or as detailed on the Court’s website. If required, please contact the courtroom directly for instructions on how they should be delivered.
The system is still extremely new and definitely still a work in progress. The Court is receiving questions daily on the new system and working diligently to update the website to address questions and provide essential information for users.
PLEASE NOTE: Before contacting the Court with questions about e-Filing, the Court asks that you check the FAQs on the website, as they have addressed many of the questions about the new system there.
For questions regarding how to submit e-Filed documents, contact your Electronic Filing Service Provider (EFSP). For questions regarding your case once submitted, contact the Civil Division at 916-874-5522.
Categorized in: Legal Procedure