Superior Court of Orange County – Mandatory Probate E-Filing
Beginning September 3rd, 2013 all Probate case documents must be e-Filed. Anticipating questions regarding this mandate, last Tuesday the Orange County Superior Court invited attorneys, paralegals, firm staff, court staff and approved Electronic Filing Service Providers to attend the Probate Brown Bag Seminar at the court. During this seminar, the e-Filing supervisors passed on some important Probate e-Filing information.
The first thing mentioned was that Orange County Court has plenty of online resources to help with e-Filing. The e-Filing link from the court, http://www.occourts.org/online-services/efiling/, contains information like frequently asked questions and the requirements for e-Filing. The court also has a form site, http://www.occourts.org/forms/forms.html, where you can obtain electronic forms for e-Filing. The Case Index Search, https://ocapps.occourts.org/CourtIndex/, is the site that contains the index of cases that have been e-Filed.
Deadlines were the second topic discussed. The Probate deadline will be extended after the mandate on September 3rd, 2013, to midnight just like the civil deadline. Mental health filings will still have the noon deadline so the court can return the e-filed documents by 3pm. Presently, the Probate deadline is 4pm. The clerks also emphasized that you still need to follow the Dept. or judges “deadlines rules” for certain documents as well.
When e-Filing documents under seal or as confidential pursuant to statute, there is no special action needed. However, if your documents are sealed due to a court order you will need to write a note in the “Message to e-filing Clerk” box within the transaction telling the e-Filing clerk about the documents under seal. Also, place “Filed under seal pursuant to the court order dated MM/DD/YY” under the title of the first page of each document you are e-Filing.
Obtaining certified copies can be handled a couple of ways. One way is to write a note in the “Message to e-filing Clerk” box that certified copes are needed. When requested via e-Filing, all certified copies will be mailed back to the contact. The other option is to come to the records section at the court to obtain certified copies. That way you can get them that day.
The court shared a list of Probate and Probate Mental Health documents that CANNOT be e-Filed:
- Affidavit re: Real Property of Small Value
- Financial Documents submitted by Private Professional Conservator
- Letters (probate, guardianship, conservatorship)
- Letters of Administration
- Original Will/Codicils (Petition of Wills can be eFiled)
- Original bank statements
Lastly, the court emphasized that if you need to e-File a document that has a hearing date within 48 hours you will need to call the clerks’ e-Filing line at (657) 622-5314, so that an e-Filing clerk can note your filing as top priority. The court has said that a real human being will answer the phone, and that they will need the case number and the court transaction number in order to help you. The e-Filing line can also be called if you do not have enough room for your explanation in the “Message to e-Filing Clerk” box.
Categorized in: Legal Procedures