The Los Angeles County Superior Court has shared the following frequently asked questions to assist filers e-filing new cases, or into existing cases, in the civil courts. View the PDF
Updated: July 15, 2019
1. IS THERE A GENERAL ORDER THAT GOVERNS EFILING FOR CIVIL?
Yes. The operative General Order Re Mandatory Electronic Filing for Civil is posted on the Court’s website at: http://www.lacourt.org/division/efiling/pdf/GenOrdCivilEfiling.pdf. The Court suggests that litigants read the order before reviewing these FAQs
2. HOW DOES EFILING WORK?
Electronic filing of court documents occurs through an electronic filing service provider (EFSP). The user creates an account and the efiling system manages the flow of the documents and fees to and from the Court. The filer will submit the documents to the EFSP for submission to the Court. The Court will accept or reject the documents. The documents are returned to the EFSP for return to the filer through the EFSP’s electronic filing portal.
3. I AM A SELF-REPRESENTED LITIGANT. DO I HAVE TO EFILE?
Self-represented litigants are not mandated to file documents electronically; however, they may choose to do so if desired.
4. IS EFILING MANDATORY?
Yes. Litigants represented by attorneys in non-complex civil cases must efile unless they have obtained a court order for exemption. If you are an attorney who cannot use the efiling system, and your case is pending in the Central district, you may apply to Department 1 in the Stanley Mosk Courthouse for an exemption from mandatory electronic filing. If your case is pending in another district, you may apply to the supervising judge of that district for an exemption from mandatory electronic filing. You must use the Judicial Council Forms EFS-007 and 008.
5. WHAT ARE THE TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR DOCUMENTS BEING EFILED ?
Please refer to the “Technical Requirements” section of the operative General Order Re Mandatory Electronic Filing for Civil. This section sets forth all of the Court’s requirements for the formatting of the documents.
6. ARE ANY DOCUMENTS EXEMPT FROM EFILING?
Yes. The following documents are excluded from efiling:
- Peremptory challenges or challenges for cause of a judicial officer pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Sections 170.6 or 170.3
- Bonds/undertaking documents
- Trial and evidentiary hearing exhibits
- Any ex parte application filed concurrently with a new complaint, including those that will be assigned to the Writs and Receivers departments in the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.
- Documents submitted conditionally under seal. The actual motion or application shall be electronically filed. A courtesy copy of the electronically filed motion or application to submit documents conditionally under seal must be provided with the documents submitted conditionally under seal and delivered directly to the courtroom to which the case is assigned.
7. HOW DO I OBTAIN AN ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM?
If your case requires the appointment of a guardian ad litem (GAL), the application and proposed order must be submitted with the initial complaint. Once the GAL is approved by the Court, the summons may be submitted for issuance by the clerk.
8. HOW DO I SUBMIT DOCUMENTS EXEMPT FROM EFILING?
Except for lodged documents in support of a motion, documents that are exempt from efiling can be submitted for filing in the Clerk’s Office of the Civil Division between the office hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or by mail (visit www.lacourt.org for courthouse addresses).
9. IS EFILING THE SAME AS FAX FILING?
No. Efiling is not the same as fax filing. For efiling, the filing party must use an EFSP and submit documents for filing over the internet. With the exception of Small Claims and Complex, the Court will no longer accept fax filing for civil documents. Once efiling is implemented for Complex, fax filing will no longer be available.
10.WILL FAX FILING STILL BE AVAILABLE AFTER EFILING IS IMPLEMENTED?
No. Fax filing will not be available for civil documents after efiling is implemented for each civil case type.
11. IS EDELIVERY STILL AVAILABLE?
No. Efiling has replaced eDelivery. For efiling, the filing party must select from a variety EFSPs and submit documents through the EFSP for filing over the internet.
12. CAN I USE MY PERSONAL COMPUTER TO EFILE?
Yes. You can use your personal computer to submit filings through an EFSP. You will use the internet to select the EFSP and submit your documents for filing. You will upload the document as an attachment. For instructions, refer to your EFSP’s website.
13. WHICH EFSP CAN I USE?
You may use any EFSP that is listed on the Court’s website. You may view the EFSP list at: http://www.lacourt.org/division/efiling/civil_providers.aspx.
14. WHY DO I HAVE TO REGISTER AS AN ELECTRONIC FILER (EFILER)?
Registration as an electronic filer is required to establish an account for your electronically filed documents. Your account will allow you to check the status of your electronically filed documents and will provide a path for the Court to return your documents to you.
15.CAN I CHANGE MY EFSP AFTER I HAVE CHOSEN AND REGISTERED WITH ONE?
Yes. You may choose any EFSP. You may change to a different service provider at any time. Selecting and using an EFSP is similar to using an “attorney service” for filings, except the types of filings processed are electronic.
16. DO I HAVE TO USE AN EFSP?
Yes. The Judicial Council has mandated that all Courts accepting electronically filed documents use independent EFSPs. Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Section 1010.6(e) the Court may not accept electronic filings directly. You can find a list of approved service providers on the Court’s public website at: http://www.lacourt.org/division/efiling/civil_providers.aspx.
17. IS THERE A COST TO EFILE?
Yes. The Court and the EFSP will charge for efiling and all fees are collected by the EFSP when the filing is submitted. For court fees related to electronic filing, refer to the Court’s official fee schedule at: http://www.lacourt.org/forms/pdf/fees/fee-schedule-2019.pdf.
18. ARE EFILING FEES RECOVERABLE?
Efiling fees may be recoverable pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Section 1033.5.
19. WHAT TYPE OF PAYMENTS DO YOU ACCEPT?
Please check with the EFSP of your choosing for specific information regarding payment types. Credit cards and electronic checks are accepted.
20. DO COURT-APPOINTED ATTORNEYS HAVE TO EFILE AND PAY THE FEES FOR EFILING?
Absent a fee waiver, fees are required for all filings, including filings from court-appointed attorneys.
21. ONCE I EFILE A DOCUMENT, WHAT IS THE TIME FOR PROCESSING?
Turnaround time will depend on the type of document filed. The Court attempts to confirm the filing or receipt of documents within two business days. Proposed orders, writs, abstracts, and other documents requiring review and/or further action by the Court may take longer than two days to process
22. ARE MY EFILED DOCUMENTS PRINTED FOR THE COURT FILE?
No. Documents that are electronically filed and accepted by the Court are automatically uploaded to the Court’s case management system. This allows court staff and judicial officers to electronically view the case documents without printing the documents or maintaining physical court files. The electronic record is the official court record pursuant to Government Code Section 68150(a).
23. WHAT ARE THE FILING HOURS FOR EFILING?
You may submit your filings electronically 24 hours a day. Any efiling received by the Court before midnight will be deemed received or filed on the same business day if accepted. Any efiling submitted after midnight will be deemed received or filed as of the next business day if accepted.
24. ARE DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC UPON SUBMISSION OR UPON PROCESSING?
Filing parties may view submitted documents immediately through their EFSP’s portal. All other parties will be able to view a document from the internet, or on public terminals located at any Los Angeles County courthouse, after filing by the Court if the person opens an account with the court which requires payment of fee. A document is not considered filed until it is accepted by the Court. However, unlimited civil complaints will be available to the media upon submission, prior to review for acceptance by the Court.
25. DOES THE COURT HAVE A POLICY REGARDING DOCUMENTS EFILED ON THE LAST DAY?
No. Statutory requirements apply for preservation of any statute of limitation on filings, including those submitted electronically. Efiling does not change the “last day to file” requirements.
26. WHAT DO I DO IF MY DOCUMENT IS REJECTED?
Any Notice of Rejection sent by the Court will include the reason for the return of the document. If your document is rejected, correct the deficiency and resubmit the document via eFiling. If the document is not timely filed as a result of the rejection or filing error, you will need to apply to the Court for relief or other corrective order.
27. WHAT IS AN “ELECTRONIC ENVELOPE”?
A transaction through the EFSP for submission of documents to the court for filing or processing, which may contain one or more PDF documents.
28. WHAT IS A “FILING DOCUMENT NAME”?
A Filing Document Name refers to the type of filing (e.g. answer, demurrer, motion, etc.) and is used by the EFSP to properly designate the document(s) upon submission. Using the correct Filing Document Name is extremely important as it determines the appropriate fee and court workflow. A list of the Court’s Filing Document Names is available on the Court’s website at http://www.lacourt.org.
29. WHAT IF I CANNOT FIND THE DOCUMENT NAME FOR THE DOCUMENT I AM FILING?
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 name extension and fill in the name extension field. For example, use “Motion (Name Extension)” or “Brief (Name Extension)” and add the specific title of your document. There is also a “comments” field if you need to include any additional explanation for the filing staff.
30. WHAT IS A “LEAD DOCUMENT”?
If multiple documents are filed in one transaction, the lead document is the one that is most important. For example, if you were filing a motion with a supporting declaration and a proof of service, the motion would be the lead document. It is important to properly identify the lead document as this will affect the priority and timing for processing by the Court and ensures that the document is directed to the appropriate location or court personnel.
31. WHERE DO I FIND MY TRANSACTION NUMBER?
32. WHAT IS A “BOOKMARK” ON A DOCUMENT?
A bookmark is a PDF document navigational tool that allows the reader to quickly locate and navigate to a designated point of interest within a document.
33. WHAT IS A “HYPERLINK”?
An electronic link that provides direct access form one distinctively marked place in a hypertext or hypermedia document to another in the same or different document.
34. WHERE IS THE “FILED” STAMP NOW?
The Court is utilizing a filing stamp “ribbon” which will appear on the top of the first page of the efiled document returned to the efiler through the EFSP. If a document is received, a received stamp will be placed on the left margin.
35. HOW WILL I KNOW TO WHICH JUDICIAL OFFICER MY CASE IS ASSIGNED?
A new filing receives the assigned case number and judicial officer assignment upon acceptance of the filing. This information will appear on the top of the first page of the document. For unlimited civil complaints, in addition to the imprinted information, a Notice of Case Assignment will be returned electronically by the EFSP.
36. WHAT HAPPENS IF I SELECT THE WRONG COURT LOCATION?
Your electronically filed document will be rejected and electronically returned to you through the EFSP for correction and resubmission with the proper filing location indicated.
37. WHAT ARE COMMON REASONS FOR REJECTION?
In addition to failing to follow California Rules of Court rules 2.100 et seq., some common reasons a filing may be rejected by the Court include, but are not limited to:
- Documents are not submitted as separate PDFs in the same transaction/envelope, e.g. multiple documents are submitted as a single filed document.
- Information entered in data fields is incorrect or does not match the document image e.g. the incorrect Filing Document Name is selected, case number does not match.
- Party’s name or address does not match the party’s information stated on the document.
- Incorrect payment statement is selected, e.g. fee waiver or Government Code Section 6103.
- Incorrect case type or case category selected.
- Incorrect court location is selected.
- Duplicate submission.
- Untimely submission, e.g. ex parte application submitted after filing deadline.
- Motion submitted without a CRS reservation number.
- Document is not bookmarked and/or text searchable.
38. HOW CAN I REQUEST A REFUND?
Use the form LACIV150 to request a refund. Complete the form and submit to the location where the case is assigned. The request will be reviewed by the Court. Fees for efiled documents will be refunded to the EFSP pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Section 411.20 and Government Code Section 6159.
39. CAN I CANCEL A TRANSACTION AFTER SUBMISSION?
No. Once the transaction is electronically submitted, it cannot be cancelled.
40. HOW DO I CORRECT AN ERROR IN FILING?
Depending on the type of filing, you may file an amended pleading, or apply to the Court for relief or other corrective order. If a motion is filed in error, cancel the reservation in CRS and notify the Court that the motion will not be going forward as scheduled.
41. WHO CAN I SPEAK WITH IF I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT A FILING?
The first point of contact for any question should be the EFSP. If the question cannot be resolved with the EFSP, you may contact the Court by using the phone number for the assigned location. The specific location resource number is located at: http://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/mode/division/civil.
42. ARE MOTIONS AUTOMATICALLY SCHEDULED BY THE EFILING SYSTEM?
No. For all Courts utilizing the Court Reservation System (CRS), motions must first be scheduled using CRS. When the motion is then efiled, the CRS reservation number must be included on the face of the motion. If submitted without a reservation number, the efiling will be rejected. A list of courtrooms utilizing CRS is available online at: https://portal-lasc.journaltech.com/public-portal/?q=node/392.
43. CAN I EFILE A COMPLAINT OR PETITION WITH A FEE WAIVER APPLICATION?
Yes, the initiating document and fee waiver application will be processed at the same time. These documents may be submitted in the same envelope.
44. CAN I ASK TO SEND A CONFIRMATION EMAIL TO ANOTHER PARTY / PERSON?
The EFSP may provide the option to send a confirmation email to another email address other than what is indicated in your registered account. The confirmation email is not considered electronic service of the document.
45. DO I NEED TO SUBMIT A PRINTED COURTESY COPY?
In certain instances, and pursuant to the operative General Order Re Mandatory Electronic Filing for Civil, printed courtesy copies must be submitted to the Court.Proof of electronic submission must be submitted with all courtesy copies. Regardless of the time of electronic filing, a printed courtesy copy is required for the following documents:
- Any printed document required pursuant to a Standing or General Order.
- Pleadings and motions (including attachments such as declarations and exhibits) of 26 pages or more.
- Pleadings and motions that include points and authorities.
- Anti-SLAPP filings, pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Section 425.16.
- Motions for Summary Judgment/Adjudication.
- Motions to Compel Further Discovery.
- Opposition to an ex parte application.
Nothing in the General Order precludes a judicial officer from requesting a courtesy copy of additional documents. For many courtrooms, specific courtesy copy guidelines can be found on the Court’s website at http://www.lacourt.org/courtroominformation/ui/search.aspx?ons=xcivil.
46. WHAT IS THE TIMELINESS REQUIREMENT FOR DELIVERING COURTESY COPIES?
Courtesy copies for filings with a hearing date of two days or less shall be delivered to the courtroom by 4:30 p.m. the same business day if the electronic filing is submitted to the courtroom prior to that time. If submitted after 4:30 p.m., the courtesy copy shall be delivered to the courtroom by 10:00 a.m. the next business day.
A courtesy copy of any written opposition to an ex parte application is required at the time of appearance on the ex parte.
47. HOW SHOULD I SUBMIT MY MOTION AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS?
When submitting motions with supporting documents, each document may be included in the same transaction or envelope. However, all documents, including any proposed order, must be submitted as separate PDF documents.
48. IN WHAT FORMAT SHOULD I EFILE MY PROPOSED ORDER?
Submit your proposed order in PDF.
49. HOW WILL I RECEIVE A COPY OF MY PROPOSED ORDER?
The proposed order marked “Received”, will be electronically transmitted back to the submitting party by the EFSP.
50. HOW WILL I BE NOTIFIED WHEN MY PROPOSED ORDER IS SIGNED?
Once a proposed order is reviewed and signed by a judicial officer, the filed order will be transmitted back to the efiler by the EFSP. All signed efiled orders will be returned electronically by the EFSP.
51. WHEN SHOULD PROPOSED ORDERS BE EFILED SEPARATELY?
Any motion, request or application (including anex parte application) should have the proposed order included in the same envelope. The proposed order must be a separate PDF document.
52. WILL THE COURT ELECTRONICALLY SERVE OTHER PARTIES FOR ME?
No. The Court will not electronically serve other parties on behalf of another party. Contact your EFSP for options.
53. CAN I USE AN EFSP TO ELECTRONICALLY SERVE OTHER PARTIES?
Yes. EFSPs offer this service for a fee. Refer to the specific EFSP’s website to determine which service best fits your business needs.
Code of Civil Procedure Section 1010.6 states in pertinent part:
(a) A document may be served electronically in an action filed with the court as provided in this section, in accordance with rules adopted pursuant to subdivision (e).
54. WHAT ARE THE RULES OR GUIDELINES FOR ELECTRONIC SERVICE?
Refer to California Rules of Court, rule 2.251 and Code of Civil Procedure Section 1010.6.
55. IF I FILE ELECTRONICALLY, HAVE I CONSENTED TO ELECTRONIC SERVICE ON THIS CASE?
Yes. Because efiling is mandatory, by efiling the document, you agree to accept electronic service at the electronic service address you provided. Refer to California Rules of Court, rule 2.251(C)(3). Self-represented parties and parties exempt from efiling must affirmatively consent to acceptance of electronic service. Refer to California Rules of Court, rule 2.251(b)(1)(B).
56. MUST I FILE A PROOF OF SERVICE IF I ELECTRONICALLY SERVE?
Yes. A Proof of Service must be efiled pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 2.251(j)(1) – (3).
57. WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT T HE SERVICES OFFERED BY THE EFSP?
Information about services offered by individual EFSPs can be found on their websites. A list of EFSPs can be found on the Court’s website at: http://www.lacourt.org/division/efiling/Civil_Providers.aspx.
58. HOW CAN I DESIGNATE MY DOCUMENT AS AN EX PARTE FILING?
The efiler must select “ex parte” as the document type during the efiling process. All ex parte filings will be expedited.
59. WHAT IS THE CUT- OFF TIME FOR EFILING MY EX PARTE DOCUMENTS?
Ex parte applications must be efiled no later than 10:00 a.m. the day before the ex parte hearing. Any written opposition to an ex parte application must be efiled by 8:30 a.m. the day of the ex parte hearing. A printed courtesy copy of any opposition to an ex parte application must be provided to the Court on the day of the ex parte hearing.
60. IF I EFILE MY EX PARTE APPLICATION, DO I HAVE TO APPEAR?
Yes. An applicant for an ex parte order must appear pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 3.1207
61. DOES IT MATTER WHAT DPI (DOTS PER INCH) IS USED WHEN SCANNING A DOCUMENT?
Yes. The Trial Court Records Manual recommends 300 DPI resolution. DPI refers to the output resolution of the scanner when a document is scanned. The DPI only factors in if you are scanning and attaching a document. If you start your document in a word processing application and convert it to PDF, text searchable format will be preserved.
62. DO I NEED TO SCAN A DOCUMENT THAT INCLUDES AN ORIGINAL SIGNATURE?
No. Retention of original signed documents is governed by California Rules of Court, rule 2.257 and Code of Civil Procedure Section 1010.6.
63. SHOULD A DOCUMENT BE PASSWORD PROCTECTED?
No. Documents should not be password protected and will be rejected if the content cannot be viewed.
64. CAN JUDICIAL COUNCIL FORMS BE EFILED?
Yes. Judicial Council forms are fillable and can be uploaded for efiling.
65. WILL THE COURT ACCEPT A SCANNED PDF WHEN THIRD PARTY LEGAL SOFTWARE IS USED TO COMPLETEFORMS?
Yes. Forms completed using third party software can be efiled as an uploaded PDF. Documents submitted via efiling must be text searchable.
66. CAN I EFILE A CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT?
The filer may not establish a document’s security level. In other words, a document submitted as “confidential” by the filer will only become confidential pursuant to legal authority or if that determination is made by the Court.
For example, a limited civil unlawful detainer complaint would automatically be filed as a confidential document pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Section 1161.2.
67. HOW DO I EFILE A MOTION TO FILE A DOCUMENT CONDITIONALLY UNDER SEAL?
The motion to file a document conditionally under seal must be efiled. However, the documents that the party is seeking to file under seal are exempt from efiling. A conformed copy of the electronically filed motion or application to submit documents conditionally under seal must be attached to the documents submitted conditionally under seal and delivered directly to the assigned courtroom.
68. CAN I EFILE A DOCUMENT UNDER SEAL?
If and when a judicial officer orders documents to be filed under seal, those documents must be filed electronically (unless exempted pursuant to the operative General Order Re Mandatory Electronic Filing for Civil). The burden of accurately designating the documents as sealed at the time of electronic submission is the responsibility of the submitting party.
69. HOW DO I OBTAIN A CERTIFIED COPY?
Certified copies may be requested from the Court’s records unit by mail or in person. If submitted by mail, include a pre-paid method of return, such as a self- addressed stamped envelope. In the future, the Court will be certifying documents electronically. The Government Code allows institutions, including banks, to accept electronically certified documents from the Court (GC 68150(f) and (g)).
70. CAN I PAY JURY FEES VIA EFILING?
Yes. The initial fee for the jury demand can be paid via efiling by selecting the “Notice of Posting Jury Fees” document type during the efiling process. The $150 fee will be assessed with that document. Daily jury fees must be paid in the Clerk’s Office after the judicial assistant/courtroom clerk determines the fees and creates an invoice for payment.
71. WHAT ARE THE FILE SIZE LIMITATIONS FOR EFILING?
The Court technically has no limit. However, the EFSPs may have restrictions. As a general rule of thumb, 25 megabytes per document and 60 megabytes per e-filing transaction is a good guideline. The majority of filings can be submitted with ease through the EFSP.
72. WHAT IS THE PROCESS WHEN AN EFILED DOCUMENT EXCEEDS THE FILE SIZE LIMIT?
If the document exceeds the size limit, it will be sent back to the efiler with the error message, “File size too large – please reduce and resubmit.” If your document or transaction exceeds the limits, your EFSP can assist in optimizing your files and/or utilizing its File Transfer Protocol (FTP) for extremely large documents.
73. CAN I EFILE IN CASES ASSIGNED TO THE COMPLEX COURTS?
No. Efiling is not yet available for the complex courts. Once efiling is implemented for complex, a specific general order will be issued and notice will be posted on the court’s website