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.
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.
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 choose any approved EFSP listed on the court’s website.
What time do I have to submit my document to have it deemed filed the same day?
eFiling is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Consult your local court rules for the court review timelines and schedules.
The filing must be received by the court by 5 p.m., as indicated in Local Rule 6. Keep in mind that some of the EFSP companies have a cut off earlier than 5 p.m. for same day processing because of the time it takes for the envelope to be submitted and received by the court. If a person hits submit on their computer at 4:55pm it may not be received by the court until 5:01pm which would make it a next day filing.
What type of cases can I eFile?
- Declare Free
- With or without an Adoption Petition
- Civil Harassment Petitions
- Including: Civil Harassment, Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse, Workplace Violence
- Civil Petitions
- Including: Name Change and/or Gender Change, Minor’s Claim, or other In the Matter of Petitions
- Small Claims
Is eFiling mandatory?
No. eFiling is currently not mandated for any case type.
Is eFiling secure?
Yes. The eFiling system adheres to state and federal security regulations and meets Payment Card Industry Security Standards to protect filer and transaction information.
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.
Can I use eFiling if I’m a self-represented litigant (pro per or pro se)?
Yes, self-represented parties are eligible to use the site for eFiling. However, it is not mandatory they do so.
Who can I speak with if I have a question about an electronic filing?
The first point of contact for any question should be your EFSP. If the question cannot be resolved with the EFSP, you may contact the clerk’s office at 559-730-5000 option 4
Can I upload all documents together or must they be separated?
Documents should be filed as you would have at the clerk window. For instance a document that would have been stapled together at filing should be filed as one lead document. Another way to think about it as anything that needs its own file stamp should be filed separately, as a lead document that gets its own separate event code. Multiple documents can be filed together in one envelope but each document to be filed needs its own event code.
Is there a size limit for the document that can be uploaded?
35 megabits for the whole envelope and 25 megabits for a single document. There have been a few initial problems here that have all been resolved by calling the EFSP. If the document is truly too big, and the EFSP cannot resolve, the document can be electronically filed in separate batches but please call the court to let us know that this is going to happen first so we can monitor and filings are not rejected in error.
What format do I have to save my document in?
PDF, however some EFSPs allow you to file as a Word document because they then turn it into a PDF for you.
Do I have to bookmark my document?
Yes, pursuant to California Rule of Court 3.1110(f), a document filed electronically with exhibits must include electronic bookmarks with links to the first page of each exhibit and a bookmark title that identifies the exhibit number or letter and briefly describes the exhibit.
Do I have to add OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to my document?
Yes, pursuant to California Rule of Court 2.256(b)(3), a document filed electronically must be text searchable.
For assistance you can contact the filer support number for the electronic service provider you are using.
Can Judicial Council forms be eFiled?
Yes. Judicial Council forms are fillable and can be uploaded for eFiling.
Will the court accept a scanned PDF when third party legal software is used to complete forms?
Yes. Forms completed using third party software can be eFiled as an uploaded PDF. Documents submitted via eFiling must be text searchable.
Do I need to scan a document that includes an original signature?
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. This only applies if you’re scanning and attaching any document(s).
Should a document be password protected?
No. Documents should not be password protected and will be rejected if the content cannot be viewed.
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. The court has made every effort to develop a comprehensive list of document names that closely match the type of document(s) that may be submitted.
What if I cannot find the document name for the document I am filing?
If you are unable to identify the document you are filing in the list of document names, you must use the name of the document that most closely describes your filing. If you are unsure about the document name(s), please check that the filing fee(s) are correct before submitting your document(s). There is a “comments” field if you need to include any additional explanation for the filing staff.
What is a “lead document”?
If multiple documents are filed in one submission, 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.
Can I cancel a submission?
Submissions cannot be cancelled after they have been completed in the EFSP. Please double check your documents and any data entry prior to completing your submission.
How do I correct an error in my submission?
Contact the clerk’s office at 559-730-5000 option 4 as soon as possible.
Are any documents exempt from eFiling?
Yes. Local rule of court.
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.