Summer 2017 is going to be a big season for eFiling in California courts.
This week, Los Angeles County, the largest court system in the world, mandated eFiling for all probate cases. At the beginning of August, LA will begin permitting eFiling in family law cases, to be mandated soon afterward. And in July, both Sutter and Fresno counties will mandate eFiling for all non-criminal case types.
As more and more courts trickle into eFiling, there remain questions about the process, both from new and current users. We’ve gathered up the most searched questions to try to make the eFiling process a smooth one.
To make things more complicated, each California county has its own set of local rules and requirements. So make sure you are familiar with your court’s expectations.
#1 How can I eFile court documents in California?
If you are in any of the (16) counties that permit electronic court filing, then you’ve come to the right place for straightforward eFiling.
- Create a One Legal account
- If prompted, connect to eFiling manager (EFM)
- Submit your document using our streamlined eFiling platform
- Add on any features, such as Double Check, Courtesy Copy delivery, or eService.
Need extra assistance? Search our Customer Support portal for a comprehensive list of how-tos and tips and tricks for easy eFiling.
#2 Can I eFile documents for existing cases?
Once eFiling is available in your county, eFiling both initial and subsequent case filings are possible, with exceptions in some courts, such as San Francisco County. In the case of upcoming transitions, once eFiling has been mandated, this will generally apply to both initial and subsequent case filings.
#3 Do I have to eFile in California?
One Legal has fully integrated with each of the 16 courts that now permit eFiling. As some of these counties have been cautious about mandating electronic court filing, resulting in long periods of transition, One Legal has stepped in to automatically eFile your submitted documents where eFiling is possible. Physical filing is available in every California court that has not yet transitioned.
#4 When will my California court permit eFiling?
Since each California county has its own plans for implementing electronic court filing, it’s hard to say when each will begin to allow eFiling. Los Angeles has recently begun its transition into eFiling, while others — like Calaveras, Butte, and San Mateo counties — have plans in place. Still others don’t yet have proposals in place for such a move.
#5 How do I eFile in California’s appellate courts?
All six districts of California’s appellate courts have mandated electronic court filing for Civil, Criminal, and Juvenile courts, as of May 1, 2015. Choose your district to access the document rules specific to that court. Note: the courts of appeal have their own eFiling service you’ll have to use instead of One Legal.
#6 How do I know when my document is accepted after eFiling?
One Legal’s eFiling system sends users a notification almost instantly to confirm that the court’s system has received your document and again once the document has been processed. By tracking your order for real-time updates, you can even see when it is being viewed by the county clerks.
#7 Why did my document get rejected by the court?
There are many reasons for a document to get rejected, from formatting issues to incorrect filing code to missing information. The clerk should have included a note specifying why they rejected the document. Learn more about the top reasons that courts may reject documents to avoid rejections in the future.
Want us to take another look? Our Double Check feature tasks one of our document specialists with examining your filing to look for reasons why it might not comply with the court rules. If we spot anything, we’ll call you right away to discuss your options.
#8 Can I electronically file video or audio exhibits?
Currently, video and audio recordings cannot be eFiled in most courts and must be submitted to the clerk separately in physical formats, such as CD, DVD, or flash drive. This can be done at the same time as transcripts and documentary exhibits are delivered.
#9 What if my documents exceed the MB limit?
There are several ways that you can try reducing the size of your PDFs, first, to fit the entire file into a single envelope without exceeding the limit of your court. You can also audit your PDF, as it is usually one large image that takes up the most space. Try reducing the quality of the image or making it smaller. If your documents are still too large, contact the court to find out if you can split up your filings and file them as separate documents.
#10 How do I eFile confidential documents?
If the entire document has been designated confidential by order of the court, there are a series of California rules that you can refer to, always double-checking, of course, with your county’s local requirements. If only parts of the document are confidential, be sure to use your PDF editing software to properly redact the necessary information.
#11 Do California courts require a hard copy in addition to an electronic copy?
In this, too, each county in California has different expectations for documents filed in that court. Some courts ask for a courtesy copy to be sent for hearings within three days; other courts always want a courtesy copy.
One Legal has been at the forefront of electronic court filing in California since the very beginning and been a part of many transitions across counties. We’ve come across just about every question regarding eFiling that you can think of—and have the answers to each! Check out our Support Center for more questions that our customer support team answers each month.
Have other questions about eFiling in California or any other state? Contact us for more information.