The big day is almost here! On Monday, December 3, 2018, the eFiling mandate for Limited Civil case types goes into effect and Civil Unlimited becomes available for voluntary eFiling. And remember: on January 2, 2019 eFiling will be required for all Civil case types.
By now, you’ve prepared for the basics of eFiling and EFSPs. You’ve learned the best practices for preparing legal documents for eFiling as well as what to expect from the Court once you’ve filed. You’ve also learned some detailed guidelines on lead documents, jury fees and waivers, and proposed orders. Now, let’s take a closer look at four more specific eFiling processes you’ll encounter as you transition to eFiling in Civil.
#1: Exemptions and how to file them
While mandatory eFiling is coming fast for the majority of filings, not every document can be eFiled. The Court has identified the following documents as exempt from eFiling in Civil case types:
- Peremptory challenges or challenges for cause of a judicial officer
- Bonds/undertaking documents
- Trial and hearing exhibits
- Lodged documents (Notice of Lodgment must be eFiled, though)
These documents 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. If you choose to mail your exempt documents, be sure to check lacourt.org for the correct courthouse address.
However, One Legal can help you with exempt document filing as well as eFiling. As of Monday, December 3, you’ll be able to indicate your document is exempt from eFiling during the order process. Select that option and we’ll print, review, prepare, and deliver your exempt document to the courthouse for you.
#2: Courtesy copies
Speaking of printed documents: courtesy copies—delivered in paper format to the courthouse as well as eFiled—are required in certain instances. The Court has identified these following documents as ones that will require a courtesy copy:
- 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 Civ. Proc., § 425.16
- Motions for Summary Judgment/Adjudication
- Motions to Compel Further Discovery
Also, according to the General Order Re: Mandatory Electronic Filing for Civil, nothing precludes a Judicial Officer from requesting a courtesy copy of other additional documents.
What’s important to remember is that you must submit proof of electronic along with your courtesy copy. Since courtesy copies can only be delivered to the courtroom during business hours, you’ll need to factor that in as you plan your eFiling.
According to the Court, 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 with the court prior to that time. If you submit your electronic filing after 4:30 p.m., you’ll need to deliver the courtesy copy to the courtroom by 10 a.m. the next business day.
One Legal can take care of both your eFiling and courtesy copy requirements. Simply add a courtesy copy delivery to your eFiling order as you file.
To ensure quickest delivery of your courtesy copy, be sure to submit your eFiling documents to us in the morning. We’ll then prepare your printed courtesy copy, along with the required proof of electronic filing, and deliver it to the courtroom. For fastest service, you’ll need to select our Urgent Delivery in order for us to get your documents to the court timely.
Remember: If you are placing a stand alone courtesy copy order with us, you’ll need to provide the court transaction number in your special instructions or provide us with a filed endorsed copy that includes the court transaction number on it.
#3 Filing ex parte documents
Timing is vital when eFiling ex parte documents, too. Ex parte applications must be eFiled no later than 10:00 a.m. the day before the ex parte hearing. Written opposition to an ex parte application must be eFiled no later than 8:30 a.m. on the day of the ex parte hearing. According to CRC 3.1206, service of ex parte documents must be done at the first reasonable opportunity.
You’ll need to properly identify your document as “ex parte” to ensure that it will be expedited by the Court. Other important court rules to remember:
- Opposition to an ex parte application that is eFiled by 4:00 p.m. on the same day the ex parte is filed does not require a courtesy copy.
- Opposition to an ex parte application that is eFiled after 4:00 p.m. requires that a courtesy copy be brought to court the day of the ex parte hearing.
- The proposed order shall be included as a separate document in the same envelope as the ex parte application and brought to court the morning of the ex parte hearing
Remember: your courtesy copy will also need proof of electronic submission.
#4 Filing documents under seal
As we saw earlier with jury fees, each eFiling court also has its own policy for filing documents under seal during case initiation. According to Court FAQs, filers in Los Angeles Civil may submit a document “conditionally under seal” for the court clerk to review.
In One Legal’s workflow, there will be a checkbox for you to select “conditionally sealed” and then submit for clerk review at the court. If the court clerk determines that the document is not to be sealed, they will remove the check and your document will be publicly viewable like any other document.
With these four additional need-to-know guidelines, you and your legal team are well on the way to eFiling success in Los Angeles. Next week, we’ll review the common reasons for eFiling rejections and ways to avoid them.
Don’t forget to review the entire Los Angeles eFiling series before the mandate!