Los Angeles, the largest court system in the world, is the most recent California court to have enabled eFiling for one of its case types. As of May 1, 2017, eFiling will be allowed in probate cases–required starting June 5, 2017—and many other case types will follow in the coming months.
For an industry that has been so paper-based for so long, there are still many questions regarding the right way to handle hard copy elements moving forward in a digital space.
Although the transition to an electronic system may take some time, eFiling represents a huge step towards a system that is more traceable, accountable, and interconnected.
How to submit a courtesy copy after eFiling
Each California court has its own set of local rules regarding courtesy copies now that eFiling is becoming the mandatory way to file documents.
Generally, the courtesy copy must arrive on the same day as the document was electronically filed, or by the next morning at the latest. To meet this deadline, arrangements for delivery should be made directly after you’ve submitted your documents for eFiling.
You’re always welcome to make your own plans for getting the courtesy copy to the courthouse, but some electronic service providers (EFSPs), such as One Legal, offer you the option to add-on a courtesy copy delivery right at the end of your eFiling process. It’s a one-click step that finishes off your electronic filing with the necessary arrangements for a printed copy to be sent directly to the judge’s chambers.
The courtesy copy that you submit must be the same version that you electronically filed with your EFSP, not the returned filed-endorsed copy that One Legal provides to confirm your filing. In addition to the original document, your courtesy copy must include the proof of eFiling submission: your confirmation email.
Why both the courtesy copy and the eFiled document?
When your hearing date is coming up soon, courts want to be sure your paperwork is easily accessible, and moved to the ‘front of the line,’ so to speak. An eFiled document may not get routed to the right department in time for the hearing, so the courtesy copy can ensure that the document is reviewed by the judge prior the hearing.
Also, while the eFiled document allows the information to be easily searched for key points, viewed on a tablet, and saved in a central location, a paper courtesy copy gives the judge a way to peruse relevant data, both before and during the hearing, in a format that is likely more familiar to him or her.
What about Ex Parte?
Again, each court has their own specific rules. In Los Angeles county, for ex parte, if the opposition eFiled by 4:00 PM then no courtesy copy is required. However, if the opposition eFiled after 4:00 PM then a courtesy copy is required.
This courtesy copy must also include proof of electronic submission, which will be the confirmation email that you will receive once you have submitted your eFiling.
|San Diego||If eFiling within two days of the hearing date||Include eFiling transaction ID in right upper-hand corner of first page of the document|
|Orange||If eFiling within two days of the hearing date
If the document being filed is more than 75 pages long
|San Francisco||Always, and must be provided within three days of the hearing date|
Find out if your local court requires courtesy copies and when, as well as what rules you need to follow for your document to be accepted.
As courts and law firms become accustomed to filing and receiving documents electronically, requirements and preferences surrounding courtesy copies and other traditional steps may change. For now, One Legal makes it easy to add courtesy copies to every eFiling or physical filing in courts across California.
Bonus tip: When you add-on courtesy copy delivery to your eFiling order in Orange County and San Diego, One Legal adds the court transaction number to your documents for you.