San Francisco Superior Court was one of the first courts in California to adopt Electronic Filing (E-Filing), mandating its use for specific case types as early as 2014. Because the court implemented E-Filing before sufficient infrastructure existed to support it however, E-Filing at San Francisco Superior Court has undergone several drastic changes since its inception.
When the court adopted E-Filing in 2014, practitioners were originally required to E-File through the court’s own portal. This continued until 2018 when San Francisco Superior Court closed its E-Filing portal, began to approve various certified E-File service providers, and accepted E-Filing for all case types.
However, the court still has a handful of restrictions on E-Filing despite its 2018 mandate. Case types like Small Claims, Probate, and Unlawful Detainer still must be initiated physically at the clerk’s window. Small Claims and Probate are additionally exempt from mandatory E-Filing. Litigants representing themselves pro-se are also exempt from the court’s mandate, although they are strongly encouraged to participate.
Like the other courts that had mandated E-Filing pre-COVID, San Francisco Superior Court emerged from the year-long pandemic with relatively little backlog and quickly returned to business as usual. If the benefits to E-Filing weren’t obvious pre-pandemic they most certainly are today, which is why the number of California Superior Courts requiring E-Filing continues to grow at an accelerated pace.
If you have any questions regarding the specifics of E-Filing in San Francisco County or need a broader perspective on the current state of E-Filing in California, please feel free to reach out to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 687-5003
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