Electronic Filing (eFiling) is quickly becoming standard practice for litigators in the state of California, thanks in large part to the growing number of California Superior Courts that have been mandating its use. While many practitioners are already familiar with eFiling, for those unused to the new standard, the courts have remained frustratingly obtuse when it comes to one simple question: How do I eFile court documents?
Unfortunately, there is no uniform statewide process for eFiling. The means by which litigators are expected to electronically submit their filings is up to each of the California Superior Courts. With few exceptions however, the courts that accept eFiling have outsourced the development of their eFiling portals to a list of certified Electronic Filing Service Providers. For parties looking to eFile with the court, these lists are all readily available on said court’s website.
The fact that there is no uniformity to the process may seem daunting, but the reality is that learning to eFile is fairly simple. Once a litigator has chosen their preferred provider, it’s a simple as a creating an account and placing an order on the provider’s eFiling platform. Once you’ve input the case number, the system will automatically communicate with the court to fill out most of the remaining inputs (parties, attorney information, etc…) All that’s left is to upload your documents as a PDF and submit. It’s as easy as that!
There are two major hang-ups for attorneys unfamiliar with the process. For starters, most courts prefer PDFs to be text searchable when submitted. It’s an issue that arises when documents are physically printed and scanned. To solve it, simply print to PDF. The second is when your specific document title/type is unavailable as an input. Several of the courts have made it a bit confusing when entering the proper document title/type, such that there are several document types/titles missing from your list of available options. Again, the solution is simple: pick the title that closest mirrors yours and leave a note to the clerk when prompted. eFiling may seem foreign, but it’s incredibly intuitive, even for those that don’t have the hang of it.
Of course, should you run into any issues you’ll want to have a provider that is ready and waiting to answer all your questions. If you feel that your provider hasn’t been giving you the service you deserve, or are flustered by the sheer volume of certified eFile providers available, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (800) 687-5003. We’d be happy to help walk you through your options and make your transition to eFiling as smooth as possible.
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