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San Diego eFiling Guide

eFiling Definitions

eFiling: The electronic submission of documents and pleadings to the court system.

EFSP: Electronic filing service provider, such as CourtFiling.net. EFSPs are web portals owned and operated by companies independent from the courts that collect filings and submit them to your selected court.

Envelope: The group of documents filed in one eFiling submission (transaction) for a single case number.

Transaction: One single eFiling submission or filing, whether that includes one document or a group of documents (envelope).

Bookmarking exhibits: Properly marking your PDF documents to highlight important information in said document. For help bookmarking your exhibits, click here.

Serve Only Documents:  Serve only documents are served on opposing parties and sent to the court, but not filed with the court. Filing a serve only document is common with disclosures and discovery. For questions on filing a serve only document, click here.

 

Getting Started

Sign up with CourtFiling.net and create an account. Please note, if you already created a login with another electronic filing service provider (EFSP) then you will be able to log into CourtFiling.net’s platform with the same information. You will need to input standard account information such as your payment method to get started and attorney information if applicable.  Once your account is set up, you can choose to eFile on an existing case, initiate a new case filing, or submit serve only documents.

If you are a self-represented/pro se litigant, you have the ability to eFile your document, but are not mandated to do so. However, eFiling may be easiest as you can file from your own personal computer.

Mandatory eFiling

Mandatory eFiling requires court documents to be submitted online through a verified electronic filing service provider (EFSP), like CourtFiling.net. If filing in particular case is mandatory, documents cannot be delivered to the clerk to file in person.

Currently, cases types with mandatory eFiling are provisionally complex case types including Antitrust, Construction Defect, Mass Tort, Environmental/Toxic Tort, & Securities Litigation.

Documents

  • Per document size limit: 35MB per
  • Per envelope size limit: 60MB

CourtFiling.net automatically converts your different document types (Word, WordPerfect, Corel, Lotus, TIF, JPEG, for example) into an acceptable PDF form once uploaded. The Court requires that users bookmark documents with exhibits and that your document is text searchable. This can be done with Adobe Acrobat or similar applications.

Avoid using any punctuation when adding parties to a case. The court will need to delete any commas, periods, etc. adding additional processing time to each filing.  Multiple documents cannot be scanned and uploaded as one file. They must be uploaded individually, and filed with their specific document name. Do not enter names like “Jane Doe” for case parties. It is only necessary for you to enter parties that have been named in the case.

Signatures

If you plan to include a signature from opposing counsel or an opposing party, the original document must be scanned to be submitted with said signature. However, if documents require the filer’s signature, they are permitted to use “/s + name” to note their electronic signature on documents.

Documents Ineligible for eFiling

  • Safe at Home Name Change Petitions
  • Civil Harassment TRO / RO
  • Workplace Violence TRO / RO
  • Elder Abuse TRO / RO
  • Stand alone exhibits
  • Transitional Housing Program Misconduct TRO / RO
  • School Violence Prevention TRO / RO
  • Out-of-State Commission Subpoena
  • Undertaking / Surety Bonds
  • Request for Payment of Trust Funds
  • Notice of Appeal of Labor Commissioner
  • Abstracts
  • Warrants
  • Settlement Conference Briefs (to be lodged)
  • Confidential documents lodged conditionally under seal
  • Interpleader actions pursuant to CC §2924j.

Sealed Documents

Documents filed under seal or provisionally under seal pursuant to CRC 2.551 may be filed in paper form. However, the Motion to filed Under Seal must be electronically filed.

eService (Service of Process)

In accordance with California Rules of Court, Rule 2.251(b)(1)(B), by electronically submitting your documents, you consent to receive electronic service of process yourself. CourtFiling.net offers the option to quickly electronically serve any parties with the click of a button. Simply put the desired email address(es) in the specified field while eFiling.

In addition to eService, you have the ability to send courtesy copies of your filing via email to coworkers or clients upon submission. Please note, this is a separate function from the electronic service function that CourtFiling.net provides.

If you are initiating a new case and need to serve an individual via traditional process server, CourtFiling.net provides a service that puts you in touch with a well vetted process server in that area.

For more information on electronic service, click here.

Court Orders

Notices from the San Diego Court’s case management system are mailed as opposed to being electronically served (eServed) to all case parties. Since this process is managed by the courts, CourtFiling.net cannot provide this information for you.

Courtesy Copies

CourtFiling.net does not send printed courtesy copies for you, as our entire system is electronic. If you need printed courtesy copies delivered, consider hiring a process server through ServeNow to complete this step for you. However, we do offer electronic courtesy copies. To take advantage of free courtesy copy emails, put the desired service contact email address(es) in the specified Courtesy Email Notice field when eFiling.

If a hearing is set within 48 hours of the filing of a document, the filer must provide hard copies of documents in court with the eFiling Transaction ID noted in the upper right-hand corner of the first page of the document.

Submittal, Processing Time, and File Stamps

CourtFiling.net immediately sends the document over to the court for review. Upon the clerk reviewing the document they will either accept or deny the document. Once this decision is made, CourtFiling.net will immediately send an email to the appropriate parties providing an update. You may also log into your CourtFiling.net account and review your submitted documents in your notifications and case summary  features.

While the timeline may vary, the court typically processes paperwork within 24 hours of submission. Please take regular business days and holidays into consideration when eFiling. Your paperwork is officially filed and available for the opposing party to view once it is accepted by the county clerk. If your documents are rejected, they are not officially filed.

You can electronically submit paperwork at any time. However, you must submit your documents before 11:59 pm on a specific date for it to be considered submitted on that same date. It is best to give yourself more of a cushion when eFiling in the event you have connection issues, and many professionals recommend filing before 11:45pm to make sure that everything has time to successfully submit. If a document is submitted after midnight it is considered to be filed on the following business day. This is extremely important to note with filing deadlines.

File stamps on processed and accepted eFiled documents are located on the top of the first page of a document.

Rejected Filings

There are a number of reasons your paperwork may be rejected by the court. Here are some common reasons for rejection:

  • Incorrect filing code
  • Incorrect court location
  • Incorrect case type
  • Document filed with incorrect document type
  • Incorrect payment or wrong application of a fee waiver
  • Missing necessary information or documents
  • Multiple filing documents are filed under a single filing code
  • Party’s name does not match the previous name in initial documents
  • Party’s address does match the previous address in initial documents

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