Orange County Superior Court has released new requirements for Civil and Probate matters.The first change pertains to sealed documents for civil cases. To ensure proper processing of sealed documents, please be sure to select the filing name "Sealed Document" when eFiling a transaction under seal.
Pursuant to California Rules of Court 2.551, documents must clearly state in the caption "Conditionally Under Seal" or "Sealed by Order of the Court (Date)". If you fail to correctly label your document as under seal, your information may be compromised.T
The second change is for Probate matters. Beginning July 1, 2014, all Probate Ex Parte Applications with supporting documents, proof of service and orders must be filed no later than 10:30 a.m. the day before the hearing. When submitting an Ex Parte Application as an eFiling, you must select "Ex Parte" as the lead document name. If you do not do so, your documents may not be considered in a timely fashion.
You can always contact our Training team with any questions you might have! You can also sign up for an Orange County eFiling training if you need further instruction or if you would like to earn MCLE credit. All of our training courses are free of charge!
We want to share "What's New in Civil and Probate" from Orange County Superior Court. Please check out the May and June editions (click for full view):
Here are some highlights as per the court's blasts:
Reserve a Motion (Civil)
All motion reservations will be cancelled if the documents are not received by the court within 24 hours. If a reservation is cancelled and hearing date is no longer available, matter will be scheduled for the next available hearing date.
Courtesy Copies (Civil)
If your filing is more than 75 pages we recommend delivering a courtesy copy to the courtroom. (One Legal customers have the option to add a courtesy copy delivery order to their eFiling transaction for $26.95 for next day delivery with optional urgent delivery available.)
In accordance with rule 2.111(1) of the California Rules of Court documents filed electronically should include the e-mail address of the attorney of record or self-represented litigant. The e-mail address listed on the document should be the one where the attorney is willing to accept e-service.
New Probate Forms
Local forms 732 and 880 have been replaced by Judicial Council forms. These forms are used in all probate case types and must be eFiled.
Proposed Orders/Stipulations and Orders
Coming soon and in accordance with rule 3.1312 of the California Rules of Court the Court will be launching a proposed order module that will require the parties to submit a Word version of their proposed order along with a PDF.
(Note to One Legal customers: this feature has been embedded with our OC eFiling platform for some time now so there is no need to do anything differently.)
To ensure proper processing of sealed documents please select the filing name “Sealed Document” when eFiling your document. Pursuant to CRC 2.551, documents must clearly state in the caption “CONDITIONALLY UNDER SEAL” or “SEALED BY ORDER OF THE COURT (Date.)” Failure to correctly identify the document as sealed may result in your information being compromised.
Probate Ex Parte
Beginning July 1, 2014, all ex parte applications with supporting documents, proof of service and orders must be filed no later than 10:30 a.m. the day before the hearing. When submitting an Ex Parte through eFiling you must select “Ex Parte” as the lead document name. Failure to select the correct document may impact your ability to seek timely consideration of a matter.
This is turning out to be a year of transition for Southern California probate attorneys. Both the San Diego and Orange County Superior Courts are encouraging attorneys to switch to eFiling when filing with the courts.
Superior Court of California, County of Orange, Mandates Probate eFiling
According to the court's administrative order, "Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1010.6 subdivision (d) and California Rules of Court, rule 2.253, the Court orders that all papers in Probate proceedings...must be filed electronically beginning September 3, 2013."
Superior Court of California, County of San Diego, to Roll Out Permissive Probate eFiling
After several months of steady growth with Civil eFiling in the Court's Central Division, the San Diego Superior Court will launch eFiling for Probate cases on October 1, 2013. Though it will not be mandated at the start, Probate eFiling is encouraged by the Court as it utilizes technology efficiencies to make up for the loss of several positions in the clerk's office due to state-imposed budget cuts. One Legal will work with the court and the Probate Attorneys of San Diego to offer MCLE-accredited training. If you'd like to sign up for a training session, you may do so by clicking here. Or, you can always contact our team of fulltime trainers at email@example.com.
Gary D. Jander, President of the Probate Attorneys of San Diego, got an early look at the San Diego Probate eFiling system and wrote us to say, "I am truly impressed with the new eFile system and look forward to its full implementation." We're very pleased to partner with his organization to offer eFiling training to their members.
Photo Credit: Karen Gibas
We're Here to Help
We realize that change isn't always welcome, especially when it comes in the form of a mandate. But, we hope you'll find Probate eFiling to be court technology's version of Dr. Seuss' classic Green Eggs & Ham...that is to say a whole lot better than you think it's going to be once you've tried it. It's a time saver. It's inexpensive, especially when compared to the cost of going to the court or sending a courier. It's secure. And it gives you the added flexibility of filing right up to the court's deadline, though we recommend you give us 10 minutes just to make sure all of the documents are processed by the deadline.
Our trainers will come to your office or they will train you via webinar. We want the transition to Probate eFiling to be as convenient as possible. As mentioned previously, you can contact our training team during business hours at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: Poewar
We noticed that a messenger service recently posted a message on its website about eFiling that claimed eFiling is a very time-consuming and difficult task.
"We estimate that it takes approximately 30-45 minutes to thoroughly enter a filing, verify the information, upload your documents and then status the process," said this messenger service about eFiling in Orange County and San Diego.
This, of course, brought us to two possible conclusions:
- eFiling really is very hard and time consuming, or
- Employees at this messenger service are not particularly handy with a computer.
So, we went to the best source of information that we know of, our customers. We surveyed more than 750 customers and asked them about their eFiling experience with One Legal. We truly wanted to know if our customers were finding it difficult and time consuming to eFile in Orange County and San Diego.
It turns out 80% of the legal professionals surveyed eFile in 10 minutes or less. And, if that wasn't encouraging enough, 40% of those surveyed reported that they eFile in fewer than 5 minutes.
Some survey responders, actually about 300, were kind enough to also include comments, such as:
“Extremely clear and concise directions and instant confirmation are a tremendous aid to doing my job.”
“ONE LEGAL CONTINUES TO PROVIDE FAST, EFFICIENT AND EXCELLENT SERVICE. THEY ARE THE BEST FOR ALL OF YOUR ELECTRONICALLY FILED AND/OR SERVED DOCUMENTS. ONE LEGAL'S WEBSITE IS SO FAST AND SO EASY AND SO USER FRIENDLY ! THANKS ONE LEGAL ! (her caps, not ours)
“I think your site is one of the fastest and easiest to use to place an e-filing order...Thanks for asking.”
While customers confirm that they are finding eFiling fast and easy, the courts are confirming that eFiling is helping them do more with less. At a San Diego Superior Court training session just last week, Judge Jeffrey Barton told attorneys that eFiling is helping them fill the gap left by the lay offs of 20 employees in the court clerk's office. The court's operations manager reported that eFiling has eliminated four of five touch points they would have to do with a paper document. That's an 80% increase in efficiency for the court for each eFiled document.
So, to customers that have embraced eFiling to both save time and help out the courts, we offer a sincere thanks. To the messenger service that thinks it takes 30-45 minutes to do an eFiling, I can only offer the advice my high school typing teacher offered to me.
A S D F : L K J
A S D F : L K J
Baby steps, folks,...baby steps.
The Superior Court of California, County of Orange, has issued the following Writ and Abstract Update for eFilers.
Beginning today, you can now file on restricted Unlawful Detainer cases in Orange County.
After you login to our system, select to file in the Superior Court of California, County of Orange and then simply click on the Unlawful Detainer Search tab and follow the instructions.
We are very excited to add this new feature to our eFiling application! Don't forget to view the Code of Civil Procedure, section 1161.2 for more information on accessing restricted Unlawful Detainer cases.
The Superior Court of California, County of Orange has reduced the file size limitation to 65 MB for the following documents:
Check your document size
before you file.
There is also a limitation of 65 MB for all documents included in a single transaction when one of the above documents is included in the transaction.
For tips on how to reduce file sizes, click here. For additional information on what determines file size, click here.
The following notice (emphasis added) is currently on the Orange County Superior Court website:
Effective January 1, 2013, pursuant to amendments to Code of Civil Procedure section 1010.6 and Orange County Superior Court Rule 352, all documents filed in limited, unlimited, and complex civil actions must be filed electronically unless the Court rules otherwise. After January 1, 2013 any document that is electronically filed with the court after the close of business shall be deemed to have been filed on the next court day. “Close of business” means the time at which the court no longer accepts filings at the court’s filing counter (e.g., 4:00 P.M.). Although not ready for immediate implementation, the court is working towards extending the electronic ‘filing window’ to midnight, at which point all documents filed before midnight on a court day will be deemed to have been filed on that court day, and documents electronically filed on or after midnight will be deemed filed on the next court day.
When Assembly Bill 2073 was signed into law on September 14 of this year, we anticipated that the court would in fact extend its eFiling deadline from the current 4:00 p.m. to 11:59 p.m., effective January 1, 2013 (the date the pilot project commences). As you can see, the court is still working towards that goal. This is a pilot project (aka experiment) after all, and so some of the questions are yet to be answered. The experimental nature of a pilot project gives the court the leeway to see how things go and adjust on the fly.
Once the court does move ahead with the 11:59 p.m. deadline, however, it begs the question: “Can we serve opposing counsel until 11:59 p.m. too?” Julie Goren, Esq., author of Litigation By The Numbers®, says that "this change presents yet another trap for the unwary. It's ok to serve opposing counsel electronically at any time of the day, however, if it's done after the 'close of business,' service will be deemed to have occurred the next court day." (C.R.C., Rule 2.251(f)(4) provides that "[eService] that occurs after the close of business is deemed to have occurred on the next court day," and C.R.C., Rule 2.250 defines "close of business" as "5 p.m. or any other time on a court day at which the court stops accepting documents for filing at its counter, whichever is earlier." (emphasis added)) "Because Orange County stops accepting documents for filing at its counter at 4:00 p.m., Rule 2.250 would appear to require eService in Orange County cases by 4:00 p.m. for them to be deemed served that day. The bottom line is that, for purposes of timing, parties should look at eFiling and eService as a single act -- if they are eFiling and eServing in Orange County on the last day to do so, they should upload their documents with One Legal early enough so that they can be eFiled and eServed by 4:00 p.m.,even if the court extends the eFiling deadline to midnight."
We think you’ll agree there is some work to be done in light of the fact that the courts now close at different times. When these rules were first drafted, the budget crisis had not impacted the courts. Most closed at 5:00 p.m. As various courts reduce their hours, the impact of C.R.C., Rule 2.251(f)(4) has not been considered.
Another thing to be aware of is that when the Senate Judiciary staff analyzed the bill in the spring of 2012, they noted the following:
Interested parties have raised a question of whether the cost of e-filing, in a county in which e-filing is made mandatory, is a form of recoverable fees under Section 1033.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure. That section lists costs that are generally recoverable, in the court’s discretion, by a prevailing party, including, “[f]iling, motion, and jury fees.” (Code Civ. Proc. Sec. 1033.5(a)(1).) Staff notes that where e-filing is made mandatory pursuant to this pilot project, the direct cost of using the designated e-filing systems to file documents is arguably among those filing fees that can be recoverable under that section under the plain meaning of the term, “filing fees.”
We asked Julie about this as well and here was her response: “My initial conclusion is that it would NOT be considered a filing fee. Those are fees charged by the court. However, the way the statute [C.C.P. Section 1033.5] works, certain specified fees are allowed, certain are disallowed, and others are allowed in the court's discretion, and must be 'reasonably necessary to the conduct of the litigation rather than merely convenient or beneficial to its preparation.' The same way that One Legal's fees for an in-person filing are recoverable, so should be their eFiling fees, which are even lower.”
The court is still working out the details of implementing a “file before midnight” deadline. Note: eFiling until 11:59 p.m. would sync Orange County Superior Court eFiling with the federal CM/ECF system. We see that as a good thing.
This is a pilot project in one county only and so the impact to be felt statewide, if any, is yet to be determined. The pilot project is set to conclude on July 1, 2014.
Even if the court extends the eFiling deadline to 11:59 p.m., any documents which must be eServed that day should be uploaded with us for eFiling and eService in enough time to meet the court’s “regular filing hours” deadline.
Fees paid to eFiling Service Providers (EFSP’s), such as us here at One Legal, would be recoverable under C.C.P. Section 1033.5.
We think that having an extra 7 hours and 59 minutes would certainly ease the strain on law firms (especially the staff responsible for submitting the actual eFiling transactions). The impact it may have on court personnel is yet to be determined. Would it inundate court personnel in the morning? Or would it allow the court to get more done before they quit for the day too? Obviously, there are still some unanswered questions and it will be interesting to see how these things “come out in the wash.”
What do you think?
On Monday, December 17th, filers of Proposed Orders to The Superior Court of California, County of Orange, will see some changes when filing Proposed Order documents through One Legal.
- California Rule of Court 3.1312(c) requires both a PDF version with a Proposed Order Cover Sheet and a Microsoft Word version (no cover sheet required) be submitted together.
- This new submission process does not apply to Probate or Mental Health case types so, for these case types, just keep doing what you've been doing.
- The court will only accept Microsoft Word documents without password protection. Other formats (i.e. WordPerfect) cannot be submitted.
Photo Credit: Amazon
It's not too soon to prepare for these updates:
If you have any other questions, we encourage you to contact our Customer Support team at
800-938-8815 or email@example.com.
The Superior Court of California, County of Orange, has announced that documents filed in all limited, unlimited and complex civil actions will be mandated for eFiling as of January 1, 2013. The Pilot Project excludes small claims cases.
On September 14, 2012, Governor Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 2073, which authorizes the Orange County Superior Court to establish this pilot project.
According to an announcement form the Court, this program will create significant efficiencies for the Court, including:
Substantial cost savings for the court.
The ability for court documents to be electronically filed with attachments 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
A direct conduit for documents electronically submitted to and accepted by the court to be fed into the court's case management system.
Immediate availability of eFiled documents to all those who need access.
Electronic Filing Service Providers (EFSPs), including One Legal, currently provide attorneys and self-represented litigants with the ability to electronically file documents with the court.
Note: This blog post has been reposted with updated information provided by the Superior Court of California, County of Orange.