e-filing special instructions
- Preparing Your Documents
- Scanning Recommendations
- Proofs of Service
- Preparing E-Filing and/or E-Service Transactions
- E-Filing and E-Service Deadlines
- Fee Waivers
- Obtaining Hearing Dates and Times
- Redacted and Un-Redacted (sealed) Documents
- Courtesy Copies
- Court Reporter Fees
- Jury Fees
- Pro Hac Vice Renewal Fees
- Rejected Documents
- File Stamped Copies
- Self Represented Parties and Non-Parties
- Questions Regarding Rejected Documents
- Additional Information re: Status of Transactions (or Document(s))
When adding a title to your document, be sure to include: (1) the name of the party filing the document, (2) the nature of the document, (3) party against whom relief, if any, is sought, and (4) nature of relief sought. For example, “Defendant ABC Corporation’s Request for Dismissal of Plaintiff John Smith's Complaint.”
The document title that you enter in the “Document Title” box should be the exact same as the document title on the caption of your document.
Caption Pages & Slip Sheets (for exhibits & other documents)
Each document, submitted in pleading format, that is uploaded separately (even if uploaded in the same transaction) must include a caption page as a cover sheet.
The caption page must include a very specific document title (e.g., “Declaration of Joe Smith in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment.”
The caption page must also comply with all applicable codes and rules, including California Rules of Court, Rule 2.111. Specifically, subsections (1) and (2) require that each caption page contain a blank space in the upper right corner for use by the court clerk. The blank space must be the first 2 inches of space between lines 1 and 7 to the right of the center of the page. In addition, the title of the court must begin on line 8, which must be at or below 3 1/3 inches from the top of the page. These rules ensure each caption page will have enough space for the court’s file-stamp.
If smaller documents, such as exhibits, are grouped together and uploaded as one document, there must be a caption page as a cover sheet and the caption page must include a very specific document title (e.g., “Exhibits A-E to Declaration of Joe Smith in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment”). Slip sheets must be used between each document (e.g., a page where the only words printed are “Exhibit A,” a page where the only words printed are “Exhibit B” and so on). Blank pages are not allowed as slip sheets.
If a large document is broken down, each portion of the document that is uploaded separately must include a caption page as a cover sheet. The caption page must include a very specific document title (e.g., “Exhibit A to Declaration of Joe Smith in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment – Part 1 of 4”).
Exhibits may or may not be uploaded as separate documents, depending on the situation.
Proposed Orders, Stipulations & Orders, Judgments and Verdicts with Exhibits
To submit exhibits as part of a proposed order, stipulation & order, judgment or verdict, you must upload everything as one document.
All Other Types of Documents with Exhibits
To submit exhibits as part of any other type of document (such as a declaration, appendix or request for judicial notice), it is your choice whether or not to upload the exhibits as separate documents.
- Upload everything as one document (for example, upload a declaration with exhibits as one document);
- Upload each exhibit separately with its own caption page compliance with CRC§2.100-2.111;
- Upload several small exhibits that are grouped together as one document, with its own caption page in compliance with CRC§2.100-2.111; or
- Break down a large exhibit into smaller portions and upload each portion as a separate document, with its own caption page in compliance with CRC§2.100-2.111.
When one or more exhibits are appended to another document (such as a declaration) and everything is uploaded as one document, or when a group of exhibits are uploaded as one document, slip sheets must be used as exhibit tabs to delineate the exhibits (e.g., a page where the only words printed are “Exhibit A,” a page where the only words printed are “Exhibit B” and so on). Blank pages are not allowed as slip sheets.
Each exhibit, group of exhibits or portion of an exhibit that is uploaded as a separate document must include a caption page as a cover sheet. The caption page should include a very specific document title (e.g., “Exhibit A to Declaration of Joe Smith in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment”). Please see Section 1 above (Preparing you Documents) for more information.
Form or Motion Papers
Motions and other pleadings may be filed as separate documents or combined as one document. If combined, the pleading must specify the items separately in the caption of the pleading. If filed separately in one transaction the documents must have an appropriate caption page for each document.
Requirements for E-Filing Proposed Orders and Proposed Stipulation and Orders
Proposed orders, prepared in pleading format, must be submitted as a standalone document with its own caption page in compliance with CRC§2.100 – 2.111, unless the proposed order is incorporated into a Judicial Council form. All proposed orders submitted for e-filing will be “Lodged”. The document will not appear on the Court’s website as filed until it has been signed by the Judge.
Proposed Stipulation and Orders
If the proposed stipulation and order is prepared in pleading format or if submitted on a Judicial Council form, a fee of $20 will be collected for the document if all parties that signed the document have already paid their first appearance/first paper fee. If not, the first appearance/first paper fee of $450 will be assessed as to each party that has not already paid this fee.
Please note: The party submitting the document is responsible for paying the first appearance fees for those parties that have not yet paid. If the submitting party is not willing to pay this fee on behalf of the other party/parties who are appearing for the first time, the document should not be submitted until all signing parties have paid their first appearance/first paper fee.
The proposed stipulation and order will not receive a file-stamp and will not be posted to the court’s public website until it has been signed by the Judge.
Courtesy copies of proposed orders and original stipulation and proposed orders must be delivered to the appropriate department.
Please see Section 10 (“Courtesy Copies”) for more information.
The court requires documents to be scanned at 300 dpi or higher. Increasing the dpi will increase the file sizes for your documents. Therefore, it is recommended that you scan your documents at 300 dpi to meet the court’s minimum requirement and also scan in black & white (instead of color or grayscale) to produce smaller file sizes for your documents.
You are still required to e-file proofs of service the same as you would normally do if you were filing the documents traditionally in paper. A proof of service uploaded as a separate document must include a caption page as a cover sheet.
Multiple documents under a single transaction
When submitting a transaction with multiple documents done in pleading format (i.e., a motion and supporting documents to be filed as standalone documents each), you must upload each document separately under the same transaction. Each document must have a caption page of its own in compliance with CRC§2.100-2.111.
When submitting a transaction with multiple Judicial Council forms (i.e., MC-051 Notice of Motion and Motion to be Relieved as Counsel and MC-052 Declaration in Support of Attorney’s Motion to be Relieved as Counsel), you must upload each form separately under the same transaction.
Single page document
No caption page required as it is considered a stand-alone document.
Pursuant to CCP 1010.6 (b)(3) documents e-filed or electronically served between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. are deemed filed or served on that same day.
Applications for waiver of court fees and costs are accepted electronically in cases that are electronically filed. Per CRC 2.252(f) The court must permit electronic filing of an application for waiver of court fees and costs in any proceeding in which the court accepts electronic filings.
If your fee waiver application is denied, you must pay all fees owed to the court by e-filing a cover letter or notice of payment in the case in which the application was denied. The cover letter/notice should specify the case name, case number, name of the party that is paying the fees and the amount of the fees. The Document Type of "Fee Waiver Denial Payment" must be selected for the cover letter/notice. The court will not file the document, but will accept the document as “fee paid.”
Self-represented parties may pay fees using this method or pay at the civil subsequent filing counter in the Civic Center Courthouse (Room 103).
Requests for Entry of Default
- All documents in your request for entry of default packet should be submitted in the same e-filing transaction or your documents may be rejected.
- Your packet must include a proof of service of summons – either a file-stamped copy (if it was previously filed) or an unstamped copy (if it has not yet been filed).
- You must deliver a courtesy copy of the packet to the Default Unit.
- File-stamped copies are not required for the courtesy copy packet except as noted above regarding the proof of service of summons.
- Do not include an additional copy of the request for entry of default form (Judicial Council Form CIV-100) in your courtesy copy packet as a file-endorsed copy may not be returned to you. If the default is entered, you can obtain a file-stamped copy from the court’s public website, which you are responsible for serving on all parties.
Requests for Default Judgment
- All documents in your request for default judgment packet should be submitted in the same e-filing transaction or your documents may be rejected.
- Your packet must include a file-stamped copy of the entered default (Judicial Council Form CIV-100) unless you are submitting a request for entry of default at the same time as a request for default judgment.
You must deliver a courtesy copy of the packet to the proper location:
- For limited jurisdiction cases and unlimited jurisdiction cases where you are requesting entry of a default judgment by the clerk, you must deliver a courtesy copy of the packet to the Default Unit.
- For unlimited jurisdiction cases where you are requesting entry of a default judgment by the court, you must deliver a courtesy copy of the packet to the department where the prove-up hearing will be held.
File-stamped copies are not required for the courtesy copy packet except as noted above regarding the entered default. Do not include an additional copy of the judgment by default form (Judicial Council Form JUD-100) in your courtesy copy packet as a file-endorsed copy may not be returned to you. If a default judgment is entered, you can obtain a file-stamped copy from the court’s public website, which you are responsible for serving on all parties.
Requests for Entry of Default & Default Judgment Submitted Together
If you are submitting a request for entry of default at the same time as a request for default judgment that requires a prove-up hearing:
In general civil cases and complex litigation cases, you must deliver a courtesy copy of your request for entry of default packet to the Default Unit (Room 103). You must also deliver a courtesy copy of your request for default judgment packet to the department where the prove-up hearing will be held.
Hearings for New Petitions
When a petition is filed to initiate a case, you must select a hearing date and schedule it in the appropriate department by e-filing a Notice of Hearin.
Hearings for Default Prove-Ups & Petitions for Minor’s Compromise (Dept. 514)
Hearing dates for default judgment prove-ups and Minor's Compromise are heard on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9 a.m. No reservation is required. Hearing dates are obtained at the time of submission of the motion to the Court. You must e-file the motion without a hearing date. Upon filing, the clerk will select a hearing date and schedule the hearing in accordance with CCP§1005 and available calendar space. A $60.00 fee will be collected at time of filing.
All Other Cases
Please see the court's website and/or Local Rules for information on how to obtain hearing dates and times in all other cases and situations.
Please Note: To ensure confidentiality is maintained, sensitive information should be removed from documents, including any related meta data and hidden information before redaction. Obscuring the sensitive information by highlighting the language in black is not sufficient to ensure the sensitive information cannot be extracted from the document.
Motions: A motion to file documents under seal must be e-filed.
Documents: The Court must receive the redacted and un-redacted versions in the SAME transaction. Failure to submit the documents in the same transaction may result in rejection of the documents.
The redacted version of a document must be e-filed and the first caption page must have “REDACTED” in CAPS, BOLD and UNDERLINED under the title of the document with a space between the end of the title and REDACTED.
The sealed, un-redacted document must be e-filed and the first caption page must have “UN-REDACTED” in CAPS, BOLD and UNDERLINED under the title of the document with a space between the end of the title and "UN-REDACTED". The UN-REDACTED document will be filed as conditionally sealed until the court renders it’s ruling.
The format and content of the un-redacted document must contain all confidential and public portions. The redacted document must be identical to the un-redacted document, however the confidential information must be properly redacted as noted above.
If you want to separate a large document, the un-redacted document and the redacted document must be separated in the same manner (i.e., if you separate your redacted document into four separate documents within the same transaction, the un-redacted versions of those documents must be separated in the same way).
Courtesy Copies of the un-redacted document must be lodged in paper with the department where the motion will be heard. The Courtesy copies must be placed in an envelope labeled “lodged conditionally under seal” with a copy of the caption page taped on the outside of the envelope. The courtesy copies must be separated the same way as the e-filed redacted and un-redacted documents and placed in separate envelopes with the words “lodged conditionally under seal” on each envelope.
The caption page taped on the outside of the envelope must be the same caption page as the sealed e- filed version.
Note: After the court has rendered it’s ruling, any changes to the redacted version must be updated and resubmitted electronically. The new/amended redacted document will bear the new filing date unless the order of the court dictates differently. If there are no changes to the redacted version, the redacted version previously filed will remain for public viewing. Upon the order to seal, the un-redacted document will no longer be conditionally sealed and will become a sealed document.
Sealed Discovery Documents
- Pursuant to CRC 2.550(a)(3) a motion to seal is not required to file documents containing confidential material in connection with a discovery motion or to file the entire document under seal. These rules do not apply to discovery motions and records filed or lodged in connection with discovery motions or proceedings. However, the rules do apply to discovery materials that are used at trial or submitted as a basis for adjudication of matters other than discovery motions or proceedings.
- If the entire document is sealed, the unredacted version of the document is uploaded for filing. The first caption page of the discovery document should state the word “DISCOVERY” in CAPS, BOLD and UNDERLINED to make it clear that the document pertains to a discovery motion. Also the first caption page should state the words “TO BE FILED UNDER SEAL” in CAPS, BOLD and UNDERLINED to make it clear that the document is being submitted for filing under seal.
- If only portions of the document are confidential, both a redacted and unredacted version of the document are uploaded for filing. The first caption page of the discovery document should state the word “DISCOVERY” in CAPS, BOLD and UNDERLINED to make it clear that the document pertains to a discovery motion. Also the first caption page should state the words “TO BE FILED UNDER SEAL” in CAPS, BOLD and UNDERLINED to make it clear that the document is being submitted for filing under seal, and also, the first caption page should state the words “REDACTED” and/or “UNREDACTED” in CAPS, BOLD and UNDERLINED to make it clear which document is being submitted for filing under seal and which is the public version.
Un-redacted courtesy copies of all discovery documents must be submitted to the department where the discovery hearing will be heard. If the entire document is not sealed, the redacted or confidential portion of the document should be highlighted to assist the judicial officer in differentiating between what is considered confidential information and what is considered non-confidential information.
- Pursuant to Local Rule 2.7(B), you are required to send a courtesy copy in paper to the judge of any document that requires court review, action or signature. These courtesy copies should be sent directly to the judge's department and are due no later than 1:30 p.m. the next business day after the documents are e-filed (except for ex parte documents - see below). Courtesy copies should be delivered via messenger to ensure timely delivery.
- For courtesy copies of default packets that must be delivered to the Default Unit, the messenger can bypass the line at the civil counter in the Civic Center Courthouse (Room 103) and leave the courtesy copy in the drop box next to the defaults window.
Note: If you e-file a guardian ad litem application or stipulation and proposed orders, you should deliver the original application (not a courtesy copy) to the appropriate department.
- You may deliver courtesy copies to the court through the method of your choice, such as delivering them yourself or using a messenger to deliver them. However, your document will not be processed (signed or reviewed by the judge until the courtesy copy is delivered).
- The courtroom clerk will inform the party of the correct amount and a check may be submitted to the courtroom clerk, or the party can e-file the payment by submitting a Notice of Subsequent Jury Fees or other document such as a cover letter to the court. The case name, case number, name of the party posting the fee and the amount must be included in the Notice of Subsequent Jury Fees/cover letter. The court will not file the document, but will accept the document as “fee paid.”
To post the non-refundable jury fees deposit:
- A firm must submit a document in pleading form, or a letter for the collection of the $150 jury fee deposit. The case name, case number, and the name of the party who is posting the deposit. The firm should use the Document Type "Jury Deposit for First Day of Trial". The court will not file the document, but will accepts the document as “fee paid.”
To post advanced jury fees:
- A firm must submit a document to the court for the collection of Advanced Jury Fees. The case name, case number, name of the party who is posting the fees and the amount should be indicated on the document you are submitting. The firm should use the Document Type “Jury Deposit for Advanced Fees”. The court will not file the document, but will accept the document as “fee paid.”
Fees for undertakings must be paid at the civil subsequent filing counter in the Civic Center Courthouse (Room 103). Funds deposited with the court must be certified funds such as cash, cashier’s check, or money order. No personal checks are accepted unless stated in the order.
To pay sanctions, the firm representing the party owing the sanctions must e-file a cover letter or notice of payment of sanction in the case in which the sanctions were ordered. The cover letter/notice should specify the case name, case number, amount of the sanction, name of the party and the date(s) of the sanction order(s). The firm should attach the order(s) as an exhibit to the cover letter/notice. The Document Type of "Sanction Payment" must be selected for the cover letter/notice. The court will not file the document, but will accept the document as “fee paid.”
Self-represented parties may pay sanctions using this method or may pay at the civil subsequent filing counter in the Civic Center Courthouse (Room 103).
The annual renewal fee of $500 is due on or before the anniversary of the date the application to appear as counsel pro hac vice was granted.
A separate document must be uploaded to collect the fee which may be submitted in one of the following formats:
1. Cover Letter/Correspondence
The document must specify the case name, case number, the bar number issued by the court, amount of the fee ($500) and name of the attorney for whom the fee is being paid. The Document Type "Pro Hac Vice Annual Renewal Fee" must be used. The court will not file the document, but will accept the document as “fee paid.”
If the cover letter/notice is not e-filed by the anniversary date of the Order Granting Pro Hac Vice status, the attorney's pro hac vice status will terminate on the anniversary date.
There are several Document Types available for filings related to appeals, some of which require additional information to be entered or documents to be e-filed in order to post a deposit or pay the necessary fee. The court will not file these documents, but will accept the document as “fee paid.”
An administrative fee of $50 is required pursuant to GC§70632 and CRC§8.130, whenever the reporter transcript fees are deposited. The administrative fee must be submitted as a separate document type. When e-filing payments, only a cover letter and the description for the payment (e.g., reporter’s transcript fee or reporter’s transcript administration fee) must be submitted with the fee.
- Designation of Record and Fees: Select document type "Appeal, Designation of Record Record w/Reporter Transcript: Fees Due (filed with separate $50 Administrative Fee).”
- Fees for Reporter Transcript: Select document type "Appeal, fees for Reporters Transcript (Cover letter required)."
- Administrative Fee pursuant to GC§70632 and CRC§8.130: Select document type “Appeal Fees-Administrative to Hold Reporter Transcript Trust Deposit, $50 (Cover letter required).”
- Designation of Record - No fees deposited, e.g. per Declaration: Select document type “Appeal, Designation of Record-Declaration/Substitute Re: Reporter’s Transcript”**
- Court of Appeal Filing Fee Deposit: Select document type "Appeal, Court of Appeal Filing Fee Deposit."
Self-represented parties may post deposits or pay fees using this method or may do so at the appeals filing counter in the Civic Center Courthouse (Room 103).
Courtesy copies of Court Appeal filings, including appellate brief, writs, oppositions, etc., must be delivered directly to the trial Judge in paper form. Do not electronically file them. If the trial Judge or department is unknown, a courtesy copy may be lodged at the Appeals Division, Window 28, in the Clerk’s Office.
**See Local Rules 15.4(G) and 2.7(B) re: delivery of courtesy copies of the filed designation if a certified Reporter’s Transcript is attached to the designation.
If your document has been rejected, you should receive an e-mail from the vendor indicating the reason for rejection. The name and phone number of the clerk that rejected the document should be provided in the e-mail. If you decide to call the court for an additional explanation, the court requests that you contact the specific clerk who rejected the document. When you call, be sure to have your Transaction ID number ready, as it will help the clerk assist you more quickly.
- http://sfsuperiorcourt.org/online-services). The official court record of a case will continue to be the court’s Register of Actions, which will include all e-filed documents except those documents restricted from remote access pursuant to CRC 2.503(c).
Documents Issued by the Court
The court will continue to issue summons for Unlawful Detainer cases, abstracts, commissions to take deposition out of state, subpoena, certificate of facts, writs and orders of examination traditionally in paper. If you need a summons issued on a subsequent filing (such as an amended complaint or cross-complaint) that has been submitted for e-filing, you should wait until the filing has been accepted by the court and a file-stamped copy has been posted on the court’s website. You can then submit your summons by mail or in person and the court will issue the summons. (Note: before a writ can be issued the Memorandum of Costs must be e-filed.)
Document Served in Open Court
During trial, documents presented to the court in writing for decision (such as motions and memoranda of points & authorities) may be served in open court traditionally in paper. To become part of the court record, the document and proof of service must be e-filed no later than 11:59 p.m. the same day as the personal service was completed in open court. The proof of service must reference the date the documents were served in open court.
Guardian Ad Litem Applications
A guardian ad litem application may be filed traditionally in paper at the same time as the initial complaint or petition. Otherwise, the application must be e-filed and only a fee will be processed as “fee paid.” The documents will not receive a file stamp and will not be posted to the court’s public website. The original application must be delivered to the appropriate department. Please see Section 10 (Courtesy Copies) for more information.
Civil Restraining Orders Prohibiting Harassment
(Civil Harassment, Workplace Violence, Elder Abuse, Post Secondary)
All initial documents (those documents that open the case) requesting a Civil Restraining Order prohibiting harassment must be filed in room 103, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. If your request is received prior to 10 a.m., you may pick up your document on the same day between 2:30 p.m. -4:00 p.m. Requests received after 10 a.m. can be picked up on the following day after 2:30 p.m. All other documents (subsequent filings) must be e-filed.
Requests to Reissue a Temporary Restraining Order and Notice of New Hearing and Order on Reissuance must be e-filed.
(Note: pursuant to CRC2.503(c) Remote electronic access is not available for civil restraining orders. Viewing is limited to courthouse access only.)
Bonds must be filed traditionally in paper.
Rejection of Arbitrator’s Award – Request for Trial De Novo
If you are rejecting an arbitrator’s award, the request for trial de novo must be e-filed and the Document Type of “Arbitration (Judicial) - Request For Trial De Novo” must be selected.
You can obtain a certified copy of an e-filed document from our Records department.
Statutory Filing Fee Questions & Refunds
If you have questions about how the court calculated the statutory filing fees when your document was accepted, contact the court’s E-File Unit at (415) 551-3824.
If you would like to request a refund of statutory filing fees, go to the court’s public website, http://sfsuperiorcourt.org/forms-filing, click “Forms & Fees,” select “Local Forms,” print the “Accounting – Request for Refund” form, and e-mail the completed form to [email protected]
Government agencies are not required to pay e-filing and e-service fees. If you are exempt from paying fees, use the “Attorney Note” field to alert the e-file clerk of this so that no fees will be assessed on your transaction.
San Francisco Superior Court’s eFile Unit:
- General Civil Cases: [email protected]
- Defaults: (415) 551-5921 or (415) 551-5969
- United Family Court : [email protected]
Note: When calling these numbers, please leave a message with your question, transaction number(s) and a toll-free phone number (or a phone number where the court can place a collect call). Please do not call other court numbers with questions regarding e-filing transactions.
E-Filed – The document is accepted by the court, file stamp applied, entered to the official court record and the image is viewable.
Fee Paid – The filing fee associated with the document is collected. The document itself will not be entered onto the official court record nor will it be viewable however, information of the fee paid will become a part of the official court record.
Pending - The filing has been received by the court and is pending clerk review.
Lodged – The document is received by the court. The document will not become a part of the official court record and information of lodging of the document will not be posted onto the court record.
Rejected – The document is not accepted by the court, the document will not be filed or entered to the official court record. The document will be returned to the vendor with the reason(s) for rejection.