General Information

Frequently Asked Questions concerning Orange County Superior Court's eFiling.

1. What is eFiling?

eFiling is a different way of filing papers with the Court. Instead of delivering or mailing a paper document to the Court, you send an electronic version of the document to the Court electronically, via the internet.

2. Why did the Court implement eFiling?

Most documents filed with the Court are produced on a computer. The document is then printed out and filed with the Court and copies are served on all parties. The Court then re-types information about the document into our case management system and scans the document into an electronic format. eFiling eliminates the intermediate steps, moving the electronic version of the document from the lawyer’s or litigant’s computer to the Court’s computers. This saves time and money for both the litigant/law firm and the Court. In these lean budget times, the Court is looking for ways to avoid duplicative work and effort, yet still provide the same level of service to litigants, their lawyers, and the public.

3. What is the benefit to the lawyer of eFiling?

There are benefits to the litigants and lawyers in using eFiling. eFiling will be faster since there is no time needed by the Court to enter and scan documents when they are accepted for filing. Review of eFiled documents can take as little as a few minutes, as opposed to 15-30 minutes for data entry and scanning of paper documents. Electronic documents will therefore be available for viewing faster, generally the same day they are filed. In addition, the electronic transfer of data means fewer errors in data entry by Court staff and far less risk of documents being misfiled or attached to the wrong case. Finally, electronic documents that are eFiled will be text searchable when subsequently downloaded, whereas scanned documents are currently not text searchable.

4. Will litigants be required to eFile?

Superior Court of Orange County, local rule 308, requires that all papers, including the complaint or other first paper, in Complex Civil actions must be electronically filed.

eFiling for all other Civil and Probate cases is encouraged but is not required.

5. Are litigants required to use the Court’s electronic filing service provider (EFSP)?

Yes. For Civil and Probate/Mental Health, all eFiled documents must be filed using a court approved EFSP. Go to: www.occourts.org for approved electronic filing service providers.

6. Can a law firm's support staff file and serve documents electronically?

Yes. While it is necessary to have attorneys and their bar numbers associated with each filing, the system can be used by others when authorized by the law firm. Depending on who has authority to file documents within a law firm's staff; paralegals, legal secretaries, assistants, and others can be added as individual users to the firm's account.

7. Can my attorney service eFile documents for my firm?

Yes. However, for that to be possible, the law firm must still first sign up and register with the EFSP. At that point, the law firm may authorize an attorney service to file documents on its behalf by providing the attorney service with its lawyer’s log-in credentials. By doing so, the law firm assumes all liability and responsibility associated with use of the user login credentials, including all service and filing fees incurred.

8. Do I need to be an attorney to eFile with the Court?

No. Any self-represented litigant can register and obtain an account with any of the Court’s electronic filing service providers.

9. Is the Court mandating electronic service of documents on other parties?

Not at this time. Please note, however, that California Rules of Court, rule 2.260(a)(2)(b) states that a party by electronically filing any document with the Court thereby agrees to accept electronic service.

10. Is a courtesy copy of my document required in addition to my eFiled document?

No. Your eFiled document is all that is necessary to be filed with the Court. A printed paper copy is not required.

11. Is there a fee to eFile?

Yes. Each electronic filing service provider charges a fee. Go to: www.occourts.org to find the Court’s electronic filing service providers and their fees.

12. What is required of the person doing the eFiling?

When a law firm or party is ready to eFile a document, they will select an electronic filing service provider (EFSP) and open an account. EFSP providers may be found at www.occourts.org. The filer will enter basic information about the document, such as: party filing the document, what type of document, what other parties the document relates to, etc. The filer will then upload the document and submit for filing. The greatest amount of data that needs to be entered is with the first paper as this starts the case. With subsequent filings the case will be known to the system, reducing data entry requirements. Every effort has been made to minimize the amount of information that needs to be entered.

13. How do rejections work in eFiling?

The filer will receive a response back indicating the filing was rejected and providing reason(s).

14. Is there a check and balance in place regarding submitting documents with incorrect case name/number?

Yes. If a document is submitted for filing to an existing case, the case number is validated against the Court’s case management system for accuracy.

15. Are the documents originally submitted by an attorney and the conformed copies returned from court all viewable?

Yes. The documents will be viewable within the eFiling application to the originating customer.

16. What types of documents can be uploaded?

Documents can be uploaded for eFiling as a PDF file or in a word processing format (e.g., Word, WordPerfect, and several others, for a complete listing please contact your Electronic Filing Service Provider) that will be converted to a PDF file. If you choose to scan documents, we recommend scanning at a resolution of 300 dpi; this will allow you to maximize the number of pages per megabyte while maintaining readability.

17. What are the benefits of uploading converted documents?

Converted (rather than scanned) documents rarely exceed 5.0 MB since you can usually get hundreds of pages into a 5.0 MB file. Scanned documents can be problematic since scanning creates a MUCH larger file size for the same number of pages compared to converted. There is no way to tell exactly how many pages you can get into a file under 5.0 MB when scanning but here are some examples:

100 pages converted to PDF may be only 1.5 MB.
100 pages scanned to PDF at high resolution may be up to 18.0 MB.
100 pages scanned to low resolution may be only 3.0 MB.

18. Is there a limit to the size (megabytes) of my document?

The majority of filings can be submitted with ease through the Electronic Filing Service Provider (EFSP). Individual documents as large as 35 megabytes and a transaction up to 60 megabytes can be accepted. If you believe your document or transaction may exceed these limits, please contact the EFSP for assistance in optimizing your files and/or utilizing their File Transfer Protocol (FTP) for extremely large documents.

19. Can I submit fillable forms via eFiling?

The Judicial Council of California provides numerous fillable forms that can be used for filings. When utilizing these forms be sure that fields are inactive (e.g., no longer fillable) prior to submitting for eFiling. For assistance with inactivating these fields please contact your EFSP.

20. Is there any other information available about eFiling?

eFiling statutes and rules can be found at Section 1010.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and California Rules of Court, rule 2.250-2.261.