In a victory for efficiency, cost savings, conservation and common sense, the Orange County Superior Court now requires (effective January 1, 2013) that all documents in civil cases be electronically filed with the court. The process is simple, and a conformed copy of the filed document is typically received almost immediately. When filing a complaint in a new case, the conformed copy includes the name and department of the judge to whom the case has been assigned.
As long as the document is filed before midnight, it is considered to have been filed that day. No more rushing around to finish a brief, passing it off to an attorney service or messenger and then hoping that there isn’t a 10-car pileup on the 405 which will prevent the documents from getting to the courthouse before closing time.
If a document requires a person’s signature, under penalty of perjury, the document may be efiled without the signature, but the attorney must maintain the signed version in case an issue arises regarding whether the document was truly signed. See CCP 1010.6(b)(2).
Pursuant to detailed requirements set forth in Code of Civil Procedure section 1010.6(b) and California Rules of Court 2.250-2.261, any superior court may permit electronic filing. CCP 1010.6(d) specifically allows Orange County to set up a pilot program for mandatory efiling, which it has now done.
CCP 1010.6(f)&(g) direct the California Judicial Council to promulgate uniform rules, on or before July 1, 2014, for mandatory efiling. Once those rules go into effect, any county may require efiling in accordance with the uniform rules. So clearly the process has been set in motion to eventually do away with old-fashioned paper filing altogether.