San Diego Superior Court eFiling and eService Guide

NOTE: This page was updated on July 3, 2023.

 

Table of Contents

 

General San Diego Court eFiling Information

San Diego Court Website

Superior Court of California – County of San Diego Local Court Rules

Mandatory eFiling Case Types: Civil, Probate, Mental Health

Permissive eFiling Case Types: Family

eFiling Deadline: 11:59 p.m. (submitting eFiling orders 30 minutes prior to deadline is encouraged)

 

eFiling Formatting Requirements

  • All documents electronically filed must be submitted in a PDF format using Adobe Acrobat version 7 or higher and must also be in a text searchable format, i.e., Optical Character Recognition (OCR).
  • Each document should be filed as a stand-alone document.
  • When submitting an original will to the business office for a Petition for Probate that was previously eFiled, the submitting party must include the probate case number on the stiff backing.
  • Pleadings that contain more than one exhibit attached must include electronic bookmarks with links to the first page of each exhibit and titles that identify the exhibit number or letter and briefly describe the exhibit.
  • If submitting a proposed order, an email address for the submitting attorney or party must be notated in the form/pleading header for a conformed copy to be returned.
  • Any document that is filed on a day that the court is closed or after 11:59 p.m. shall be deemed to have been filed on the next court business day.
  • Notwithstanding California Rules of Court, rule 2.257(c)(1), Letters that are electronically filed must contain a signature of the appointed individual(s) in the affirmation section of the applicable form. 

Bookmark documents with exhibits. All documents electronically filed must be in a text searchable format, i.e., OCR. The court is unable to accept documents that do not comply with these requirements, or documents that include but are not limited to digitized signatures, fillable forms, or a negative image. eFilers are required to enter all parties listed on the document being filed, if the party is not already a part of the case. (If the filer is submitting a new complaint, ALL parties must be entered.) If all parties are not entered, the transaction will be rejected.

Courtesy Copies

  • If a hearing is set within 48 hours of documents filed, litigant to provide hard copies of documents in court with the e-filing Transaction ID noted in the upper right-hand corner of the first page of the document.
  • Exhibits to be considered via a Notice of Lodgment shall not be attached to the electronically filed Notice of Lodgment; instead, the submitting party must provide the assigned department with hard copies of the exhibits with a copy of the Notice of Lodgment that includes the e-filing Transaction ID# noted in the upper right-hand corner.
  • For Construction Defect cases assigned to D74, refer to the department's Policies & Procedures on the court's website for further details regarding courtesy copies.

 

Not Eligible For Civile Filing

  • Civil Harassment Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)/Restraining Order (RO)
  • Confidential documents lodged conditionally under seal
  • Elder Abuse TRO/RO
  • Exhibits that are physical objects, which otherwise may not be comprehensibly viewed in an electronic format must be lodged and will not be filed
  • Gun Violence Emergency Protective Order
  • Gun Violence TRO/RO
  • Interpleader actions pursuant to Code Civ. Proc. § 2924j
  • Notice of Appeal of Labor Commissioner
  • Out-of-State Commission Subpoenas
  • Private Postsecondary School Violence Prevention TRO/RO
  • Safe at Home Name Change Petitions
  • Settlement Conference Briefs (to be lodged only)
  • Stand-alone exhibits
  • Transitional Housing Program Misconduct TRO/RO
  • Undertaking/Surety Bonds
  • Warrants
  • Workplace Violence TRO/RO

 

Not Eligible For Family Law eFiling

  • Application and Order for Publication/Posting
  • Domestic Violence Paperwork (Initial and Subsequent Filings)
  • Request for Accommodations by Persons with Disabilities and Response
  • Earnings Assignment Orders/ Income Withholding Orders
  • Findings and Orders After Hearing
  • Request to File New Litigation by Vexatious Litigant
  • Mandatory Settlement Conference Briefs
  • Non-Imaged Family Law Cases (Legacy Cases)
  • Notice of Appeal and any Supporting Appeal Paperwork
  • Notice of Lodgments with Accompanying Exhibits
  • Ex Parte Related Filings
  • Statement of Disqualification
  • Peremptory Challenges
  • Request for Dismissal
  • Request for Payment of Trust Funds
  • Request to Appear Telephonically
  • Request to Continue Hearing
  • Request to Enter Default
  • Stipulations and Orders
  • Subpoenaed Documents
  • Surrogacy Filings
  • Trial Exhibits
  • Judgments
  • Writs/Abstracts
  • QDRO’s
  • Recorded Abstracts
  • Recusals
  • Proposed Orders
  • Returned Writs

 

Not Eligible For Probate eFiling

  • Original Wills & Codicils
  • Undertaking/Surety Bonds
  • Settlement Conference Briefs (to be lodged not filed, see SDSC Local Rule
    4.22.10(D)).
  • Confidential documents lodged conditionally under seal pursuant to Cal. Rules
    of Court, rule 2.551 (although the motion to file under seal itself must be
    electronically filed).
  • Exhibits that are physical objects, which otherwise may not be comprehensibly
    viewed in an electronic format must be lodged and will not be filed.

Documents that are exempt from eFiling can be submitted for filing by mail or in the
Clerk's Office at the appropriate court location, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and
4:00 p.m.

Note: Notices generated by the Court's case management system are mailed via
US Mail rather than electronically served to all parties.

 

FAQs

 

When can I eFile into San Diego Superior Court through Rapid Legal?

eFiling is available for the following case types as of June 1, 2022: Civil Limited, Civil Unlimited, Family, Probate, Provisionally Complex, and Appellate case types.

 

When will Civil eFiling be required for San Diego Superior Court?

As of April 15, 2021, filings submitted by attorneys for represented parties in all limited and unlimited civil case types and probate actions must be submitted electronically through one of the court’s approved e-filing service providers (“EFSPs”), with exceptions for certain documents. Self-represented litigants are encouraged, but not required, to e-file in these case types.

 

Can we still file in person at the courthouse?

Yes. Electronic filing is currently permissive/voluntary in San Diego, except for Civil, Probate, and Complex cases which are mandated to be eFiled. Additionally, Small Claims cases must be filed in person at this time.


How do I eFile documents that must be filed in order for the Court to consider for a hearing scheduled within 48 hours of filing?

If a hearing is set within 48 hours of documents filed, the litigant is to 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.


Should a document be password protected?

No, documents should not be password protected and will be rejected if the content cannot be viewed.


How much does it cost to electronically file with San Diego Superior Court?

The cost to electronically file with San Diego Superior Court includes the Court’s Filing Fees, the Court’s Electronic Filing Manager (EFM) fee, Rapid Legal’s fee, and payment processing fees, as applicable.

Please note that the Rapid Legal portal provides Court Filing Fee estimates when you place an order, which the Court may adjust at its discretion.

 

What information do I need to electronically file a case?

Rapid Legal’s portal will guide you through the submission process, ensuring your filing is complete and meets the court’s requirements.

Information you may need to provide: 

  • Case Information
    • Case Title, Category, Jurisdictional Amount, Incident Zip
    • Additional Info depending on your case: Demand Amount, Premise Address, etc.
  • Case Participant Info
    • Names & Contact Information
    • Alternate Names, Aliases, DBAs
    • Roles
    • Attorney Information
  • Documents
    • Document types to be submitted
    • Scanned PDF versions of documents or Supporting information, depending on the document

 

How do I associate a case with my subsequent filing?

You may search for a case using an existing San Diego Superior Court Case Number. Rapid Legal will then import the court’s case information and include it with your subsequent filing.

 

What information do I need to provide if I’m representing myself in a case?

When adding yourself as a case participant, select the “Is Self-Represented” option. You will be required to provide your full contact information (address, phone, email) to the court.

 

How do I include documents with my electronic filing? 

In the “Documents” section of the Rapid Legal order workflow, you will need to select the Document Types to include with your filing. Documents must be submitted individually in PDF format.

The Court may request additional information to support your filing, depending on the documents you selected. Some examples are: Filed On Behalf Of, Refers To, Representation.

Rapid Legal’s portal will guide you through the process of providing supporting information to minimize data entry and ensure your filing is complete.

 

Are there any document file size restrictions?

There is a 35 MB limit per document when uploading to the system.

There is a 60 MB limit to the total files uploaded per order.

 

Can I submit a fee waiver request for my filing?
The court allows case participants to request fee waivers. Please include a ‘Request for Fee Waiver’ document for each case participant requesting a fee waiver.

 

If my case was ordered to Mandatory eFile can I bring originals with me to a hearing for the clerk to file instead of eFiling the documents?

No. Any documents filed in open court must be eFiled afterward.

 

How do we ensure that our filing is accepted by the court?

Rapid Legal’s portal verifies all filings prior to submission. While the court has final approval, our system will check your filing for common errors and omissions to reduce the chance of your filing being rejected by the court. A message will be displayed if any errors are detected so you can address them before filing.

 

Can I scan multiple documents together and upload as one document?

No. All documents should be filed as stand-alone documents unless filing a Motion. If filing a notice of motion, all documents can be scanned and filed as one document under a filing that most closely captures the type of motion. Please bookmark all filings and exhibits within these filings.

 

How does eFiling work between San Diego Superior Court and Rapid Legal?

As a certified Electronic Filing Service Provider (EFSP) with the Court, Rapid Legal’s technology is integrated with San Diego Superior Court’s Electronic Filing Manager (EFM). This integration enables filers to electronically file documents directly with the court through Rapid Legal. Filers simply submit their documents through Rapid Legal for submission to the Court. The Court then accepts or rejects the documents, and the documents are returned electronically by Rapid Legal to the Filer. Rapid Legal manages the flow of documents and fees to and from the Court.

 

How do I correctly redact a PDF to ensure sensitive information is not accessible?

Please refer to your eFiling Provider’s (EFSPs) website for guidance on how to properly redact PDFs.

Improperly redacting PDFs may place you or your client(s) at risk of releasing sensitive case information. To maintain confidentiality and ensure all redactions are appropriately applied, it is imperative that you remove metadata. Metadata is hidden information embedded within a document that, with a few clicks, may reveal a document’s revision history, earlier drafts, information about the document author, file name, file path, date of creation, and so on. This information is still available and accessible, even if the document was converted to a PDF. It is your responsibility to learn more about metadata and how to remove it properly.

 

How do I get more information regarding San Diego eFiling?

You may also view the court’s Civil E-Filing FAQs

 

Sources

Court Website: www.sdcourt.ca.gov
Local Rules: http://www.sdcourt.ca.gov/portal/page?_pageid=55,1117634&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

 

For additional information regarding San Diego eFiling, view the court’s Frequently Asked Questions Page:

http://www.sdcourt.ca.gov/portal/page?_pageid=55,1844828&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

 

For more information on a case type’s eFiling requirements in San Diego, see below:

Civil Law eFiling Requirements:

https://www.sdcourt.ca.gov/sites/default/files/SDCOURT/GENERALINFORMATION/LOCALRULESOFCOURT/2023_division_ii_-_civil.pdf

Family Law eFiling Requirements:

https://www.sdcourt.ca.gov/sites/default/files/sdcourt/generalinformation/forms/familyandchildrenforms/d305.pdf

Probate Law eFiling Requirements:

https://www.sdcourt.ca.gov/sites/default/files/sdcourt/generalinformation/forms/probateforms/pr188.pdf

 

 

San Diego Superior Court eFiling and eService Guide