Code Section

Code of Civil Procedure - CCP

PART 2. OF CIVIL ACTIONS [307 - 1062.20]

  ( Part 2 enacted 1872. )
  

TITLE 14. OF MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS [989 - 1062.20]

  ( Title 14 enacted 1872. )
  

CHAPTER 5. Notices, and Filing and Service of Papers [1010 - 1020]
  ( Chapter 5 enacted 1872. )

  
1010.6.  

(a) A document may be served electronically in an action filed with the court as provided in this section, in accordance with rules adopted pursuant to subdivision (e).

(1) For purposes of this section:

(A) “Electronic service” means service of a document, on a party or other person, by either electronic transmission or electronic notification. Electronic service may be performed directly by a party, by an agent of a party, including the party’s attorney, or through an electronic filing service provider.

(B) “Electronic transmission” means the transmission of a document by electronic means to the electronic service address at or through which a party or other person has authorized electronic service.

(C) “Electronic notification” means the notification of the party or other person that a document is served by sending an electronic message to the electronic address at or through which the party or other person has authorized electronic service, specifying the exact name of the document served, and providing a hyperlink at which the served document may be viewed and downloaded.

(2) If a document may be served by mail, express mail, overnight delivery, or facsimile transmission, electronic service of the document is authorized when a party has agreed to accept service electronically in that action.

(3) In any action in which a party has agreed to accept electronic service under paragraph (2), or in which the court has ordered electronic service under subdivision (c) or (d), the court may electronically serve any document issued by the court that is not required to be personally served in the same manner that parties electronically serve documents. The electronic service of documents by the court shall have the same legal effect as service by mail, except as provided in paragraph (4).

(4) (A) Electronic service of a document is complete at the time of the electronic transmission of the document or at the time that the electronic notification of service of the document is sent. However, any period of notice, or any right or duty to do any act or make any response within any period or on a date certain after the service of the document, which time period or date is prescribed by statute or rule of court, shall be extended after service by electronic means by two court days, but the extension shall not apply to extend the time for filing any of the following:

(i) A notice of intention to move for new trial.

(ii) A notice of intention to move to vacate judgment under Section 663a.

(iii) A notice of appeal.

(B) This extension applies in the absence of a specific exception provided by any other statute or rule of court.

(b) A trial court may adopt local rules permitting electronic filing of documents, subject to rules adopted pursuant to subdivision (e) and the following conditions:

(1) A document that is filed electronically shall have the same legal effect as an original paper document.

(2) (A) When a document to be filed requires the signature, not under penalty of perjury, of an attorney or a self-represented party, the document shall be deemed to have been signed by that attorney or self-represented party if filed electronically.

(B) When a document to be filed requires the signature, under penalty of perjury, of any person, the document shall be deemed to have been signed by that person if filed electronically and if a printed form of the document has been signed by that person before or on the same day as, the date of filing. The attorney or person filing the document represents, by the act of filing, that the declarant has complied with this section. The attorney or person filing the document shall maintain the printed form of the document bearing the original signature and make it available for review and copying upon the request of the court or any party to the action or proceeding in which it is filed.

(3) Any document that is electronically filed with the court after the close of business on any day shall be deemed to have been filed on the next court day. “Close of business,” as used in this paragraph, means 5 p.m. or the time at which the court will not accept filing at the court’s filing counter, whichever is earlier.

(4) The court receiving a document filed electronically shall issue a confirmation that the document has been received and filed. The confirmation shall serve as proof that the document has been filed.

(5) Upon electronic filing of a complaint, petition, or other document that must be served with a summons, a trial court, upon request of the party filing the action, shall issue a summons with the court seal and the case number. The court shall keep the summons in its records and may electronically transmit a copy of the summons to the requesting party. Personal service of a printed form of the electronic summons shall have the same legal effect as personal service of an original summons. If a trial court plans to electronically transmit a summons to the party filing a complaint, the court shall immediately, upon receipt of the complaint, notify the attorney or party that a summons will be electronically transmitted to the electronic address given by the person filing the complaint.

(6) The court shall permit a party or attorney to file an application for waiver of court fees and costs, in lieu of requiring the payment of the filing fee, as part of the process involving the electronic filing of a document. The court shall consider and determine the application in accordance with Article 6 (commencing with Section 68630) of Chapter 2 of Title 8 of the Government Code and shall not require the party or attorney to submit any documentation other than that set forth in Article 6 (commencing with Section 68630) of Chapter 2 of Title 8 of the Government Code. Nothing in this section shall require the court to waive a filing fee that is not otherwise waivable.

(7) A fee, if any, charged by the court, an electronic filing manager, or an electronic filing service provider to process a payment for filing fees and other court fees shall not exceed the costs incurred in processing the payment.

(c) If a trial court adopts rules conforming to subdivision (b), it may provide by order that all parties to an action file and serve documents electronically in a class action, a consolidated action, a group of actions, a coordinated action, or an action that is deemed complex under Judicial Council rules, provided that the trial court’s order does not cause undue hardship or significant prejudice to any party in the action.

(d) (1) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), the Orange County Superior Court may, by local rule and until July 1, 2014, establish a pilot project to require parties to specified civil actions to electronically file and serve documents, subject to the requirements set forth in paragraphs (1), (2), (4), (5), and (6) of subdivision (b), rules adopted pursuant to subdivision (e), and the following conditions:

(A) The court shall have the ability to maintain the official court record in electronic format for all cases where electronic filing is required.

(B) The court and the parties shall have access to more than one electronic filing service provider capable of electronically filing documents with the court or to electronic filing access directly through the court. The court may charge fees of no more than the actual cost of the electronic filing and service of the documents. Any fees charged by an electronic filing service provider shall be reasonable. The court, an electronic filing manager, or an electronic filing service provider shall waive any fees charged if the court deems a waiver appropriate, including in instances where a party has received a fee waiver.

(C) The court shall have a procedure for the filing of nonelectronic documents in order to prevent the program from causing undue hardship or significant prejudice to any party in an action, including, but not limited to, unrepresented parties.

(D) A court that elects to require electronic filing pursuant to this subdivision may permit documents to be filed electronically until 12 a.m. of the day after the court date that the filing is due, and the filing shall be considered timely. However, if same day service of a document is required, the document shall be electronically filed by 5 p.m. on the court date that the filing is due. Ex parte documents shall be electronically filed on the same date and within the same time period as would be required for the filing of a hard copy of the ex parte documents at the clerk’s window in the participating county. Documents filed on or after 12 a.m., or filed upon a noncourt day, will be deemed filed on the soonest court day following the filing.

(2) If a pilot project is established pursuant to paragraph (1), the Judicial Council shall conduct an evaluation of the pilot project and report to the Legislature, on or before December 31, 2013, on the results of the evaluation. The evaluation shall review, among other things, the cost of the program to participants, cost-effectiveness for the court, effect on unrepresented parties and parties with fee waivers, and ease of use for participants.

(e) The Judicial Council shall adopt uniform rules for the electronic filing and service of documents in the trial courts of the state, which shall include statewide policies on vendor contracts, privacy, and access to public records, and rules relating to the integrity of electronic service. These rules shall conform to the conditions set forth in this section, as amended from time to time.

(f) The Judicial Council shall, on or before July 1, 2014, adopt uniform rules to permit the mandatory electronic filing and service of documents for specified civil actions in the trial courts of the state, which shall be informed by any study performed pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) and which shall include statewide policies on vendor contracts, privacy, access to public records, unrepresented parties, parties with fee waivers, hardships, reasonable exceptions to electronic filing, and rules relating to the integrity of electronic service. These rules shall conform to the conditions set forth in this section, as amended from time to time.

(g) (1) Upon the adoption of uniform rules by the Judicial Council for mandatory electronic filing and service of documents for specified civil actions in the trial courts of the state, as specified in subdivision (f), a superior court may, by local rule, require mandatory electronic filing, pursuant to paragraph (2).

(2) A superior court that elects to adopt mandatory electronic filing shall do so pursuant to the requirements and conditions set forth in this section, including, but not limited to, paragraphs (1), (2), (4), (5), (6), and (7) of subdivision (b), and subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (d), and pursuant to the rules adopted by the Judicial Council, as specified in subdivision (f).

(h) (1) The Judicial Council shall adopt uniform rules to implement this subdivision as soon as practicable, but no later than June 30, 2019.

(2) Any system for the electronic filing and service of documents, including any information technology applications, Internet Web sites, and Web-based applications, used by an electronic service provider or any other vendor or contractor that provides an electronic filing and service system to a trial court, regardless of the case management system used by the trial court, shall satisfy both of the following requirements:

(A) The system shall be accessible to individuals with disabilities, including parties and attorneys with disabilities, in accordance with Section 508 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 794d), as amended, the regulations implementing that act set forth in Part 1194 of Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations and Appendices A, C, and D of that part, and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq.).

(B) The system shall comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 at a Level AA success criteria.

(3) A vendor or contractor that provides an electronic filing and service system to a trial court shall comply with paragraph (2) as soon as practicable, but no later than June 30, 2019. Commencing on the operative date of this subdivision, the vendor or contractor shall provide an accommodation to an individual with a disability in accordance with subparagraph (D) of paragraph (4).

(4) A trial court that contracts with an entity for the provision of a system for electronic filing and service of documents shall require the entity, in the trial court’s contract with the entity, to do all of the following:

(A) Test and verify that the entity’s system complies with this subdivision and provide the verification to the Judicial Council no later than June 30, 2019.

(B) Respond to, and resolve, any complaints regarding the accessibility of the system that are brought to the attention of the entity.

(C) Designate a lead individual to whom any complaints concerning accessibility may be addressed and post the individual’s name and contact information on the entity’s Internet Web site.

(D) Provide to an individual with a disability, upon request, an accommodation to enable the individual to file and serve documents electronically at no additional charge for any time period that the entity is not compliant with paragraph (2) of this subdivision. Exempting an individual with a disability from mandatory electronic filing and service of documents shall not be deemed an accommodation unless the person chooses that as an accommodation. The vendor or contractor shall clearly state in its Internet Web site that an individual with a disability may request an accommodation and the process for submitting a request for an accommodation.

(5) A trial court that provides electronic filing and service of documents directly to the public shall comply with this subdivision to the same extent as a vendor or contractor that provides electronic filing and services to a trial court.

(6) (A) The Judicial Council shall submit four reports to the appropriate committees of the Legislature relating to the trial courts that have implemented a system of electronic filing and service of documents. The first report is due by June 30, 2018; the second report is due by December 31, 2019; the third report is due by December 31, 2021; and the fourth report is due by December 31, 2023.

(B) The Judicial Council’s reports shall include all of the following information:

(i) The name of each court that has implemented a system of electronic filing and service of documents.

(ii) A description of the system of electronic filing and service.

(iii) The name of the entity or entities providing the system.

(iv) A statement as to whether the system complies with this subdivision and, if the system is not fully compliant, a description of the actions that have been taken to make the system compliant.

(7) An entity that contracts with a trial court to provide a system for electronic filing and service of documents shall cooperate with the Judicial Council by providing all information, and by permitting all testing, necessary for the Judicial Council to prepare its reports to the Legislature in a complete and timely manner.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 17, Sec. 5. Effective June 27, 2017.)