Rule 2 - Electronic Filing

LOCAL RULES OF THE COURT OF APPEAL

SIXTH APPELLATE DISTRICT

Published pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 10.1030

Effective January 19, 2016

Rule 2. Electronic Filing.

Pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 8.70, the Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District (court) will require all filings in this court, effective January 19, 2016, to be made through the court’s electronic filing system (EFS) via the TrueFiling portal (TrueFiling) operated by ImageSoft, Inc. (ImageSoft). Use of the EFS is mandatory for all attorneys filing in this court unless an exemption is granted pursuant to subparagraph (m) below; use of the EFS is voluntary for all self-represented litigants. This rule will apply to all filings in all future and pending cases, including pending cases in which paper documents have been filed before the effective date of this rule. Except as provided in this rule, a filing in electronic format will be accepted in lieu of any paper copies otherwise required under California Rules of Court, rule 8.44 and constitutes the official record of the court.

  1.   Registration.
    1. Obligation to Register. For access to the TrueFiling system, each attorney of record in any proceeding pending in this court is obligated to become an EFS user and obtain a username and password. Self-represented litigants must register if they wish to file electronically. Attorneys and self-represented litigants may register at www.truefiling.com.
    2. Obligation to Keep Account Information Current. Registered users are required to keep their e-mail addresses current and must update their e-mail addresses online via the TrueFiling web site. Updating TrueFiling does not relieve the user of the notice of change requirements in California Rules of Court, rule 8.32, subdivision (b).
  2. Format.
    1. Form of Documents. An EFS user is responsible for all documents filed under the user’s registered username and password. All documents filed electronically must be in electronic text-searchable portable document format (PDF) while maintaining original document formatting. If an EFS user possesses only a paper document, the user must scan the document and convert it to an electronic text-searchable PDF. It is the filer’s responsibility to ensure that any document filed is complete and readable. Electronically filed briefs must comply with the content and form requirements of California Rules of Court, rule 8.204, with the exception of those provisions specifying requirements for the use of paper, or as otherwise specified in this rule.
    2. Naming of Documents. All PDF documents must be named pursuant to this court’s naming convention.
    3. Pagination of Documents. Document pages must be consecutively numbered using only the Arabic numbering system, beginning with the number 1 on the cover page of the document. Notwithstanding California Rules of Court, rule 8.204(b)(7), briefs may not have different numbering systems. When a document is filed in both paper format and electronic format, the pagination must comply with this subparagraph.
    4. Electronic Bookmarks. An electronic bookmark in a PDF document is an electronic tab created by a user to allow quick access to the bookmarked part of the document.  Electronic bookmarks are required to be included with all electronic briefs, all appendixes, and all writ proceedings.  Electronic bookmarks may be included with motions but are not required. In addition to requiring bookmarks, this rule allows hyperlinks. The electronic bookmark must include a brief description of the bookmarked item.
      1. Each electronic brief shall include electronic bookmarks to the following:  each heading and subheading, table of contents, table of authorities, certificate of word count, certificate of interested persons or entities, proof of service, and any attachment or exhibit included with the brief.
      2. Any appendix filed electronically pursuant to subparagraph (f) of this rule shall have a separate electronic bookmark to the table of contents and to the first page of each separate exhibit and attachment.  Any exhibit or attachment included within an exhibit or attachment shall be separately bookmarked. (E.g., if an exhibit consists of a declaration containing multiple exhibits, each should be separately bookmarked.)
      3. All writ proceedings must include the electronic bookmarks required for electronic briefs listed above and also must include electronic bookmarks to the petition, points and authorities, and verification.  All supporting documents must include the electronic bookmarks required for an appendix listed above.
  3. Size. The file size limitation is 25 megabytes. If a filing exceeds the file size limitation, a party must submit the filing in multiple parts.
  4. Signatures. Notwithstanding California Rules of Court, rule 8.77, each document requiring a signature must be electronically filed with an actual signature displayed on the signature page.
  5. Paper Copies. An unbound paper copy of all electronically filed briefs, writ petitions, and documentation submitted in support of a writ petition must be lodged in this court within two days of the electronic filing. If the submission requests an immediate stay, the paper copy must be lodged in this court by the next court day.
  6. Record on Appeal and Writ Proceedings.
    1. Appendix. Parties must submit any appendix filed pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 8.124 or 8.486 in electronic format. Each part of the appendix shall comply with the format, pagination and bookmark requirements enumerated in subparagraph (b) of this rule. If submitted in multiple parts, the cover of each part of the record submitted in any appendix or exhibit volume shall clearly state the volume and page numbers included within that part, and include an index of contents.
    2. Administrative Record. In addition to any administrative record provided by the trial court pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 8.123, the party or parties seeking review of an administrative determination must submit a copy of the administrative record as an electronic text-searchable PDF. An administrative record may be delivered to the court on CD, DVD, or flash drive.
    3. Reporter’s Transcript. Any party who orders a reporter’s transcript of proceedings pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 8.130, must also request a copy of the transcript in electronic format, as provided in California Rules of Court, rule 8.130(f)(4), and must submit an electronic copy to the court.
  7. Personal Identifiers and Privacy Issues. To protect personal privacy, parties and their attorneys must not include, or must redact where inclusion is necessary, personal identifiers such as social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and financial account numbers from all pleadings and other papers filed in the court’s public file, whether filed in paper or electronic format, unless otherwise provided by law or ordered by the court. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 1.20(b).) If an individual’s social security number is required in a pleading or other paper filed in the public file, only the last four digits of that number shall be used. If financial account numbers are required in a pleading or other paper filed in the public file, only the last four digits of these numbers shall be used.
    The responsibility for excluding or redacting identifiers from all documents filed with the court rests solely with the parties and their attorneys. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 1.20(b)(3).) Neither ImageSoft nor the Clerk of the Court has any responsibility to review pleadings or other papers for compliance.
  8. Sealed or Confidential Material. All filers must comply with rules 8.46 and 8.47 of the California Rules of Court pertaining to sealed and confidential material.
  9. Filing Deadlines. Filing documents electronically does not alter any filing deadlines. In order to be timely filed on the day they are due, all electronic transmissions of documents must be completed (i.e., received completely by the Clerk of the Court) prior to midnight. Where a specific time of day is set for filing by court order or stipulation, the electronic filing shall be completed by that time. Although the EFS permits parties to submit documents electronically 24 hours a day, users should be aware that telephone or online assistance from the Clerk’s Office or ImageSoft may not be available outside of normal court business hours.
  10. Motion to Accept Filing as Timely Following TrueFiling Technical Failure. If a filer fails to meet a filing deadline imposed by court order, rule or law because of a failure of the EFS, the filer may file a paper or electronic document as soon thereafter as practicable and accompany the filing with a motion to accept the document as timely filed. A late submission that missed a jurisdictional deadline will be accepted for filing pursuant to this subparagraph only if the deadline was missed due to a failure of the EFS. The initial point of contact for anyone experiencing difficulty filing a document into the EFS shall be the toll-free telephone number posted on the TrueFiling Web site.
    The court will not be responsible for malfunction or errors occurring in electronic transmission or receipt of electronically filed documents.
  11. Service. An attorney’s registration with TrueFiling to participate in the EFS constitutes consent to service or delivery of all documents by any other party in a case through the system. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.71.) Orders or other documents generated by the court will be served only through the EFS or by e-mailed notification. Only those exempted from the EFS pursuant to subparagraph (m) will receive manual service or notification by other means.
  12. Filing Fees. ImageSoft is a private vendor under contract with the court. ImageSoft will assess EFS fees for each filing in accordance with the schedule posted on the TrueFiling Web site, as approved by the court. EFS fees will be considered recoverable costs under California Rules of Court, rule 8.278(d)(1)(D). ImageSoft is designated as the court’s agent for collection of court-imposed fees where required for any filing, and any associated credit card or bank charges or convenience fees (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.78; Gov. Code, § 6159).
    If a party with a fee waiver chooses to file documents electronically, that party is exempt from the fees and costs associated with electronic filing. The persons and entities identified in Government Code section 6103 are also exempt from the fees and costs associated with the EFS.
  13. Exemptions.
    1. Self-represented parties. Self-represented parties may, but are not required to, register for electronic filing. Self-represented parties who opt to register for electronic filing must comply with this rule and the requirements of TrueFiling.
    2. Upon a Showing of Good Cause. Any attorney or party may file a motion for an exemption from all or some of the requirements of this rule, upon a showing of good cause. (See Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.54(a)(1) & (2).) The motion for exemption shall be accompanied by a declaration setting forth the good cause for the exemption(s) requested.
      1. Undue Hardship. Good cause is shown when electronic filing and/or service causes undue hardship or significant prejudice to any attorney or party.
      2. Feasibility. Good cause is shown when it is not otherwise feasible for an attorney or party to convert a document to electronic format by scanning, imaging or other means. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.73(c).)
      If an exemption is granted, the paper documents shall be filed and served upon the parties in accordance with all statutory requirements and the California Rules of Court applicable to paper documents.
  14. Rejection of Electronic Filing for Noncompliance. The court will reject an electronic filing if it does not comply with the requirements of this rule.
  15. Sanctions for Noncompliance. Failure of counsel to timely register, and failure of any registered user to comply with EFS filing requirements, unless exempted, may be subject to sanctions imposed by the court.
  16. Posting and Publication. The Clerk of the Court is directed to post a copy of this rule on the court’s Web site pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 8.74(a), and to submit a copy to the Reporter of Decisions for publication pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 10.1030(a).

Dated: Nov. 19, 2015

Conrad L. Rushing Administrative Presiding Justice

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