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2014 California Rules of Court

Rule 2.251. Electronic service

(a) Authorization for electronic service

When a document may be served by mail, express mail, overnight delivery, or fax transmission, the document may be served electronically under Code of Civil Procedure section 1010.6 and the rules in this chapter.

(Subd (a) amended effective July 1, 2013; previously amended effective January 1, 2007, January 1, 2008, and January 1, 2011.)

(b) Electronic service by consent of the parties

(1)Electronic service may be established by consent of the parties in an action. A party indicates that the party agrees to accept electronic service by:

(A)Serving a notice on all parties that the party accepts electronic service and filing the notice with the court. The notice must include the electronic service address at which the party agrees to accept service; or

(B)Electronically filing any document with the court. The act of electronic filing is evidence that the party agrees to accept service at the electronic service address the party has furnished to the court under rule 2.256(a)(4). This subparagraph (B) does not apply to self-represented parties; they must affirmatively consent to electronic service under subparagraph (A).

(2)A party that has consented to electronic service under (1) and has used an electronic filing service provider to serve and file documents in a case consents to service on that electronic filing service provider as the designated agent for service for the party in the case, until such time as the party designates a different agent for service.

(Subd (b) amended and relettered effective July 1, 2013; adopted as part of subd (a); previously amended effective January 1, 2007, January 1, 2008, and January 1, 2011.)

(c) Electronic service required by local rule or court order

(1)A court may require parties to serve documents electronically in specified actions by local rule or court order, as provided in Code of Civil Procedure section 1010.6 and the rules in this chapter.

(2)Except when personal service is otherwise required by statute or rule, a party that is required to file documents electronically in an action must also serve documents and accept service of documents electronically from all other parties, unless:

(A)The court orders otherwise, or

(B)The action includes parties that are not required to file or serve documents electronically, including self-represented parties; those parties are to be served by non-electronic methods unless they affirmatively consent to electronic service.

(3)Each party that is required to serve and accept service of documents electronically must provide all other parties in the action with its electronic service address and must promptly notify all other parties and the court of any changes under (f).

(Subd (c) adopted effective July 1, 2013.)

(d) Maintenance of electronic service lists

A court that permits or requires electronic filing in a case must maintain and make available electronically to the parties an electronic service list that contains the parties' current electronic service addresses, as provided by the parties that have filed electronically in the case.

(Subd (d) amended and relettered effective July 1, 2013; adopted effective January 1, 2008 as subd (b); previously amended effective January 1, 2010, and January 1, 2011.)

(e) Service by the parties

(1)Notwithstanding (d), parties are responsible for electronic service on all other parties in the case. A party may serve documents electronically directly, by an agent, or through a designated electronic filing service provider.

(2)A document may not be electronically served on a nonparty unless the nonparty consents to electronic service or electronic service is otherwise provided for by law or court order.

(Subd (e) amended and relettered effective July 1, 2013; adopted as subd (c) effective January 1, 2008; previously amended effective January 1, 2011.)

(f) Change of electronic service address

(1)A party whose electronic service address changes while the action or proceeding is pending must promptly file a notice of change of address electronically with the court and must serve this notice electronically on all other parties.

(2)A party's election to contract with an electronic filing service provider to electronically file and serve documents or to receive electronic service of documents on the party's behalf does not relieve the party of its duties under (1).

(3)An electronic service address is presumed valid for a party if the party files electronic documents with the court from that address and has not filed and served notice that the address is no longer valid.

(Subd (f) relettered effective July 1, 2013; adopted as subd (d) effective January 1, 2008; previously amended effective January 1, 2011.)

(g) Reliability and integrity of documents served by electronic notification

A party that serves a document by means of electronic notification must:

(1)Ensure that the documents served can be viewed and downloaded using the hyperlink provided;

(2)Preserve the document served without any change, alteration, or modification from the time the document is posted until the time the hyperlink is terminated; and

(3)Maintain the hyperlink until either:

(A)All parties in the case have settled or the case has ended and the time for appeals has expired; or

(B)If the party is no longer in the case, the party has provided notice to all other parties that it is no longer in the case and that they have 60 days to download any documents, and 60 days have passed after the notice was given.

(Subd (g) relettered effective July 1, 2013; adopted as subd (e) effective January 1, 2011.)

(h) When service is complete

(1)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. If an electronic filing service provider is used for service, the service is complete at the time that the electronic filing service provider electronically transmits the document or sends electronic notification of service.

(2)If a document is served electronically, any period of notice, or any right or duty to act or respond within a specified period or on a date certain after service of the document, is extended by two court days, unless otherwise provided by a statute or a rule.

(3)The extension under (2) does not extend the time for filing:

(A)A notice of intent to move for a new trial;

(B)A notice of intent to move to vacate the judgment under Code of Civil Procedure section 663a; or

(C)A notice of appeal.

(4)Service that occurs after the close of business is deemed to have occurred on the next court day.

(Subd (h) amended and relettered effective July 1, 2013; adopted as subd (b); previously amended effective January 1, 2007; previously relettered as subd (e) effective January 1, 2008; previously amended and relettered as subd (f) effective January 1, 2011.)

(i) Proof of service

(1)Proof of electronic service may be by any of the methods provided in Code of Civil Procedure section 1013a, except that the proof of service must state:

(A)The electronic service address of the person making the service, in addition to that person's residence or business address;

(B)The date and time of the electronic service, instead of the date and place of deposit in the mail;

(C)The name and electronic service address of the person served, in place of that person's name and address as shown on the envelope; and

(D)That the document was served electronically, in place of the statement that the envelope was sealed and deposited in the mail with postage fully prepaid.

(2)Proof of electronic service may be in electronic form and may be filed electronically with the court.

(3)Under rule 3.1300(c), proof of service of the moving papers must be filed at least five court days before the hearing.

(4)The party filing the proof of electronic service must maintain the printed form of the document bearing the declarant's original signature and must make the document available for inspection and copying on the request of the court or any party to the action or proceeding in which it is filed, in the manner provided in rule 2.257(a).

(Subd (i) relettered effective July 1, 2013; adopted as subd (c); previously relettered as subd (f) effective January 1, 2008; previously amended effective January 1, 2007, January 1, 2009, July 1, 2009, and January 1, 2010; previously amended and relettered as subd (g) effective January 1, 2011.)

(j) Electronic service by court

The court may electronically serve any notice, order, judgment, or other document issued by the court in the same manner that parties may serve documents by electronic service.

(Subd (j) relettered effective July 1, 2013; adopted as subd (e); previously amended effective January 1, 2007; previously relettered as subd (g) effective January 1, 2008, and as subd (h) effective January 1, 2011.)

Rule 2.251 amended effective July 1, 2013; adopted as rule 2060 effective January 1, 2003; previously amended effective January 1, 2008, January 1, 2009, July 1, 2009, and January 1, 2010; previously amended and renumbered as rule 2.260 effective January 1, 2007, and as rule 2.251 amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2011.

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