Frequently Asked Questions

eFiling & eService Overview

Q. What is eFiling?

A. EFiling is the electronic transmission of your document from your desktop to the Court’s case and document management system. A simple user interface directs you through the process and provides you with a record of the transaction. Your document is added to an online docket, which remains available to you, your firm and the other firms in your case. The online docket builds a case history of the eFiled documents, which can be accessed from anywhere that you have Internet access.

Q. What is eService?

A. EService is the electronic transmission of your document from your desktop to the online accounts of the parties on the service list in your case. A simple user interface directs you through the process and provides you with a record of the transaction. You can use eService in conjunction with your eFiling transaction – conveniently serving your eFiled document on the other parties in your case in a single transaction – or you can eServe some or all of the other parties in your case with documents not being filed with the Court, such as correspondence and discovery, eServed documents become part of the online docket and are accessible to the parties on which they were served.

Superior Court of San Francisco eFiling & eService Mandate

Q. Why is the Court mandating eFiling & eService in almost all Civil Case Types?

A. The Court implemented an Electronic Information Management project to bring court-wide efficiencies to reduce paper storage and handling, accept electronic documents to eliminate scanning into the Court’s case management system and leverage staff resources more effectively.

Q. When does mandatory eFiling & eService begin in the Superior Court of San Francisco?

A. Mandatory eFiling & eService begins on Monday, December 8, 2014 in all General Civil case types except Limited Unlawful Detainer and Small Claims cases. Asbestos, Complex and Probate cases are also mandatory for eFiling and eService within the San Francisco Superior Court. All of the mandatory case types are already live and available for eFiling & eServing through File & ServeXpress. In fact, these case types have been available for voluntary eFiling & eServing for several months and if you have been eFiling into these cases through File & ServeXpress you do not need to change anything.

Q. Are all of my documents to be filed electronically?

A. Most of your documents will be filed electronically. Original filings in all General Civil case types and all documents in Family Law, Small Claims, and Limited Unlawful Detainer cases must still be submitted at the court in paper. In addition, documents to be issued by the court clerk (summons, writs, abstracts), Bonds, Fee waiver applications (initial & additional), Applications for orders of examination, sealed documents and all documents in sealed & restricted cases must be submitted in paper.

Q. Am I required to eServe my documents?

A. If you eFile a document with the Superior Court of San Francisco, you are required to eServe that document to the other parties in your case. However, Self-Represented Individuals and Self-Represented Organizations must be served with paper copies. You also have the option to eServe documents that are not eFiled, such as correspondence, discovery, etc.

Q. How will I receive the file-stamped copy of my eFiled documents?

A. Once your filing is accepted, the Court will post a PDF of the file-stamped copy on the Court’s website and you’ll be able to download a copy. Click here to begin your search.

Q. How do I know if my case is eligible for eFiling with the Superior Court of San Francisco?

A. Most case types in the Superior Court of San Francisco are eligible for eFiling. Click here to view the list of available case types. If the Court’s identifies your case as one of these case types, your case is eligible for eFiling.

Q. How Do I Register to eFile & eServe with the Superior Court of San Francisco?

A. Your firm will need to set up a File & ServeXpress account and add your individual attorneys and staff to your account. If you are a self-represented or pro per party, select “law firm" and then choose Self Represented Individual or Self-Represented Organization. You will not be charged any one-time or recurring fees for setting up your accounts. Click here to Register

Q. Once registered, how do I make changes to my File & ServeXpress account?

A. After you register and log into your account for the first time, you may designate one or more individuals as account administrators. An account administrator can add or delete users, set permissions and make any necessary updates. Click here to see the Account Administrator User Guide.

Q. How do I get my case online?

A. Originating case documents such as complaints and petitions must be paper filed with the court. The court sends File & ServeXpress daily updates of new cases and their service lists. Once the originating documents have been paper filed a case is generally available for subsequent eFilings within 24 business hours.

Q. How do I eFile and eServe with the Superior Court of San Francisco through File & ServeXpress?

A. Please visit our Training & Resources Page within this microsite for a full catalog of online webinars, on-demand videos and downloadable guides and tip sheets to help you along the way.

File & ServeXpress also offers 24/7 Phone Customer Support at 888-529-7587. You may also email File & ServeXpress with any questions to using “San Fran Civil Cases" in the subject line. File & ServeXpress also offers online chat support during business hours from 5 AM to 4 PM PT.

Q. I need to file into a case that I have a case number for, but File & ServeXpress does not seem to have the case, what do I do next?

A. Contact File & ServeXpress Client Support at 888.529.7587 and we will request the case from the Court.

Q. How do I pay eFiling & eService fees?

A. When you electronically file documents with the Court we’ll calculate the court’s statutory filing fees and advance those fees to the Court on your behalf. Your firm will be invoiced monthly for those advanced filing fees. The cost is only $7 to eFile and $8 to eServe, regardless of the size and number of documents or parties on the service list. Click here to view the pricing information for eFiling and eService.

While eFiling and eServing

Q. How can I find specific rules pertaining to my court, like how to upload exhibits and signature requirements?

Q. What is the eFiling and eService deadline?

A. The deadline is 4 PM PT for both eFiling and eService. You may prepare filings in File & ServeXpress 24/7 however the Court requires you must meet the 4 PM PT deadline in order to receive that day’s file-stamp.

Q. What are the Courtesy Copy & Courier Filing Deadlines in San Francisco?

A. Filing window Hours:

  • – Monday to Thursday: Closes at 2:00 pm
  • – Friday: Closes at 12:00 pm
  • • Same day Courtesy Copy Deadline – 3:00 pm PST
  • • Next day Courtesy Copy Deadline – 5:00 pm PST

SF Courier Filing Only (eFiling is still 11:59 PST):

  • • Same day Filing Deadline – Monday through Thursday 12:00 pm PST or Friday 10:00 am PST
  • • Anything submitted after the deadline is Filed the Next Business Day

Q. If all of the case parties are not listed, can I update the service list?

A. Yes, you may use the Add Party/Attorney feature during your transaction. You may also make changes to the service list even if you don’t have anything to file. This will make you eligible to receive eService in the case. Click here to view the Case & Party Management User Guide

Q. Once I have submitted a filing, are there tools I can use to search or track my cases or other cases in File & ServeXpress?

A. Yes, there are many tools available for searching and tracking your cases. These advanced File & ServeXpress features are discussed in our Advanced Training class. We also have a selection of user guides available in the Fie & ServeXpress Resource Center.

After You Have eFiled

Q. How can I find the clerk review status of my filings with the court?

A. Click on the transaction number of any previously filed document. The transaction details page will show clerk review status. If a filing has been rejected you may click on the document history to view clerk notes. You will also receive a courtesy email notice informing you of any rejected item.

Q. When our invoice arrives how will our accounting department determine which clients to bill back?

A. You have the option of entering a matter code or case ID into every transaction and your invoice will be itemized. You may also run real-time reports and bill your clients prior to receiving your monthly invoice. Click here to see the Billing Information User Guide

Q. What if I have a question and I can't find the answer in any of the provided resources?

A. Contact File & ServeXpress Client Support 24/7 at 888.529.7587 and we will be happy to assist you.