These instructions are to Initiate a New Case with a Request to Waive Court Fees in the Los Angeles Civil Courts. If a case already exists in the court system, you will want to File on an Existing Case.
These steps take you through the process of starting a brand new case in the Los Angeles Civil Courts and submitting it with a waiver. It also shows you how to electronically serve your documents on parties and / or attorneys in the case through the use of service contacts. Once your new case filing is submitted, you will receive email notifications from the court on the status of your filing.
Click Initiate a New Case from the Dashboard
1. Select Court & Case Type – Choose the court location and case type to file your new case.
- Court and Case Type – Choose the court location and case type.
- Additional Case Data – These fields vary based on case type.
- Incident Zip and Court – Filers may refer to LASC’s Filing Court Locator if they need to know the specific Courthouse to select for their Zip Code and Case type. http://www.lacourt.org/filinglocatornet/ui/filingsearch.aspx
- Jurisdictional Amount – Select the appropriate Jurisdictional Amount from the drop down for your Civil case
- Demand Amount – Attorneys may add a Demand Amount in Limited Civil cases
- Premise Address – Enter a Premise Address if applicable
- Checkboxes – Select the appropriate check boxes
2. Add Documents – Define, select, and upload the documents that make up your filing.
- Document Type – The court requires the Complaint be the lead document, so select and upload that first. Only after that, will you see the document types of Summons and Civil Case Cover Sheet to select as subsequent document types. The court would like the Civil Case Cover Sheet and Civil Case Cover Sheet Addendum to be submitted together in one PDF.
- Document Description – If you choose a document type with (name extension) on the end of it, you will be able to type the true document title in the document description field.
- Click to Upload – Click the link to add your document. Aside from the Bulk Party List, our system will automatically convert most native file formats (i.e. Word, WordPerfect, JPG, PNG, GIF, TIF) into the Court’s preferred Adobe PDF format, upon upload.
- Edit – Click the Edit button to edit a description, delete a document, or replace a document.
3. New Case Parties – Enter the required parties.
Each case type you choose has required parties that must be defined. You must list all the parties listed in your complaint, and they need to match the document’s spelling AND case 100% to increase your chances of the filing clerk accepting your submission.
Note – If your party name is something more than a First, Middle, and Last name, switch the TYPE field from Individual to Business.
- Filers may select a Guardian Ad Litem, Incompetent Person, and/or Minor party sub role. (Check as many as applicable)
- Address Unknown, International Address, and Save to Address Book check boxes:
- Address Unknown: Check this box if a party’s address is unknown. However, it should be noted that the filing clerk may possibly reject the filing and request the filer enter one.
- International Address: Check this box for a drop down with a list of countries to select. Additionally, checking this box makes the State and Zip Code fields no longer required; only the Counrty field.
- Save to Address Book: Check this box to save the new party information to the account’s address book. Learn more…
- Fee Exemption – if your party wants to submit a waiver of fees for the case, you will need to make sure to select Fee Waiver or Government Entity in the Fee Exemption drop down.
- Interpreter – Select the language for any Interpreter needed.
- Representing Attorney(s) – Select any Representing Attorney from the menu, or click the Add Another Attorney link to add them.
- Add Party / Copy Last Party Click either link at the bottom of this section to add additional parties.
Add your Request to Waive Court Fees
When you select Fee Waiver (Letter C), you will receive a popup that says:
When requesting a fee waiver, you must upload a Request to Waive Court Fees document.
Close that popup, and scroll back up to Section 2. The document type Request to Waive Court Fees will now be auto-populated. Click to Upload that request.
Your uploaded documents should now look something like this.
Scroll down to Section 3, and enter any remaining New Case Parties.
4. Filing Party – Choose the party or parties you are filing on behalf of. If using a keyboard, select parties with the enter key instead of the spacebar.
5. Service Contacts – Add or select service contacts to perform electronic service. Service contacts provided by the court are annotated with and may not be edited.
- eServe – Select (or deselect) any one listed to receive e-service. If no contacts are listed (or if a filer wishes to add additional service contacts), click the Add Service Contact link (Letter D). A filer may only edit or delete service contacts they originally added. Any service contacts annotated with is a contact directly from the court and may not be edite d or deleted.
IF YOU DO NOT WANT THE OPPOSING PARTY (OR ANY PARTY) TO HAVE ACCESS TO A CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT NEVER E-SERVE THEM. E-SERVING A PARTY MEANS THAT YOU, THE FILER, CONSENTS TO THEM HAVING ACCESS TO THE DOCUMENT.
- Mail Service – Certified and First Class Mail – Starting in the fall of 2021, filers may choose to send the accepted documents to contacts via Certified and First Class Mail.
- Name – In this column, a filer may add or edit an address for Mail Service. However, only the contact’s name will show unless the filer selects a Mail Service type in the previous column.
- Add Service Contact – As always, filers may click the Add Service Contact link to add new contacts to a filing.
- Return Address – Filers will want to make sure the Return Address listed is correct for any returned Mail Service.
Learn More about Service Contacts and our new Mail Service via Certified and First Class Mail
6. Filing Fees – Select a payment method to pay estimated fees.
ALWAYS CONFIRM THE FEES DISPLAY AS $0.00 BEFORE SUBMITTING THE FILING OR THE SYSTEM WILL CHARGE YOU THE GRAND TOTAL.
- Select a payment account (when submitting a filing with a waiver, the court still requires you to pick a payment method).
- Click the Confirm Fee Calculation link to make sure the Grand Total is $0.00.
Note: Mail Service via Certified and First Class Mail is a separate service from the e-filing system. Therefore, fees still apply for this additional service even if a filer has a waiver on a case. If necessary, filers might want to Create a Separate Serve Only filing to request this service.
7. Review & Submit – Finalize your filing, review, and submit.
- If you are Filing for an Attorney select them from the menu or click the Add Attorney link.
- If your firm uses any sort of Client Matter No, enter it here. If you want an unofficial copy of the filing to go to anyone associated with the case, like a client, enter their email(s) here. Note: this is different from a service contact, and it, along with the client matter number, are for your internal purposes only.
- If your court has the option to leave the clerk a memo, enter any sort of note here in the Note to Clerk box.
- Review your entire filing for accuracy, Then check the box to acknowledge you have verified your filing information.
ONCE THE FILING IS SUBMITTED, NEITHER THE FILER NOR THE E-FILING VENDOR MAY CANCEL OR EDIT THE SUBMISSION.
Submit Your Filing
Click the Submit Filing button. Clicking this button, sends your filing directly to filing clerk’s queue at the Court for review. Once all documents are successfully sent to them, the Court will return an envelope number with the date and time they received the full submission. This will be the date and time for the file stamp in your accepted filing. Any filing the Court receives weekdays after 11:59PM, on the weekend, or Court Holiday receives an accepted file stamp of the next Court business day.
On the Filing Status Screen, you will now see your filing is listed as pending. You may return to this screen at any time to see the current status for it and any other filing. Depending on the Court, it can take as little as a minute to review the submission to a few hours to a full business day. If it takes longer than that, the Court may have a backlog they are working through. If you are ever concerned about the status of a submission, the best thing to do is contact the Court directly and provide them with the Envelope Number on your filing.