These instructions are to Initiate a New Case in the Los Angeles Civil Courts—meaning this case is brand new, and does not exist yet in any court. 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 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.

Quick Steps

Scroll down for more detailed instructions.

From the Dashboard, click Initiate a New Case

  1. Select the Court & Case Type, and enter the required Los Angeles – Civil Additional Case Data.
  2. Select your Document Type and enter a Document Description (if required). Then click the Click to Upload link to add your document.
  3. Enter your New Case Parties as required by the court.
  4. Choose the Party or Parties you are filing on behalf of.
  5. Select a Payment Method, and click Confirm Fee Calculation to see the estimated fees.
  6. Select service contacts to add Additional e-Service to your filing.
  7. Select the Filing Attorney if necessary, review all information for accuracy, and Submit Filing.

Initiate a New Case

From the Dashboard, click Initiate a New Case

  1. A) Select Court and Case Type – Choose the court location and case type.
    B) Enter the required Los Angeles – Civil Additional Case Data
    (these fields may vary from case type to case type).
  2. Add Documents – Define, select, and upload the documents that make up your filing.

    1. Select the 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.
       
      Note: The court would like the Civil Case Cover Sheet and Civil Case Cover Sheet Addendum to be submitted together in one PDF with the document type of Civil Case Cover Sheet.
    2. Enter the 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.
       
      Note: To improve your chances of having the filing accepted, you will want this description to 100% match the document’s title.
    3. Click the Click to Upload link to add your document. We’ll automatically convert most native file formats (i.e. Word, WordPerfect, JPG, PNG, GIF, TIF) into the Court’s preferred Adobe PDF format, upon upload.
    4. Click the Edit button to edit a description, delete a document, replace a document, or add an attachment.
  3. New Case 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: Click the Add Party link at the bottom of this section to add multiple parties.

    1. If you do not know your party’s address, you may click the Address Unknown checkbox, but the filing clerk may reject the filing and request you enter one.
    2. Select any Fee Exemption if you are claiming one.
    3. Select the language for any Interpreter needed.
    4. When filling out this section, you may select Representing Attorneys from the menu, or click the Add Another Attorney link to add them.
  4. Filing Party – Choose the party or parties you are filing on behalf of. If you do not see your party listed, you may add them in the step above, and then come back to this section to select them.
  5. Filing Fees – Select a payment account, and click Confirm Fee Calculation to see the estimated fees.
     
    Note: The filing fees are auto-populated from the court based on the case type and document type(s) selected. If the fees seem incorrect to you, you may need to change one of these types above.

    If you have a waiver of fees for your case, you will need to make sure to select Fee Waiver or Government Entity in the Fee Exemption drop down in the New Case Parties section above.

    Learn here more on how to Initiate a New Case in Los Angeles Civil with a Request to Waive Court Fees

  6. Additional e-Service – Add service contacts to your filing to perform electronic service. If there aren’t any service contacts listed, or you need to add additional service contacts, click the Add Service Contact link. If there are service contacts listed that shouldn’t be there, you can remove them if you added them; only the person who added the service contact can delete a service contact.
  7. Review & Submit – Finalize your filing, review, and submit.

    1. If you are Filing for an Attorney select them from the menu or click the Add Attorney link.
    2. 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.
    3. If your court has the option to leave the clerk a memo, enter any sort of note here in the Note to Clerk box.
    4. Review your entire filing for accuracy, and check the Verify box to acknowledge you have and also agree to any service provider fees.

    Click the Submit Filing button. Once you click the button, your filing is sent directly to the court’s filing clerk for review. Your filing will show Pending and you will get credit for the submission time once all documents are uploaded to the court.

Congratulations! You have submitted your filing to Initiate a New Case. The court will review it, and email you with a response in short time depending on their backlog. You can always go to the Filing Status page at any time to see where the filing stands.