While Initiating a New Case in the San Diego Civil Court is pretty much the same as any other court, the article below explains a few differences which filers should know.
As always, if a filer does have a case number for a San Diego Civil case, they will want to File on an Existing Case even if they have never filed on the case in our system before.
These instructions are for Probate case types as well as Unlimited, Limited, Complex Civil, Unlawful Detainers and Small Claims case types in San Diego. For the San Diego Family case types, please refer to the Odyssey eFileCA instructions.
Initiate a New Case
Click the Initiate a New Case link from the left menu of the Dashboard to begin:
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
- Jurisdictional Amount – Select the correct Jurisdictional Amount from the drop down if requested
- Case Title – Enter your requested Case Title
- Additional Fields – Fill out all related fields to your case type
2. Add Documents – Define, select, and upload the documents that make up your filing.
- Document Type – The Court prescribes the list of documents you see available in the Document Type field. If you don’t see the specific document type you are looking for then you’ll need to select the document type that most closely matches, or is somewhat generic in nature. Learn more about selecting a document type when the one needed isn’t listed…
- Document Description – After making your selection, type the true document title in the document description field.
- Click to Upload – 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.
- 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.
- Most states will alert filers to the roles they need defined via this Tip box.
- Some states will auto-populate the required roles in the parties section itself.
When filling out this section, you may select Representing Attorneys from the menu, or click the Add Another Attorney link to add them.
If you do not know your party’s address, you may click the Address Unknown checkbox.
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. Additional Info – Enter any additional information that is required, indicated by a *, for this filing type.
6. 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 – Check any box in this column to electronically serve a party or attorney via email.
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 – Select Certified or First Class Mail to serve a party or attorney via mail once the court accepts the filing.
- Name – a filer may add or edit an address for Mail Service. However, only the contact’s name shows until a user selects a Mail Service type in the previous column.
- Add Service Contact – click this link to add new contacts to a filing.
- Acknowledgment Checkbox – For those users who have requested mail service, check this box to acknowledge you understand mail service doesn’t go out until the court accepts the filing.
- Return Address – Verify the return address is accurate and correct in case any Mail Service is returned to you.
7. Filing Fees – Select a payment method to pay estimated fees.
Click Confirm Fee Calculation to see the estimated fees. The filing fees auto-populate from the court based on the case type and document type(s) selected. If the fees seem incorrect, you may need to change one of these types above.
If you have a waiver of fees for your case, add a Request to Waive Fees Document in the Add Documents section as needed. Once you have added the waiver correctly, the fees will calculate as $0.00.
FOR FILERS REQUESTING TO WAIVE FEES OR EXEMPT GOVERNMENT FILERS, CONFIRM THE FEES DISPLAY AS $0.00 BEFORE SUBMITTING THE FILING OR THE SYSTEM WILL PRE-AUTHORIZE THE AMOUNT YOU SEE IN THE GRAND TOTAL.
8. 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.
9. Pre-authorization of Fees
It is important to note that when you submit your filing, the court does a pre-authorization on your card for the filing fees. If the court rejects the filing, then they will not settle that pre-authorization, and it will eventually fall off your card within 3 to 10 business days from the date of the clerk’s rejection depending on your banking institution.