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 list of documents you see available in the Document Type field is prescribed by the Court. 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. If you enter some of the Document Type name in its form field, you will filter your choices down (ie. type ‘Petition’ to see petition choices). Some courts provide an option like “Other”, “Other Document Not Listed” or “Document – Other” which may work for you as well.
    2. Enter the Document Description: After making your selection, type the true document title in the document description field. Note: For many document types, the court will not allow for the entry of a document description. In that case, the field will be greyed out.
    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 may add more parties by clicking the Add Parties link at the bottom of this section, but you must still have the court’s required roles in order to file.

    1. If you do not know your party’s address, you may click the Address Unknown checkbox.
    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.

    To create a waiver payment account, click the Save Draft link on the upper right. Then click Settings at the top of the screen, and then select Payment Settings from the menu on the left. Next, you will click Add a Payment Account on the right side of the screen. Give the account a nickname, then select the account type as Waiver. Navigate back to your filing by clicking Filing Status in the left menu from the Dashboard, and choose this for the payment option.

  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.