Note: Electronic filing is available in the Civil Complex Litigation Departments only. Technical Support is available at (510) 208-4775 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, PST.
The E-filing system uses the convenience of the internet to allow you to file-and-serve pleading documents with the court and to serve-only discovery or other documents to parties in your case.
To file or serve a document, you need to obtain a login and password from Glotrans, the court's service provider. This is done on-line at www.scefiling.org. It is immediate and free. Registration should be done in the name of the attorney, or the pro-per if there is no attorney. Legal assistants can indicate their email address in the "cc" part of the registration form to receive email communications from the court.
Making a Submittal
When you submit documents, you enter plaintiff or defendant information and upload the document(s) from your PC to the website. You can include multiple documents in one submittal.
The applicable fees are charged to your credit card after acceptance by the clerk. Alternatively you can open a prepaid account and have the fees automatically deducted from your account.
You can submit documents at any time of the day or night, but the filing deadline remains 5 p.m. If, for example, you submit a document at 7 p.m., the filing date will be the next business day.
After a submittal, one of two things can happen:
1. Filing (pleadings)
If this is a regular filing, your documents are sent electronically to the clerk at the court who will review them. You are charged only for documents that are accepted by the clerk. There is no processing fee for rejected documents. You will receive an email receipt detailing the charges.
Once you receive the email receipt, click on the link to review the results of your filing. If a document is rejected, the reason for rejection will appear in red. You must print the endorsed documents along with the cover sheet and send two copies to the clerk within three days.
After you make a submittal, a link to the documents is emailed electronically to the parties on the e-service list (even before they are reviewed by the clerk). An electronic proof of service is generated with your submittal and filed with the court as well.
2. Serve-only (discovery)
If the documents in your submittal are discovery documents (or other documents that you want to serve but not to file), they are not sent to the court for review. Rather, they are automatically accepted and e-served to the parties on the service list. A service fee applies to these documents but there are no court fees. You will receive an email receipt detailing the charges. An electronic proof of service is generated for these documents but it is not filed with the court.
All documents filed electronically and accepted by the court become part of the online document repository. Any user (even without a login) can access the repository and view documents.
Discovery and other restricted documents that are submitted also become part of the repository. However, only parties in a case can view that case's restricted documents by submitting their password.
User's Home Page
Filers with a login are provided a "home page" in the E-filing system. The home page (also called "My Home") is used to track the status of submissions in progress and processed by the clerk. From the home page, you can access and modify your user profile or print a statement of e-filing charges.
2. What You Need to Get Started
To use the E-filing system, you need a personal computer (either Windows or Mac) with an internet connection and a browser. The address of the E-filing website is: www.scefiling.org.
To view case documents, you need to download and install Adobe Reader. This free reader can be downloaded from Adobe's website.
To post documents to the website, you need to convert them to PDF format. You may generate documents in a variety of ways (MS-Word, WordPerfect, Scanner), but you will need to convert them to PDF format in order to post. If you need to file paper documents, you will need a scanner to convert them to PDF.
3. How to Obtain a Login and Password
You do not need a login and password to view public documents, but you will need them to submit documents. You can obtain a login and password on-line by going to the E-filing website at www.scefiling.org. Follow these steps:
Having registered does not make you part of a case or adds you to a service list. Only when you e-file a document in a case do you become a party in this case (from the system's standpoint) and start receiving e-service notices and gaining access to restricted documents.
If you are part of a case but do not plan to e-file documents immediately and would like to be added to the service list, please contact Glotrans at 510-208-4775.
4. How to File a New Complaint
Note: All new cases are currently set up in the system by the complex litigation coordinator. Call Ms. Rowena Walker at 408-882-2286 if you have questions about filing a complaint in a complex civil case.
5. How to File Documents in an Existing Case
If you wish to file a document in an existing case, you must first login by clicking on "My Home" at the top of the page.
After you login, your home page is displayed. Your home page provides a summary of all your submissions, in progress or completed. It also shows your list of cases. This is the list of cases for which you have filed before. The term "filing" is used in a general way, referring to both court filings and serve-only submissions.
If you have filed before in the case, click on "My list of cases." Then, click on "File a document" next to the case you are filing for. Some instructions are now displayed. Read them carefully and then press "Start."
If you have not filed before in the case, click on "case home page." Then, search for the case, either by case number or case name. Once the case home page is displayed, click on "File a document in this case." Some instructions are now displayed. Read them carefully and then press "Start."
Step 1: Document Filing Home
Your filing home page is now displayed. It is a summary of all the information you have entered about the filing. Initially, it has no information, except for the case name and number and the filer's name. A box in the upper right area titled "document filing steps" shows you the steps to follow.
Check the submission type. The default is "regular filing, reviewed by clerk." This is for pleading documents that you want filed at the court. However, you may want to submit documents to be e-served onto parties in your case but not filed with the court. In this case, select "Electronic service only." Use this option as well if you are uploading documents that were filed manually.
Step 2: Identify filing parties
Click on Step 2 "Identify filing parties." This page allows you to select the parties on behalf of whom you are filing. Only your parties are listed. If the list is empty or incomplete, click on the link to view an expanded list of parties. If you still do not see your party, click on the link to add a new party. Only add the parties you represent. Once all your parties are in the list, select the parties for this filing. When you are finished, click on "Submit."
If this is your first efiling in this case on behalf of this party, the system asks you if you need to pay the first paper fees. Answer by clicking "yes" or "no," followed by "Submit." Each defendant must pay the complex fee and the first paper fee. Each plaintiff must pay the first paper fee. Plaintiffs pay only one complex fee even if there are multiple plaintiffs.
Step 3: Upload Documents
Click on Step 3 "Upload Documents" to access the Document Upload page. Documents are uploaded one at a time. When you are done click on "No more documents." You may include several documents in a filing. The order of documents does not matter.
Click on "Add a document" to upload your first pleading. A new page is displayed. First, chose a document type by clicking on "click here to view list of valid types." A pop-up window with all valid types is displayed. You can narrow your search by entering a partial name and clicking on "Search." For example, if you type "civil," all document types including the word "civil" will be displayed. Once you click on a document type in the list, the pop-up window closes and the selected type appear in the Document upload page. For discovery, choose "Discovery (e-service only) as a document type.
The author's name defaults to your name, but you can overwrite it. You may also enter a title for the document. This is not mandatory but can help the court clerk in the review process.
Finally click on "Browse" to select the file to upload. The Browse window displays the folders on your computer. Click on the appropriate folders until the file name appears, and then highlight the file and click on "Open." The Browse window closes and file name appears in the Document upload page.
You have now gathered all the information necessary to upload your document. Click on "Upload this document." A message in red will notify you that the document has been successfully uploaded. You may now enter exhibits to the document by clicking on "Add exhibit" and following the same process. The list of exhibits appears at the bottom of the Document upload page.
Repeat this process if you are uploading multiple documents. Then click on "Done" on the Document upload page.
Step 4: Review Filing Fees
Click on Step 4 "Review filing fee" to access the Filing Fee page. The corresponding fees appear below.
If you have a fee waiver, enter this information in the table on the right by checking "Waiver of fees granted by court." You must also enter the date the waiver was granted. When you are done, click on "Record the exemption." Notice that the fees in the fee table are cancelled. You will not be charged for either court fees or processing fees.
If you represent a government or public entity, enter this information in the table on the right by checking "Government/Public Entity." When you are done, click on "Record the exemption." You will not be charged for court fees but you will be charged for the processing fees.
If you wish to pay an initial filing fee or appearance fee at this time, click on "Initial Filing Fee." This takes you to a page that allows you to select the fees you need to pay. When you are done, notice how the initial filing fees are added to the fee table. You must identify your filing parties before you can select initial filing fees.
Click on the $100 contingency box to allow the clerk to charge up to $100 in additional court fees. This is useful if you selected a document type that is incorrect. By selecting this box you allow the clerk to change the type you designated for another with up to $100 in additional court fee. This will result in your filing being approved. If you do not check this box the clerk will reject your filing and ask you to resubmit with a different document type designation.
If this submission is for e-service only, court fees do not apply but the processing fees still apply.
Final Step: Submitting Your Filing
When you are done, click on Step 1 "Document Filing Home." This gives you a chance to review the information about your filing. If you want to make a change, you can click on the corresponding step in the menu box. For example, if you want to add a party to this filing, you will need to click on Step 2 again. When you are done with changes, always return to the "Document Filing Home."
To submit your filing, click on "Submit Filing Now" in the Document Filing Home. If your firm has a prepaid account, you are done.
If you are using a credit card, the next step is to pay the fees using your card (Visa, Mastercard or American Express only). First you review the fees, as in a check-out step in an internet purchase; next, you are requested to enter your credit card information. If you filed previously, this information is stored by the system and you can reuse it as is or make changes.
If the credit card transaction is successful, your submittal is accepted. If the transaction amount is greater than the authorized limit or if there is an error processing your card, please contact Glotrans at 510-208-4775
If your submittal is a regular filing, you will immediately receive an acknowledgement email. The filing is sent to the court in Santa Clara County where it is reviewed by a clerk. You will then receive an email receipt to notify you of the disposition of your filing. The receipt email indicates the amount charged (you are charged only for accepted documents).
If your submittal is for serve-only documents, these will not be sent to the clerk. You will receive only an email receipt that indicates the amount charged. There are no court fees; you will only pay the processing fee.
If you do not wish to proceed with your filing, click on "Cancel this Filing." This erases all data about your filing.
After you submit a new filing, an "Electronic Filing Status" page is displayed. It provides a link to "My Home." If you cannot complete a filing and navigate away, the information you have entered is saved. Later on, you can resume this filing by going to your home page and selecting the filing from the list of unsubmitted filing.
6. What to Do When you Receive the Email Receipt
After you submit a filing to the court, it is reviewed by the clerk. The clerk can accept or reject any of the documents in the filing. The clerk typically takes between 20 minutes and two hours to review your filing, depending on workload. If your filing is submitted after 4:00p.m., the clerk often processes it the next day but the documents will be considered filed on the day of submittal, as long as they are submitted before 5p.m.
Once a disposition has been made, you receive an email receipt. This email message provides some instructions and also a link to the "Electronic filing results" page. Click on the link to access the Results page. It shows the disposition of each document in your filing.
If a document is accepted, it is usually endorsed by the court (there are a few exceptions). Click on the document to view the electronic endorsement.
A proof of service for all documents served electronically is generated by the E-filing system and filed with the court. You can click on the proof of service to view it. The proof of service is included as an attachment to each document served electronically.
You must now print two hard copies of the endorsed documents together with the proof of service and mail it to the court. A coversheet for the mailing is provided on the results page. Click on "Hard Copy Cover Sheet" to view and print the cover sheet. If your documents are not stamped "E-Filed" but "Received" or have no stamp, you do not need to send hard copies. Hard copies must be sent within 3 business days of acceptance of the documents.
Discovery and other serve-only documents are always accepted since they are not reviewed by the clerk. For serve-only documents, an electronic proof of service is generated and served, but it is not filed with the court. If you want to file this proof of service, you must include it in a separate filing. You do not need to send hard copies to the Court for serve-only documents.
If a document is rejected, the rejection reason appears in red. Here are some of common reasons for rejection of a filing:
If documents are rejected, you are not charged any court or processing fees. If you do not understand the reason for rejection, call the clerk's office.
If you want to resubmit your filing with some modifications, you may do so by starting a brand new filing or by selecting the "Duplicate this filing" option on the Results page. After you click on "Duplicate this filing," you must edit your filing before you resubmit (or it will be rejected again!). You can change the document type, or upload a different document file.
7. Special Cases To Consider
Filings vs. Serve-only Submittals
Both filings and serve-only documents can be submitted to the website. Filings are reviewed by the clerk, filed with the court and served electronically. Serve-only documents are not reviewed by the clerk. They are simply served electronically. Both types of documents become part of the on-line document repository for the case.
Discovery and other restricted documents are password-protected and can only be accessed by parties with a valid login in the case. In the website and this document, the word "filing" is often used in a general way, referring to either type of submittal.
Proof of Service
When a pleading document is accepted by the clerk, it is served electronically. The E-filing system then generates an electronic proof of service document that is filed with the court. The proof of service stipulates that all parties registered with the website were served via email.
Parties who are not registered with the website must be served via U.S. mail. You must then submit to the website a separate proof of service for these parties.
You can see the current e-service list for a case by following these steps: first, login; then navigate to the case home page; then click on "E-Service list."
If you are filing a new complaint, you must file the summons as part of the new complaint. The clerk reviewing the filing will electronically apply the court's seal to the summons. Once you are notified of the acceptance of your filing, you can print the summons and personally serve it onto the defendants.
Once you have served, file the summons once again together with the proof of service. The clerk will review these documents and electronically endorse them. You can then print them for your records.
Documents under Seal
Documents under seal must be filed as paper documents with the court. You must also e-file a motion to file a document under seal. This document is then e-served to the parties. See Rule of court 243.2(d)
If you are filing a proposed order, you must e-file a cover sheet (Judicial Council Form EFS-020). After you upload the cover sheet, you must upload a PDF version of the proposed order as exhibit 1. Then you must upload a MS-Word version of the proposed order as a exhibit 2. The clerk will route the document to the Judge who will modify it if required and sign the order. The clerk will then scan and e-file the modified order which will be served onto the parties.
If a document requires a signature under penalty of perjury: The document is deemed signed by the declarant if, before filing, the declarant has signed a printed copy form of the document. The signed document must be available for inspection and copying at the request of the court or any other party. See Rule of court 2.257. You do not need to upload the signed copy; you can upload a file with a blank signature line as long as you keep the signed copy in your file. You do not need to scan the signed copy. You can directly upload the file converted to PDF format from your word processing program. You do not need to use the "/s/" signature tag (though it won't hurt).
If a document does not require a signature under penalty of perjury, the document is deemed signed by the party if the document is filed electronically.
If a document requires signatures of opposing parties: The party filing the document must obtain the signature of all parties on a printed form of the document. The party filing the document must maintain the original, signed document and must make it available for inspection and copying at the request of the court or any other party.
If the electronic file of an exhibit is not available, it should be scanned to PDF format and efiled. If the file size is very large [above 10 Megabytes], you can make arrangements with Glotrans (510-208-4775) to have it uploaded. Try scanning at a lower resolution (no more than 75 dpi) in order to create a smaller file.
8. How to View Documents on the Website
To view a document on the E-filing website, go to the site's home page and click on "Cases: View case informationů." The Find a Case page is displayed. You must enter one of the following to search for a case:
You can further refine your search by entering a case type, the date filed or the date disposed. When you are done, click on "Search."
The list of cases matching your search criteria is displayed. If there is only one match, the Case Home page is displayed. From the Case Home page, click on "Find documents" to view documents. The Find Document page is displayed.
You may enter either one or several of the following fields to search for documents in the case:
Click on "Search" after you enter your criteria. A list of matching documents is displayed. Click on any document to access the Case Document Information page. Then click on the type of the document to display it in a separate window.
From the Case Home page, you may also click on "On-line documents." This will display a chronological list of documents.
9. Understanding Your Home Page
If you have a login and password, then you automatically have a Home page on the E-filing system. You can always get to your Home page by clicking on "My Home" in the upper right menu that appears on every page. Your Home page gives you access to the following:
10. Understanding E-filing Fees
The fees for electronic filing and service are as follows:
If you have a fee waiver, all fees are waived.
If you represent a government or public entity, all court-mandated filing fees are waived. However, the processing and convenience fees still apply.
If your document is rejected by the clerk, the court filing fees, processing and convenience fees are not charged.
Payment by Credit Card
To file electronically, you can make your payment by credit card at the time of filing. At this time, the only payment modality is by credit card for amounts under $1,400. We accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express only. It is important to enter the correct address that is the billing address for your credit card. If the address you enter does not match, the credit card company may reject the transaction.
The credit card transaction is conducted in two steps: first, when you submit, the fee amount is authorized by the bank. After the clerk's approval, the card is actually charged for an amount corresponding to the accepted documents. If no documents are accepted, the authorization is voided and no charge is incurred. For serve-only submissions, there is no prior authorization and funds are captured when the documents are submitted.
Fees Exceeding $1,400
If the total fee for a filing exceeds $1,400, you cannot pay by credit card; please call glotrans at 510-208-4775 to make alternative payment arrangements.
If you do not wish to use a credit card to pay for your filings you can open a prepaid account. Please call glotrans at 510-208-4775 to open a prepaid account.
11. What You Need to Know about Electronic Service
When you submit documents, the system serves the attorneys and pro-pers in the case via email.
Service e-mails are sent up to 30 minutes after you make a submittal. For filings, this means that documents may be served before they are reviewed by the clerk.
In order to ensure that service e-mails are received by the intended recipients, we are requesting that all parties and attorneys keep their email address current. We do not track bounced emails.
A Few Tips Regarding Email
To ensure proper receipt of email, make sure you read and delete your messages on a regular basis. If you exceed the quota for the mailbox allocated by your service provider, emails sent to you will bounce.
Also make sure that email coming from the court is not blocked by your spam filter. Adding the court's e-filing email address to your address book will help; also, you can add the system's domain (glotrans.com) to your list of authorized senders. If you are not sure how to proceed, please contact your firm's IT support.
12. Some Tips about Uploading Document Files
To upload a document to the E-filing website, you will be asked to find the folder where the file resides and then select the file name of the document.
The file must be in PDF format. If you are using a word processing program, you must first create a file in PDF format before trying to upload it. This is done as follows if you are using Acrobat:
Open the file using your word processing program.
In the "File" menu, select "Print." A print window opens. Select the printer name "Acrobat," then press "OK." A file in PDF format has now been created in the same folder as your original document file. It has the same name as your document file with a suffix of .PDF. For example, if your document is MyDoc.doc, then the PDF version will be MyDoc.pdf. If the printer name "Acrobat" does not appear, call your firm's IT support.
Uploading Local Files
If your document is stored on your PC's hard disk, it is referred to as a local file. To point to the file in the Browse window, you must know the file name and the folder that the file is stored in. When you open the file to edit it, the file name appears on the title bar of the window of your word processing program. To find out the directory, go to "Properties" in the "File" menu of the word processing program. Look at the information for "Location." That is the location of the folder.
For example, if the location is C:\MyCases, that means that the folder is on hard drive C and the folder name is MyCases. If the location is C:\MyCases\Groundwater, that means that the folder name if Groundwater and is contained within a folder called MyCases on hard drive C.
Uploading Files from a Central Server
If your document is not stored on your PC but on a central server, it may be difficult to identify the folder location and the file name. The easiest solution is to make a local copy of the file using the "Save as" option of the "File" menu. This creates a copy of the file on your hard disk.
Then you must create a PDF version. Refer to the above section to upload the file. You may want to contact your system administrator for help with this process.
If your document is not in electronic format, you need to scan it before it can be uploaded. After you scan the file, the scanning software lets you select the format for saving the file. Select PDF. When you scan a document, select a low resolution of no more than 100 dpi. High resolution settings (200 dpi or more) will result in very large files that may exceed the system's limit of 10 MB.
13. Selecting the Correct Document Type when you File
When you file a document, you are asked to select its document type. The court has hundreds of types and selecting the correct one can be difficult. You can see the entire list of document types by going to the website's home page and selecting "List of document types and fees." This list show the types, the associated court fee (if any) and the code used by the court to uniquely identify a document type.
You can search the list by entering a key word; for example, if you are filing an application, search on "application" and all the types of applications will be displayed. Once you have narrowed your search, you may still not be sure of the exact type to select. Here is an important tip so your filing will not be rejected by the clerk:
Notice how some types carry fees and others do not. Select a type with the higher fee. During review, the clerk can change the type you selected and select another (the correct one!) if it has an equal or lower fee. However, the clerk cannot select a higher fee amount unless you check the $100 contingency box in the Fee Review page (recommended).
It is therefore more expedient to select the type with the higher fee and allow the clerk to make the necessary changes. You can also call the clerk's office before you file and ask what type to select.
14. How to Get Help
Customer Service Contact Information
If you are having technical difficulties with the site, such as uploading or viewing documents, or if your credit card transactions fail, you can get help by calling Glotrans, the e-filing provider for the court in Santa Clara County. We can be reached Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. PST at:
2915 McClure Street
Oakland, CA 94609
Ph: (510) 208-4775.
Fax: (510) 465-7348
If you have non-technical questions about your filing, call the clerk's office at the Superior court of Santa Clara County, Civil division, at (408) 882-2100.
In addition to Customer Service, Glotrans offers the following services to assist with e-filing:
If you are not able to upload your document to the e-filing website, you can fax it to Glotrans and we will upload it on your behalf. There is a $10 + 50 cents per page fee for this service in addition to regular court and document processing fees.
If you chose to fax us a document, you must provide a coversheet with the following information: Case number and title; Name of attorney and firm; Person to contact and phone number; Document type; Document title; Document Author(s); Parties on behalf of whom this is being filed; Credit card information if we do not have it on record.
Please note that we do not accept documents by fax that exceed 20 pages. If you have a larger document, you must mail us the hard copy and we will scan it.
If you are not able to upload your document or fax it , you can mail it and we will scan it and upload it on your behalf. There is a $10 plus 50 cents/page fee for this service in addition to regular court and document processing fees.
If you chose to mail us a document, you must provide a coversheet with the following information: Case number and title; Name of attorney and firm; Person to contact and phone number; Document type; Document title; Document Author(s); Parties on behalf of whom this is being filed; Credit card information if we do not have it on record
Document Conversion Service
If you have already filed paper documents and would like to convert your case to e-filing, the service provider can assist with the scanning and posting of documents. Please contact Glotrans at 510-208-4775 for an estimate of conversion costs.