As you know, in California, local rules and statutes are amended in two cycles. These two cycles begin on January 1 and July 1.
During these cycles, the California Rules of Court for attorneys are subject to change. Also, the rules of the court at a county level are changed, although not all counties update theirs in every cycle.
We have gathered the top attorney rule changes in CA to watch for in 2018 to help you and your law firm stay up-to-date on important new procedures.
While we have made our best efforts to inform you of current and comprehensive laws, it is up to you as an attorney to review any new local rules in the court of your jurisdiction.
In this article, we have mostly focused on the updates that will most likely directly affect the way you file documents in court.
Changes on California Rules of Court and C.C.P.
Before we begin, it is important to note that changes made this year focused on the issues of simplifying procedures by modernizing the existing antiquated statutes and rules and reducing redundancy.
Below are the top changes you need to know about:
– New eFiling and eService deadlines
According to the current rules, documents submitted after the court stops accepting documents at its counters using the eFiling system are considered filed on the next business day. This is under Rule 2.250(b)(10). Under the new rules, if you submit documents between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. using the eFiling system, they will be deemed as submitted on the same day. This is under statute C.C.P. 1010.6(b)(3). To be on the safe side, we advise that you continue using the current rule to ensure your documents are not rejected until you confirm that the courts in your jurisdiction have adhered to the new statute.
Statute C.C.P. 1010.6(a)(5) has also been amended. It now mirrors sub-section (b)(3). This means you can access services too until 11.59 p.m.
– Images of signatures and eSignatures
This new amendment concerns images of signatures and eSignatures. Currently, rule 2.257 requires an image of a penned signature on documents. These documents are the ones signed under penalty of perjury. Changes made to this rule have eliminated confusion and now specifically allow for eSignatures on such documents. These rules will be in effect once they are promulgated by the Judicial Council by December 31, 2018.
– Definition of a document
Another amendment to the California rules for attorneys in 2018 is on the definition of a document. Under the new guidelines, the definition of a document will include judgment, order, notice, or other issuance by the court. Also, another person was Included in the definition of a document on amendments made on Rule 2.250(b)(1) and (2).
– Other provisions for eService
Updates were also added on the provisions for eService required by court orders. To get more information on the amendments made to Rule 2.251(d), you should review the entire document.
– Submission of fee waiver application
Courts will now allow application for fee waivers electronically under amendments that will be made on Rule 2.252(f). The amendments will be similar to those of C.C.P. 1010.6(b)(6).
– eService address clarification
There will be a limitation on Rule 2.256(a)(4) instructing that the electronic filers who are required to accept electronic service or have consented to it to provide their eService address. This is because self-represented litigants are not required to provide electronic service address as other filers do according to Rule 2.251(b)(1)(B).
Rule changes in Counties
Below are ruled that have changed in some counties:
If you are representing a criminal case in Fresno, you can now e-file charging documents. This is after Rule 4.1.13(B) was added. The word request was changed to requires in sub-section (C). This change relates to bookmarked documents and PDF searchable documents submitted electronically.
The Alameda courthouse was removed from areas where FL and CV types of cases can be filed after Rule 1.9 was amended.
You will no longer be required to provide courtesy copies for motion in Humboldt. This is after Rule 2.11 was removed.
Alex Wagner is a freelance blogger and writes about all things related to Law, news commentary, and education. To learn more about continued education in California MCLEZ.com can provide more information to learn more.