California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1010.6

CA Civ Pro Code § 1010.6 (2017)  

(a) A document may be served electronically in an action filed with the court as provided in this section, in accordance with rules adopted pursuant to subdivision (e).

(1) For purposes of this section:

(A) “Electronic service” means service of a document, on a party or other person, by either electronic transmission or electronic notification. Electronic service may be performed directly by a party or other person, by an agent of a party or other person, including the party or other person’s attorney, or through an electronic filing service provider.

(B) “Electronic transmission” means the transmission of a document by electronic means to the electronic service address at or through which a party or other person has authorized electronic service.

(C) “Electronic notification” means the notification of the party or other person that a document is served by sending an electronic message to the electronic address at or through which the party or other person has authorized electronic service, specifying the exact name of the document served, and providing a hyperlink at which the served document may be viewed and downloaded.

(2) (A) (i) For cases filed on or before December 31, 2018, if a document may be served by mail, express mail, overnight delivery, or facsimile transmission, electronic service of the document is not authorized unless a party or other person has agreed to accept electronic service in that specific action or the court has ordered electronic service on a represented party or other represented person under subdivision (c) or (d).

(ii) For cases filed on or after January 1, 2019, if a document may be served by mail, express mail, overnight delivery, or facsimile transmission, electronic service of the document is not authorized unless a party or other person has expressly consented to receive electronic service in that specific action or the court has ordered electronic service on a represented party or other represented person under subdivision (c) or (d). Express consent to electronic service may be accomplished either by (I) serving a notice on all the parties and filing the notice with the court, or (II) manifesting affirmative consent through electronic means with the court or the court’s electronic filing service provider, and concurrently providing the party’s electronic address with that consent for the purpose of receiving electronic service. The act of electronic filing shall not be construed as express consent.

(B) If a document is required to be served by certified or registered mail, electronic service of the document is not authorized.

(3) In any action in which a party or other person has agreed or provided express consent, as applicable, to accept electronic service under paragraph (2), or in which the court has ordered electronic service on a represented party or other represented person under subdivision (c) or (d), the court may electronically serve any document issued by the court that is not required to be personally served in the same manner that parties electronically serve documents. The electronic service of documents by the court shall have the same legal effect as service by mail, except as provided in paragraph (4).

(4) (A) If a document may be served by mail, express mail, overnight delivery, or facsimile transmission, electronic service of that document is deemed complete at the time of the electronic transmission of the document or at the time that the electronic notification of service of the document is sent.

(B) Any period of notice, or any right or duty to do any act or make any response within any period or on a date certain after the service of the document, which time period or date is prescribed by statute or rule of court, shall be extended after service by electronic means by two court days, but the extension shall not apply to extend the time for filing any of the following:

(i) A notice of intention to move for new trial.

(ii) A notice of intention to move to vacate judgment under Section 663a.

(iii) A notice of appeal.

(C) This extension applies in the absence of a specific exception provided by any other statute or rule of court.

(5) Any document that is served electronically between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59:59 p.m. on a court day shall be deemed served on that court day. Any document that is served electronically on a noncourt day shall be deemed served on the next court day.

(6) A party or other person who has provided express consent to accept service electronically may withdraw consent at any time by completing and filing with the court the appropriate Judicial Council form. The Judicial Council shall create the form by January 1, 2019.

(7) Consent, or the withdrawal of consent, to receive electronic service may only be completed by a party or other person entitled to service or that person’s attorney.

(8) Confidential or sealed records shall be electronically served through encrypted methods to ensure that the documents are not improperly disclosed.

(b) A trial court may adopt local rules permitting electronic filing of documents, subject to rules adopted pursuant to subdivision (e) and the following conditions:

(1) A document that is filed electronically shall have the same legal effect as an original paper document.

(2) (A) When a document to be filed requires the signature of any person, not under penalty of perjury, the document shall be deemed to have been signed by the person who filed the document electronically.

(B) When a document to be filed requires the signature, under penalty of perjury, of any person, the document shall be deemed to have been signed by that person if filed electronically and if either of the following conditions is satisfied:

(i) The person has signed a printed form of the document before, or on the same day as, the date of filing. The attorney or other person filing the document represents, by the act of filing, that the declarant has complied with this section. The attorney or other person filing the document shall maintain the printed form of the document bearing the original signature until final disposition of the case, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 68151 of the Government Code, and make it available for review and copying upon the request of the court or any party to the action or proceeding in which it is filed.

(ii) The person has signed the document using a computer or other technology pursuant to the procedure set forth in a rule of court adopted by the Judicial Council by January 1, 2019.

(3) Any document received electronically by the court between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59:59 p.m. on a court day shall be deemed filed on that court day. Any document that is received electronically on a noncourt day shall be deemed filed on the next court day.

(4) The court receiving a document filed electronically shall issue a confirmation that the document has been received and filed. The confirmation shall serve as proof that the document has been filed.

(5) Upon electronic filing of a complaint, petition, or other document that must be served with a summons, a trial court, upon request of the party filing the action, shall issue a summons with the court seal and the case number. The court shall keep the summons in its records and may electronically transmit a copy of the summons to the requesting party. Personal service of a printed form of the electronic summons shall have the same legal effect as personal service of an original summons. If a trial court plans to electronically transmit a summons to the party filing a complaint, the court shall immediately, upon receipt of the complaint, notify the attorney or party that a summons will be electronically transmitted to the electronic address given by the person filing the complaint.

(6) The court shall permit a party or attorney to file an application for waiver of court fees and costs, in lieu of requiring the payment of the filing fee, as part of the process involving the electronic filing of a document. The court shall consider and determine the application in accordance with Article 6 (commencing with Section 68630) of Chapter 2 of Title 8 of the Government Code and shall not require the party or attorney to submit any documentation other than that set forth in Article 6 (commencing with Section 68630) of Chapter 2 of Title 8 of the Government Code. Nothing in this section shall require the court to waive a filing fee that is not otherwise waivable.

(7) A fee, if any, charged by the court, an electronic filing manager, or an electronic filing service provider to process a payment for filing fees and other court fees shall not exceed the costs incurred in processing the payment.

(c) If a trial court adopts rules conforming to subdivision (b), it may provide by order that all parties to an action file and serve documents electronically in a class action, a consolidated action, a group of actions, a coordinated action, or an action that is deemed complex under Judicial Council rules, provided that the trial court’s order does not cause undue hardship or significant prejudice to any party in the action.

(d) A trial court may, by local rule, require electronic filing and service in civil actions, subject to the requirements and conditions stated in subdivision (b), the rules adopted by the Judicial Council under subdivision (f), and the following conditions:

(1) The court shall have the ability to maintain the official court record in electronic format for all cases where electronic filing is required.

(2) The court and the parties shall have access to more than one electronic filing service provider capable of electronically filing documents with the court or to electronic filing access directly through the court. The court may charge fees of no more than the actual cost of the electronic filing and service of the documents. Any fees charged by an electronic filing service provider shall be reasonable. The court, an electronic filing manager, or an electronic filing service provider shall waive any fees charged if the court deems a waiver appropriate, including in instances where a party has received a fee waiver.

(3) The court shall have a procedure for the filing of nonelectronic documents in order to prevent the program from causing undue hardship or significant prejudice to any party in an action, including, but not limited to, unrepresented parties. The Judicial Council shall make a form available to allow a party to seek an exemption from mandatory electronic filing and service on the grounds provided in this paragraph.

(4) Unrepresented persons are exempt from mandatory electronic filing and service.

(5) Until January 1, 2019, a local child support agency, as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 17000 of the Family Code, is exempt from a trial court’s mandatory electronic filing and service requirements, unless the Department of Child Support Services and the local child support agency determine it has the capacity and functionality to comply with the trial court’s mandatory electronic filing and service requirements.

(e) The Judicial Council shall adopt uniform rules for the electronic filing and service of documents in the trial courts of the state, which shall include statewide policies on vendor contracts, privacy, and access to public records, and rules relating to the integrity of electronic service. These rules shall conform to the conditions set forth in this section, as amended from time to time.

(f) The Judicial Council shall adopt uniform rules to permit the mandatory electronic filing and service of documents for specified civil actions in the trial courts of the state, which shall include statewide policies on vendor contracts, privacy, access to public records, unrepresented parties, parties with fee waivers, hardships, reasonable exceptions to electronic filing, and rules relating to the integrity of electronic service. These rules shall conform to the conditions set forth in this section, as amended from time to time.

(g) (1) The Judicial Council shall adopt uniform rules to implement this subdivision as soon as practicable, but no later than June 30, 2019.

(2) Any system for the electronic filing and service of documents, including any information technology applications, Internet Web sites, and Web-based applications, used by an electronic service provider or any other vendor or contractor that provides an electronic filing and service system to a trial court, regardless of the case management system used by the trial court, shall satisfy both of the following requirements:

(A) The system shall be accessible to individuals with disabilities, including parties and attorneys with disabilities, in accordance with Section 508 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 794d), as amended, the regulations implementing that act set forth in Part 1194 of Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations and Appendices A, C, and D of that part, and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq.).

(B) The system shall comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 at a Level AA success criteria.

(3) A vendor or contractor that provides an electronic filing and service system to a trial court shall comply with paragraph (2) as soon as practicable, but no later than June 30, 2019. Commencing on June 27, 2017, the vendor or contractor shall provide an accommodation to an individual with a disability in accordance with subparagraph (D) of paragraph (4).

(4) A trial court that contracts with an entity for the provision of a system for electronic filing and service of documents shall require the entity, in the trial court’s contract with the entity, to do all of the following:

(A) Test and verify that the entity’s system complies with this subdivision and provide the verification to the Judicial Council no later than June 30, 2019.

(B) Respond to, and resolve, any complaints regarding the accessibility of the system that are brought to the attention of the entity.

(C) Designate a lead individual to whom any complaints concerning accessibility may be addressed and post the individual’s name and contact information on the entity’s Internet Web site.

(D) Provide to an individual with a disability, upon request, an accommodation to enable the individual to file and serve documents electronically at no additional charge for any time period that the entity is not compliant with paragraph (2) of this subdivision. Exempting an individual with a disability from mandatory electronic filing and service of documents shall not be deemed an accommodation unless the person chooses that as an accommodation. The vendor or contractor shall clearly state in its Internet Web site that an individual with a disability may request an accommodation and the process for submitting a request for an accommodation.

(5) A trial court that provides electronic filing and service of documents directly to the public shall comply with this subdivision to the same extent as a vendor or contractor that provides electronic filing and services to a trial court.

(6) (A) The Judicial Council shall submit four reports to the appropriate committees of the Legislature relating to the trial courts that have implemented a system of electronic filing and service of documents. The first report is due by June 30, 2018; the second report is due by December 31, 2019; the third report is due by December 31, 2021; and the fourth report is due by December 31, 2023.

(B) The Judicial Council’s reports shall include all of the following information:

(i) The name of each court that has implemented a system of electronic filing and service of documents.

(ii) A description of the system of electronic filing and service.

(iii) The name of the entity or entities providing the system.

(iv) A statement as to whether the system complies with this subdivision and, if the system is not fully compliant, a description of the actions that have been taken to make the system compliant.

(7) An entity that contracts with a trial court to provide a system for electronic filing and service of documents shall cooperate with the Judicial Council by providing all information, and by permitting all testing, necessary for the Judicial Council to prepare its reports to the Legislature in a complete and timely manner.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 319, Sec. 2. (AB 976) Effective January 1, 2018.)

Last modified: October 8, 2018