Emergency Filing Procedures

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Filers should be familiar with Local Rule 77-1 regarding the Court’s procedures for emergency matters in civil cases:

L.R. 77-1 Procedures for Emergency Matters. When court action is required prior to the next business day, relief should be sought by filing, during normal business hours, a written application for a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) pursuant to F.R.Civ.P. 65 and L.R. 65-1, unless otherwise provided by federal statute, federal or local rule, or court order. After filing an application for a TRO, the filer must immediately notify the courtroom deputy for the assigned judge by telephone. If it is anticipated that an application for a TRO will be filed outside normal business hours, the filer must notify the courtroom deputy for the assigned judge in advance, during normal business hours. If an application for a TRO is or will be filed before a judge is assigned to the case, the filer should contact the Civil Intake Department in the Clerk’s Office for the division in which the case is pending: Western Division (213) 894-3535, Eastern Division (951) 328-4470, or Southern Division (714) 338-4786. Failure to notify the court as directed may delay judicial action.

In highly unusual circumstances, a filer may not be able to anticipate before the close of business that relief will need to be sought prior to the next business day in a new civil case not already assigned to a judge. If a new civil case is opened and an application for a TRO or similar document is filed after 4:30 p.m., and court attention is needed prior to the next business day, the filer should call the Court at 213-894-0028 and leave a voicemail message with the following information:

  • the caller's name
  • the client's name if the caller is an attorney
  • the caller’s contact information (telephone and email)
  • a detailed description of the emergency that requires immediate court action and an explanation of why it cannot wait until the next business day, and
  • if documents were submitted through CM/ECF, the case number and the docket number of the document requiring emergency attention, or
  • if documents were submitted by email, the time the email was sent and the email address used to send it

Before calling, attorneys must open a new case and file a written application for emergency relief using CM/ECF.  Parties not represented by an attorney must submit their documents (including a complaint or other case-initiating document and a written application for emergency relief) by email to EmergencyFilings@cacd.uscourts.gov.  After submitting written documents, filers must call the emergency number and leave a message in order to receive expedited review.

Messages left at the emergency number will be monitored outside normal business hours.  However, not all calls will be returned.  Messages that do not communicate that a true emergency exists will not be returned.  Messages may not be returned if no written application for emergency relief is received.  Messages regarding emergency filings in cases already assigned to a judge may not be returned; pursuant to Local Rule 77-1, advance notice of such filings must be provided during business hours.  Messages left at this number between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on regular business days will be deleted without review; during those hours, filers must follow the procedures set forth in Local Rule 77-1.

Requests for emergency relief directed to this number should be exceedingly rare.