Civil Filing Procedures

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This section provides general information about civil filing procedures in this Court. All documents presented for filing must comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the General Orders and Local Rules of this Court.

Pursuant to Local Rule 5-4.1, electronic filing is mandatory in all civil cases in the Central District of California. All documents must be filed electronically, unless exempted by Local Rule 5-4.2, using the Court's Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system. Currently, only attorneys are required to file documents electronically.  If you are not represented by a lawyer, you may continue to file documents in paper; however, you may also be eligible to apply for permission to file documents electronically in a particular case.  See Local Rule 5-4.1.1, and click here for more information.  For additional information about e-filing, visit the Court's main e-filing page.

All documents filed in paper format, including new actions, as well as subsequent documents exempted from electronic filing by Local Rule 5-4.2, may be filed in person or by mail at any of the divisional offices listed below. You must bring or send an original of every document to be filed. You may provide an extra copy for the clerk to file stamp and return to you; if filing by mail, you must also provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope for this file-stamped copy to be returned to you.

Documents filed by mail will be processed more quickly if you send them directly to the division where the case is "pending." For most civil cases, including capital habeas corpus petitions and bankruptcy appeals, the case is considered pending in the divisional office where the presiding district judge is located. Certain types of cases are instead considered pending in the divisional office where the assigned magistrate judge is located. You should send your filing to the location where the presiding district judge is located UNLESS your filing is in a case that has been referred to a magistrate judge for a report and recommendation (most social security disability cases, civil rights cases involving one or more plaintiffs not represented by an attorney, and non-capital habeas corpus petitions), or in which only a magistrate judge has been assigned.

  • Western Division
    255 East Temple St, Suite 180
    Los Angeles, CA 90012
  • Southern Division
    411 West Fourth St., Rm 1053
    Santa Ana, CA 92701-4516
  • Eastern Division
    3470 Twelfth St., Rm. 134
    Riverside, CA 92501

You can determine where your judge is located by checking this list.