Filing Instructions and Procedures
- Acceptance of Credit Cards for Civil Fees
- Filing Court Papers (General Information)
- New Complaint, Petition or Appeal of the Labor Commissioner
- Petition to Change a Name/Gender
- Filing Court Papers on a Case Assigned to a Judge for all Purposes
- Answers and Responses
- Request for Entry of Default / Default Judgment by Court or Clerk
- Oppositions, Replies, Post Trial Motions, etc.
- Writ of Execution or Abstract of Judgment
Acceptance of Credit Cards for Civil Fees
Payments for filing fees and certified copies will be accepted via credit card transaction. There will be no extra processing fee for using a credit card for payment.
Payments for the following fees will not be accepted via credit card: Reporters Transcript deposit, jury fees, Court Reporter fees, and Undertaking deposit
If you are filing via mail or drop box/drop off, and would like to pay your fee via credit card, you may complete the Credit Card Authorization Form. All fields of this form must be completed, with an originial signature and the form must be submitted with your filing.
For attorneys who use runner services to file your documents, you may also use the Credit Card Authorization Form and have the runner present the completed form at the time of filing at the front counter windows.
Filing Court Papers (General Information)
For filing information regarding Small Claims matters, see the Small Claims page.
For filing information regarding Unlawful Detainer matters under $25,000, see the Landlord/Tenant page.
- Civil Unit
- 720 9th Street, Room 102
- 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- CMP Department 36
- 720 9th Street, 5th Floor
- 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- CMP Department 39
- 720 9th Street, 5th Floor
- 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Presiding Judge
- 720 9th Street, 6th Floor
- 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon and 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Trial Departments
- Various Locations
- 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- 1st Floor Drop Box Availability
- 720 9th Street, Lobby
- 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- All documents placed in the drop box must be time-stamped. If properly submitted before 5:00 p.m., the document will be deemed filed on the date of deposit. Any document submitted after 5:00 p.m. will be deemed filed the next court business day. The depository is available for anyone seeking to file documents with the court, but shall not be used to file documents that should be filed in a specific department.
Filings may be made in person, sent by regular or priority mail, or placed in the court's drop box.
When papers are filed with the court, please observe the following guidelines:
- Pleadings will not be filed unless they comply with California Rules of Court, rule 2.100. - external link Exhibits must be as legible as original typing or printing.
- All papers presented for filing must be pre-punched in the standard two-hole position.
- An original and one copy must be submitted, and only two copies of each document will be conformed.
- Advance reservations are required for all Unlimited and Limited Civil Motions for Summary Judgment, Summary Adjudication, Demurrers, and Judgment on the Pleadings.
- Documents submitted without appropriate filing fees according to the court's fee schedule will be returned unfiled.
- A copy of the judgment is required for issuance of Writ of Execution or Abstract of Judgment.
New Complaint, Petition or Appeal of the Labor Commissioner
Complaints, petitions, or appeals of the Labor Commissioner for Unlimited and Limited Civil cases excluding Small Claims and Limited Civil Unlawful Detainer cases are filed with the Civil Unit at 720 9th Street, in Room 102. Complaints may be submitted on pleading paper and must be in conformance with California Rules of Court, rule 2.100- external link or on Judicial Council- external link forms. Petitions must be submitted on pleading paper. New complaints and petitions must be submitted with a Judicial Council Civil Case Cover Sheet form and appropriate filing fees or fee waiver. In addition, an appeal of the Labor Commissioner must include a copy of the order, decision, or award, a copy of the complaint and any answer filed with the Labor Commissioner, and a declaration of proof of service of the notice of appeal being sent to the Labor Commissioner pursuant to Local Rule 2.18. If the statute of limitations is approaching, it is recommended that the complaint or petition be filed in person or sent priority mail to ensure it is filed in a timely manner.
Pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 3.221 - external link, in all general civil cases, the plaintiff must serve a copy of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) information package on each defendant together with the complaint. A Stipulation and Order to Mediation - Unlimited Civil (CV-E-179) must be served in addition to the ADR package on any Unlimited Civil Case.
Pursuant to Local Rule, 2.46(C), a copy of the Program Case Notice for Unlimited (CV\E-143U) shall be served with the summons and complaint on any Unlimited Civil Cases.
Additional information that is helpful after initiating a case:
Petition to Change a Name/Gender
If you are restoring your name after dissolution of marriage, please refer to Restoring Your Former Name for filing instructions.
You will need Adobe Reader X (10) or later to download the Change of Name and Change of Name and Gender packets. Download the Adobe Reader - external link.
To petition the court to change a name of an adult for reasons other than dissolution of marriage or to change the name of a minor, please download the Petition for Change of Name Packet (CV/E-142n).
To petition the court for change of name and gender and issuance of new birth certificate, please download the Petition for Change of Name and Gender Packet (CV/E-142g).
All completed documents should be submitted to Room 102 at 720 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. Name/Gender change documents will only be accepted at the designated counter for filing on Wednesdays.
Filing Court Papers on a Case Assigned to a Judge for all Purposes
When a case has been assigned to a judge for all purposes, all papers should be filed directly in the department according to the order of the court between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Answers and Responses
Answers and responses for Unlimited and Limited Civil cases excluding Limited Civil Unlawful Detainer cases may be mailed or dropped off at the Civil Unit at 720 9th Street, in Room 102. Answers can be submitted on pleading paper and must be in conformance with California Rules of Court, rule 2.100 - external link, or may be submitted on a Judicial Council - external link form. Defendants and respondents in Unlimited or Limited Civil cases have 30 days from the date of service of the summons and complaint to file an answer or response, along with appropriate filing fee or fee waiver, and proof of service pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 3.110(b), or a default judgment may be entered.
Request for Entry of Default / Default Judgment by Court or Clerk
Requests for entry of default or judgment by clerk or court may be mailed or dropped off at the Civil Unit at 720 9th Street, in Room 102. Requests for entry of default must be submitted on the Judicial Council form- external link, and clerk's judgments must be submitted on the court's local form. Request for entry of default judgment by court may be submitted on the court’s local form or on pleading paper.
Motions for Unlimited and Limited Civil cases excluding Small Claims and Limited Civil Unlawful Detainer, ex-parte motions, and motions for cases assigned to a judge for all purposes are filed with the Civil Unit at 720 9th Street, in Room 102, at the Civil Filing Window. Motions are submitted on pleading paper and must be in conformance with California Rules of Court, rule 2.100 - external link, and must include appropriate filing fees or written correspondence indicating that a fee waiver has been approved in the case.
Hearing dates for motions for summary judgment, summary adjudication, judgment on the pleadings, special motions to strike pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure, section 425.16 - external link, and demurrers must be reserved in advance by telephoning the calendaring clerks at 916-874-7848 (Department 54) or 916-874-7858 (Department 53).
The Motions and Hearing Chart is a helpful resource that provides information on where motions and documents for General Civil, Law and Motion and CMP Cases are filed and heard. The chart also provides information on when to file and when to notice as well as statutory references.
Oppositions, Replies, Post Trial Motions, etc.
Oppositions, replies, post trial motions, proofs of service subsequent to the filing of a motion, and ex parte applications must be filed directly in the appropriate department. Department hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Oppositions, replies, and ex parte applications for the Presiding Judge's department 47 and Law and Motion departments 53 and 54, must be filed at the Civil Filing Window at 720 9th Street, Room 102. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Writ of Execution or Abstract of Judgment
Writs of execution or abstracts of judgment for Unlimited and Limited Civil cases excluding Small Claims and Limited Civil Unlawful Detainer cases are issued by the Civil Unit at 720 9th Street, in Room 102. Writs and abstracts must be submitted on the Judicial Council - external link form, with a file-endorsed copy of the judgment(s) and cost bill, and must include the appropriate fee or fee waiver.