Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Filing and Serving Your Papers

Filing Your Papers

Family law documents may be filed in person, by mail, or by fax, using a fax filing agency. If papers are filed in person, please obtain a service ticket from the Information booth before attempting to file your forms. The court will not set hearings over the phone. The court strongly recommends that you appear to file any Restraining Order. For court hours and location, please see the General Information page.

Please be advised of the following when filing documents by mail:

  • Pleadings will not be filed unless they comply with California Rules of Court, rule 2.100 - external link which require that all documents presented for filing must be legible and either typed or printed.
  • No conformed copies of documents filed with the Family Law Court will be returned by mail unless a self-addressed stamped envelope, with sufficient postage, is provided.
  • All papers presented for filing must be pre-punched in the standard two-hole position at the top of the document and in triplicate.
  • Documents submitted for filing without the total fee due will be returned unfiled.
  • Filings paid with checks that are returned for non-sufficient fund will be void if not paid by cash or certified check / money order within 20 days of notification. (411.20 Code of Civil Procedure) - external link
  • To authorize a legal document preparer to act as a courier to submit court documents or pick up endorsed copies of court documents on your behalf you must prepare and file the form Authorization for Non-Attorney Court Document Preparer (FL/E-LP-609).

For Family Law filing fees or other court filing fees, please refer to our Fees page.

NOTICE: If you are unable to pay fees and costs, you may ask the court to permit you to proceed without paying them. Check our page on Fee Waivers.

Serving Your Papers

Serving Someone Who Lives Outside of California

To serve someone who does not live in California, but does live in the United States, please use the following forms:

Serving Someone Who is Incarcerated

To serve someone who is incarcerated, please use the following forms:

Service by Publication or Posting