Alert: Filing Procedure Changed

The Clerk of the Ventura Superior Court implemented a change effective June 21, 2010 to the procedure for filing case-initiating papers, including complaints, petitions and applications.

Under the new procedure, these documents shall be drop-filed. A description of the practice can be found at the court’s website under “What’s New?” A related memo entitled “Civil Filing Information,”  addressing common errors, should also be read.

The change follows a persistent hiring freeze and related budget issues.  Members of VCBA and VCTLA met with representatives of the clerk’s office to explore alternatives. None were considered workable. The responsibilities of the court clerk are formidable, and with limited resources changes had to be implemented.  The new procedure creates the risk that papers presented timely for filing could be rejected after a statute has run.

The clerk’s office has established a “Received-Stamp” mechanism at window 14 so that the drop-off date can be documented. The court clerk will “honor” the drop-off date as the date of filing on all accepted case initiating documents. Documents will not be rejected due to an error on a mandated form such as a Civil Case Cover Sheet. It is unclear whether the absence of such a document would result in rejection.

By William Grewe
*Reed the complete article in the August issue of CITATIONS page 12.

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