New Case Filings FAQs
- Do I have to stand in line at the Clerk's Office?
- Can faxed copies be filed?
- How do I file when the Clerk's Office is closed using the drop box?
- How do I file sealed documents?
- How many copies do I need to file at the Court?
- What are the fees that apply in this court?
- What forms are available for filing a new complaint if I'm representing myself?
Do I have to stand in line at the Clerk's Office?
The Clerk's Office is open 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. To avoid lines, it is best to come in the mid-morning, during lunchtime, or 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.. The busiest time each day is 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.. Monday and Friday are busier than Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
Another way to avoid lines is to use the drop boxes in the San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose courthouses. The drop boxes are a convenience to those wishing to file documents outside of normal court hours. Access to the drop boxes is unavoidably limited for the public by the hours during which the building is open. This may, however, extend the time available for filing by a couple of hours each day). The drop boxes may not be used for filing briefs within seven days of a hearing on a matter. For chambers copies, it is important to use the drop box in the courthouse location of the assigned judge. For complete drop box filing information, see Drop Box Filing Procedures.
Can faxed copies be filed?
Civil Local Rule 5-5 governs the filing of facsimiling copies of documents. The fax copy should not be transmitted directly to the clerk by electronic or telephonic means.
How do I file when the Clerk's Office is closed using the drop box?Visit the Drop Box Filing Procedures page for complete information on drop box filing (San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose courthouses).
How do I file sealed documents?
- Place each pleading in an envelope.
- In order to identify the contents of a pleading, you must place a copy of the front page of the pleading on the envelope.
- Each envelope should be appropriately marked; i.e. original or copy.
- Type or stamp “SEALED BY ORDER OF THE COURT” on the envelope.
- For civil cases, see also Civil Local Rule 79-5.
How many copies do I need to file at the Court?
An original and a chambers copy is required. The Clerk's Office retains two copies for Patent and Trademark cases. If you wish to have a conformed copy returned to you, an additional copy is required.
What are the fees that apply in this court?
Please see the fee schedule summary page for current fee information.
What forms are available for filing a new complaint if I'm representing myself?
Information on forms, handbooks, filing instructions and other resources for individuals representing themselves in federal court is available at Representing Yourself in the United States District Court: Information for Pro Se Litigants.