Last week, a number of critical rule changes occurred in both federal and state courts in California. Civil litigators and in-house counsel should take note of the new rules, which take effect immediately. We briefly summarize the rule changes below:
Federal Court: The most significant rule changes occurred in the civil local rules for the Northern District of California. Specifically, the Court amended Rule 5, concerning the electronic filing of documents, placing even greater importance on having an effective e-filing system in place. The Court also amended Rule 7 (motion practice) to clarify that in all circumstances, opposition briefs are due 14 days after a motion is filed, and reply briefs are due 7 days after an opposition is filed. The court also clarified that any deadline is extended by 3 days when a party manually files a pleading instead of e-filing it. Finally, the court extensively amended Rule 11 (attorney discipline). All of the new rules are available on the NDCA’s website.
State Court: First, and most significantly, the deadline to deposit jury fees under C.C.P. 631 has changed. Under the new rule, the advance jury fee deposit must now be made before the initial CMC, and all jury fees posted under the new rule are nonrefundable. All California litigators should take note of this rule change. Second, as a result of the enactment of SB 1021, various civil filing fees have been established or increased as of June 27, 2012. The additional revenue from these fee changes will be used to offset reductions to trial court funding. For example, the fee to file a complaint, respond to a complaint, or any other first appearance in a case has increased from $410 to $435. Similarly, the additional fee for complex cases has risen to $1,000. Other fees have increased, including jury fees, court reporting services and per diem fees, and post-judgment related fees. Updated fees can be found online.