New Procedures with Imaged Cases

On August 24, 2015, the San Diego Superior Court began an Imaging Program in the Family Court designed to reduce paper filings and storage and facilitate electronic access to Family Court files. There have been questions relating to how certain procedures differ in imaged cases. This blog post is intended to answer these questions.

What do you mean by an “imaged” case?

Imaged cases are Family Court cases (including Family Support Division cases) where the official record of the Court is imaged and stored electronically. This includes all Family Court cases (including Family Support Division cases) initiated on or after August 24, 2015.

What about cases initiated on or before August 23, 2015?

These cases will remain in paper file form.

If I’m not sure if my case is imaged, how do I find out?

You can find out if a case is imaged by visiting the register of actions for your case. If the case is imaged, “[IMAGED]” will appear in the case title under Case Information:

What procedures are different for imaged cases?

Procedure for Non-Imaged Cases Procedure for Imaged Cases
Pursuant to 2017 Local Rule 5.5.4, certain pleadings require tabbing. Pleadings in imaged cases should not be tabbed.
Certain pleadings require printing on colored paper i.e. Income and Expense Declarations, Judgments, FOAHs, etc. All filed documents should be printed on white paper.
N/A On all pleadings filed after the initial case originating filing, all parties must, to the extent feasible to do so, place the words “IMAGED FILE” in all caps immediately under the case number on all subsequent pleadings filed in the action.


N/A All parties filing new actions shall serve on all other parties a copy of the “Notice of Electronic Case File and Imaged Documents” with the complaint, petition, or other case initiating pleading. A copy of this notice will be provided to the filing party by the court clerk when case originating filings are processed.

 Are the procedures for lodgments any different in imaged cases?

No. The procedure for lodgments is the same in both imaged and non-imaged cases. Lodged documents will not be imaged, will not be part of the official court file, and will be returned in the manner requested or recycled if no manner of return is specified.  As with non-imaged cases, the Notice of Lodgment will be filed (and imaged in imaged cases).

What else should I know about imaged cases?

You should know that any original document filed in imaged cases will be imaged and then destroyed. Original documents relevant to a case should not be attached as exhibits to filed documents or filed in any other manner. Original documents should be lodged with the court, as necessary, under the procedures set forth in Rule 5.1.9(F).

How are confidential documents treated in imaged cases?

Any documents classified or considered confidential pursuant to state, rule of court or local rule shall be filed with the court and will be imaged and destroyed. Court documents classified or considered confidential pursuant to statute or rule of court shall remain confidential and may not be released except to the extent necessary to comply with the law. Requests to view confidential documents must be made to the clerks in the Family Court Business Offices.

Feel free to contact us if you are considering a divorce from your spouse, a legal separation, or have questions regarding property division. Nancy J. Bickford is the only Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS) in San Diego County who is also a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Don’t settle for less when determining your rights. Call 858-793-8884 in Del Mar, Carmel Valley, North County or San Diego.

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