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Civil cases are brought by a plaintiff or petitioner - an individual, business or agency of government -- asking the court to protect some right or to help recover money or property from the defendant--another individual, business or agency of government.

Civil cases involve matters including disputes over business transactions, property rights, administration of wills, claims of accident victims and mental health commitments, divorces, probate, and guardianship.

Filing Court Papers (General Information)

You may file court papers at both court locations. Orland and Willows will accept documents for filing, except for post trial motions, oppositions, replies, proofs of service subsequent to the filing of a motion, ex-parte applications, all papers for Limited and Unlimited Civil cases, excluding Small Claims and Limited Civil Unlawful Detainer cases, are filed at both courthouse locations.

When filing papers are filed with the court, please observe the following guidelines:

  • Pleadings will not be filed unless they comply with California Rules of Court, rule 201.
  • Exhibits must be as legible as original typing or printing.
  • No conformed copies of documents filed with the 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.
  • An original and appropriate number of copies must be submitted
  • Documents submitted without appropriate filing fees according to the court's fee schedule will be returned unfiled.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the fee for filing a civil case?


Click Here For A Printable Civil Filing and Appearance Fees List

Q: What forms are required to file a complaint?

  • A: The Complaint, Summons, and Civil Case Cover Sheet are required at the time of initial filing.

Q: What is the fastest way for me to get the forms and are they available on the Internet?

  • A: Forms are available from the forms clerk at the clerk’s office. You can also request the forms by mailing a check plus a stamped self-addressed envelope to the clerk's office with a description of which forms you need. Forms can also be obtained at the AOC website or at this website by visiting the Local Forms section.

Q: How much do forms cost?

Q: How must the defendant be served with my complaint?

  • A: The summons and complaint may be served by a Sheriff, Marshal, registered process server, or anyone over the age of 18 who is not a party to the action. The party performing the service must complete and sign a proof of service form. The original proof of service must be filed with the court before a judgment can be obtained against the defendant.

Q: How do I respond to a complaint?

  • A: If you have been served with a summons and complaint and want to respond, forms are available at the clerk's office. A five-day summons requires an immediate response. Be sure to the let the clerk know which type of summons and complaint has been served on you. Failure to file a response may lead to a judgment being entered against you.
  • Click Here For A Printable Civil Filing and Appearance Fees List

Q: What is the fee for filing a motion?

Q: Does the court allow telephonic appearances and is there a form?

  • A: Contact the courts for specifics.

Q: Is my hearing still on calendar?

  • A: This information is not available over the Internet, you must contact the clerk's office.

Q: How do I file a petition for Change of Name?

  • A: Petition for Change of Name packets are available from the forms clerk with all the necessary forms and information included. Multiple family members may file in the same case. There is filing fee. Parties must publish a notice in a newspaper of general circulation for four weeks, the fee is determined by the newspaper.
  • Click Here For A Printable Civil Filing and Appearance Fees List

Q: Where can I get legal help?

  • A: Brochures, which provide information on free or low cost legal assistance, are available in the clerks office.