Electronic filing is the service of documents between OAH and parties electronically, specifically email. Electronic service offers an alternative method of serving documents between OAH and parties. Parties may submit documents as email attachments to the OAH’s Special Education (SE) Filings mailbox (SEFilings@dgs.ca.gov) at any time. If a party wishes to receive courtesy copies of documents issued from OAH to a designated email, they need only complete and submit a Consent to Electronic Service Agreement. It is recommended that each party add SENotices@dgs.ca.gov to their email contacts to ensure that the documents sent by OAH do not fall into a 'SPAM' folder or are rejected. (Emailed courtesy copies sent from OAH will be sent from SENotices@dgs.ca.gov.)
Electronic filing provides an efficient, cost-effective alternative to traditional methods of service. Electronic filing is an easily accessible service option since many individuals do not have immediate access to a fax machine. Also, the service of case related information to parties is expedited, which is a benefit to the parties, as information is often time-sensitive in Special Education matters.
There is no cost to participate in electronic filing as there are many public email providers and PDF file converters available via the internet.
To participate in electronic filing, you must have access to the internet and an email service provider. (Examples of free email service providers include: Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, and GMX Mail.) Since documents must be submitted as an attachment in PDF file format, access to a PDF file converter like the free online converters found at the following websites: www.freepdfconvert.com or www.pdfonline.com/convert-pdf. Also, versions of Microsoft Word 2007 and newer have PDF converter capabilities – please refer to your software literature to verify your software’s abilities. (For more information pertaining to submission criteria, please refer to the Electronic Filing Guidelines.)
Q: How do I participate in electronic filing?
For submitting documents to OAH, anyone may submit a case-related document electronically to the SE Filings mailbox (SEFilings@dgs.ca.gov), as long as it meets the requirements listed in the Electronic Filing Guidelines.
To receive a courtesy copy of documents from OAH by email, a party must complete and submit a Consent to Electronic Service Agreement. Parties have the option to participate in electronic service for either one specific case or for all cases in which they are involved (these options are indicated on the agreement).
Q: Where can I obtain necessary forms for electronic filing?
On the OAH Special Education website all information pertaining to electronic filing can be found on this page (http://www.dgs.ca.gov/oah/SpecialEducation/E-Filing.aspx). Parties are required to complete and submit a Consent to Electronic Service Agreement to receive a courtesy copy of documents from OAH by email.
No forms are necessary to submit documents electronically to OAH, however, please be sure that all documents submitted to SEFilings@dgs.ca.gov meet the Electronic Filing Guidelines.
Q: What is a "courtesy copy"?
A courtesy copy is a secondary copy being provided to you as a courtesy in addition to the primary service of a document. Currently, OAH does not offer email service as a primary method of service. The current primary service options include: fax and U.S. Mail.
Note: A courtesy copy to OAH is not necessary; a document submitted to OAH by fax or email to the SEFilings@dgs.ca.gov mailbox is sufficient.
Q: What are the electronic service options?
Option #1: Fax + Email (courtesy copy), Option #2: U.S. Mail + Email (courtesy copy), Option #3: Fax Only
Q: Is electronic filing mandatory?
No, electronic filing is not mandatory but parties are highly encouraged to participate as there are many benefits to receiving and sending case documents electronically.
Q: Is electronic filing only applicable on a case-by-case basis?
No, when filling out the Consent to Electronic Service Agreement, parties can choose to receive documents from OAH for all cases in which they are involved. All parties have the option to submit documents via email to the SE Filings mailbox (SEFilings@dgs.ca.gov).
Q: Can more than one party in a matter participate in electronic filing?
Yes, all parties can participate. Anyone may submit documents to the SE Filings mailbox (SEFilings@dgs.ca.gov) and any party that submits a Consent to Electronic Service Agreement will receive courtesy copies of documents by email.
Q: What should I do if my contact information changes?
It is each party's responsibility to notify OAH of any changes to his or her contact information (i.e. fax number, email address, telephone number, mailing address, etc.).
Q: What should I do if I want to change my method of service?
Parties must submit a new Consent to Electronic Service Agreement to change their current method of service.
Q: How do I cancel my Consent to Electronic Service Agreement?
OAH must be notified in writing if a party wishes to discontinue electronic service. For your convenience, the Consent to Electronic Service Agreement offers an option to cancel participation.
Q: What are the requirements when submitting documents to SEFilings@dgs.ca.gov?
The subject line of the email, file name and first page of the document must include: 1) OAH Case Number (unless no case number assigned yet); 2) Name of Student, 3) Filing Party, and 4) Name of Document(s) (please refer to the Electronic Filing Guidelines for common document names).
Q: Should I address a filing to anyone in particular when submitting documents to SEFilings@dgs.ca.gov?
- Example: 2012345678 Smith, Joe: Student’s Motion for Stay Put
- Must be submitted as a PDF attachment to the email.
- Document should have sequential page numbers.
- All documents must include a Proof of Service to show that the document(s) were served upon OAH and all other parties involved in the matter.
No, if the document is titled appropriately and includes the information required according to the Electronic Filing Guidelines
, the document will be directed to the appropriate staff at the OAH.
Q: Must I name my PDF file in any particular manner when submitting documents to SEFilings@dgs.ca.gov?
All attachments should be clearly labeled with the following: 1) OAH Case Number (unless no case number assigned yet); 2) Name of Student, 3) Filing Party, and 4) Name of Document(s). Please see the Electronic Filing Guidelines
for document title examples.
Q: Are there certain hours when documents can be filed with the OAH?
Documents can be filed at any time; however documents received outside of normal business hours (8:00am-5:00pm Pacific Standard Time) will be deemed filed as of the next business day.
Q: Is there a limit on the size of documents that are submitted to the OAH?
A message including its attachments should not exceed 50MB.
Q: Should I write anything in the body of the email when submitting documents to SEFilings@dgs.ca.gov?
Parties can write text in the body of the email; however this text will not be considered part of the filing. Please do not include any links in the email
. If you have a question or concern pertaining to a filing, please contact the case manager at 916-263-0880.
Q: Can I submit exhibits electronically to the OAH?
Due to the large nature of exhibits, only upon instruction from the Administrative Law Judge assigned to your hearing should exhibits be submitted electronically.
Q: What happens if a filing submitted to the OAH does not meet the requirements of the Electronic Filing Guidelines?
- Exception: If filing declarations and/or supporting documents pertaining to a motion they may be submitted in the same attachment. Please note that the different items must be identified on the first page of the attachment.
OAH staff will contact the filer to notify them of any issues.