Electronic Submission of Witness Lists and Evidence Through Caselines
CaseLines is a digital evidence management system that allows parties' evidence and exhibits to be uploaded and downloaded for their hearing. Use of CaseLines is free of charge to the parties. Parties and the Administrative Law Judge, or ALJ, can access the documents from a web browser during the hearing. The documents can be viewed, searched, and used while examining witnesses. Using CaseLines allows all hearing participants to look at the exact same documents during the hearing.
CaseLines has a wide-ranging “Support” section on its website with videos and written summaries for using various aspects of the system a link to that section can be found in the links section below. The instructions provided here are a courtesy “Quick Start” guide. If the information you need is not included here, consult the Support section of the CaseLines website. If after reviewing this Quick Start guide and using the CaseLines Resources you are still in need of assistance, please contact OAH at OAHSEOps@dgs.ca.gov.
This guide summarizes information regarding registering for CaseLines; uploading documents; accessing exhibits (yours, and the other parties’); using exhibits when examining witnesses; and offering exhibits as evidence in the case.
- Access CaseLines to register, upload documents, access exhibits, use exhibits, etc, or you can copy the following URL into your browser: https://usgov.caselines.com/
- Access CaseLines "Support" Section or you can copy the following URL into your browser: http:/support.caselines.com/support/solutions
- Access CaseLines Resources for Lawyers and Advocates or you can copy the following URL into your browser https://answers.legalprof.thomsonreuters.com/caselines-lawyer-and-advocate/caselines-lawyer-and-1
Caselines Quick Start Information
You will be sent an invitation to access your case from <email@example.com> with the subject line: Electronic access given to a case: NAME OF CASE. The email will include a link to register for CaseLines which will open in your browser. Once you have registered, you will receive a subsequent email with a link to confirm your email address.
If you need to find CaseLines independently of the email invitation, go to https://usgov.caselines.com. When you open CaseLines, you will be required to register as a user. You will only need to do this once. Subsequently, when invited to a case, you will simply log in using your user name and password.
Invitations will only be sent to the attorneys or parties identified in a case. If you have need to add additional persons within your organization to the case in CaseLines, you may do so yourself. To do so, you will first need to register, then access your case and you will then have the ability to add those persons from CaseLines.
The parties are expected to upload the evidence they intend to introduce, at a time that meets the requirements of Education Code 56505(e)(7). If the timely and complete upload is made in CaseLines, the party has satisfied the legal obligation to disclose their evidence to the other party.
Each party will have the ability to view their own submitted exhibits as well as any exhibits submitted by other parties in the case.
Approximately one week prior to the hearing, the parties will receive an invitation from OAH to upload their documents into CaseLines. After logging on and opening up the case, each party will see a “Section” assigned to them. (Student, District, Charter,etc.) The parties must upload their documents into the Section assigned to them. Once documents are uploaded, they are viewable by everyone given access to the case. If you have not received an invitation five business days before the hearing is scheduled to begin, please contact OAH.
NUMBERING OF EXHIBITS
Each exhibit must be identified by a letter and number. Student must use the letter S before the number to identify Student’s exhibits. District must use the letter D before the number to identify its exhibits. For example, S-1 means Student’s exhibit 1 and D-1 means District’s exhibit 1. A cover sheet with this identifying letter and number should be the first page of each exhibit. The electronic evidence program will automatically number the exhibits and additional page numbering or bates stamping should not be added.
Parties will upload to their designated “Section” for exhibits, tables of contents and witness lists. Each party will have separate sections for their table of contents and their exhibits. For example, Student’s Table of Contents and Student’s Exhibits. Each party will upload any witness lists they may have to the Witness Schedules section, which is shared by all parties.
Each exhibit must consist of one document. Separate documents may not be combined into one exhibit. Emails or letters may be consolidated into one exhibit if they are part of a single chain of messages. Exhibits should be in chronological order. Parties should include resumes or curriculum vitae for each witness who is expected to testify as an expert.
District’s exhibits must include a copy of the school calendar for each school year in question.
TIMELINE FOR UPLOADING EXHIBITS
Electronic copies of exhibits filed with OAH shall be filed by 5:00 PM at least five business days before the first day of hearing. Beginning three business days before the first day of hearing, CaseLines will not allow parties to upload exhibits unless permitted by the ALJ during the hearing at the ALJ’s discretion. Any requests to change or add to the case in CaseLines will need to be raised during the hearing for determination by the ALJ.
You will have to use an HTML5 compliant internet browser, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge or Safari to access the full functionality of CaseLines. Please be sure to check that you have the most recent version of your web browser.
After logging on to CaseLines, go to the Home Screen. To upload your exhibits:
- Click on the “View Case List” tab.
- Enter information in the “Case Filter” to find your case. You can enter the hearing date, case number or name of case.
- Click on “Apply Filter,” then scroll down to see your case name.
- Click on “Update Case.”
- You will see a number of red “tabs” at the top of the page. Click on “Sections.”
- Find your “Section,” e.g. Student Exhibits, District Exhibits, Charter School Exhibits.
SELECT DOCUMENTS TO BE UPLOADED
Once you have located your Section, to the right of your “Section” heading, click on “Upload Document(s).” Then:
- Scroll down to the “Select files” box.
- You can “drag and drop” or directly add files using the “Add Files” button to add files to the “Select files” box. Follow the instructions below for your preferred method:
DRAG & DROP:
To drag and drop, open your computer’s file explorer, then click on the document you want, and drag the file to the “Select files” box. Drop it where the box says, “Drag files here.” To add several files at a time, hold down the “Control” (Ctrl) key if using Windows or “Command” key if using a Mac to highlight several files, then click and drag them to the “Select files” box as a group.
DIRECTLY ADD FILES:
To add files directly to the “Select files” box without using drag and drop, click the “Add Files” button at the bottom left of the “Select files” box.
The website will open your computer’s file list.
Highlight the file you want to upload and click “Open” at the bottom of your computer’s file list screen. The file will populate in the “Select files” box.
To add several files at a time, hold down the “Control” (Ctrl) key if using Windows or “Command” key if using a Mac to highlight several files, then click open at the bottom of the file list screen. All of the selected files will populate in the “Select files” box.
Once you’ve added the files you want to upload to CaseLines, click the “Start Upload” button at the bottom of the “Select files” box. The amount of time it takes to upload your documents will vary, depending on the total size of the files. Generally speaking, the more documents you add at a time, the longer the upload time for each group of files. You may add multiple groups of files by repeating this process until you are finished.
- If you add a file you did not intend to include, click on the minus sign in the circle to the right of the document title in the “Select files” box to remove it.
- Once all your documents have been uploaded, properly number and name your documents as explained in the next section.
Once the files are uploaded, scroll back up the page and click on the “Update All Documents” button. This takes you to a page where you can review what was uploaded.
NUMBERING YOUR EXHIBITS PER THE PHC ORDER
OAH numbering and naming conventions must be used for your exhibits. The Exhibit Number and Date must be included in the Exhibit name for document management purposes.
The following format is required:
- For Student exhibits, begin with S1, S2, S3, etc.
- For District exhibits, begin with D1, D2, D3, etc.
- For Charter School, begin with CS1, CS2, CS3, etc.
- For SELPA exhibits, begin with SA1, SA2, SA3, etc.
- For County Office of Education, begin with COE1, COE2, COE3, etc.
The title of your saved Word or PDF file will automatically become the title of your exhibit, once uploaded. This will need to be changed to comply with the naming conventions identified in this Order.
Please name files using this required format: Exhibit number (S1/D1) Date: MMDD YYYY Title (Speech and Language Report). FOR EXAMPLE:
- S1 12 01 2019 Psychoeducational Assessment
- D3 04 06 2018 IEP
- CS5 12 14 2016 IEP Amendment
- SA7 01 07 2017 Correspondence from SELPA
- COE3 03 09 2018 Email from Parent
MAKING CHANGES TO EXHIBIT NAMES IN CASELINES:
- Scroll down and review the uploaded exhibits. Make sure the “Document Number” (for example, 0001) aligns with the “Document Title” (starting with S1, D1 or CS1). Make sure the exhibits are in order and that the date is in the American format (MM DD YYYY).
- Clicking on any of the “Document Number” or “Document Title” fields will create a text box that allows you to change the title, number, and date as needed.
- Changes you make are automatically saved.
- Scroll up the page and click on the blue “Documents” button. This takes you to your exhibit section (e.g. Charter School Exhibits). Here, you can check that the numbers, titles, dates, and order of exhibits are correct. If not, click on the “Update All Documents” button to make changes.
- To upload additional exhibits, follow the instructions below.
If you need to add documents after your initial upload, make sure your exhibit numbers carry on from where you left off.
If you add new exhibits and they do not appear in order when you review the documents in your section, simply click on the “Update All Documents” button and renumber the exhibits using the “Documents Number” column, so that they are in the order you want them to be in. Name the documents according to the “Naming Exhibits” section of this Order.
REMOVING EXHIBITS AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN UPLOADED
Once you upload a document you will not be able to remove it yourself. If you made a mistake and want to remove exhibits you’ve uploaded, follow these instructions:
- Go to the “Sections” tab as described above and find your exhibit section. Click on the “Update All Documents” Button to the right of your section. Go to the “Document Number” column for the exhibit you’d like to remove. Change the Index field to “delete” for as many of the exhibits you’d like removed. That way the documents will not interfere with the order of exhibits you intend to keep.
- On the first day of hearing, move to withdraw the exhibits and ask the ALJ to remove them from your exhibit section.
It is the parties’ responsibility to ensure that witnesses have access to any exhibits needed for examination and to determine how they will provide this access. Witness access to exhibits can be provided through different methods.
The following are examples of methods to provide access to witnesses:
- The parties’ representative that received the invite to the case in CaseLines has the ability to add additional participants to the case in CaseLines and can add witnesses to provide them access to the exhibits. This method provides access to the exhibits until the participant is removed from CaseLines.
- Parties can send a 72-hour limited access link to download exhibits from CaseLines. To do this, click on the Bundles tab in the case in CaseLines, then click on the “Download” button. On the following screen, click on the “Secure Sharing” button. On the next screen, parties will be able to input the witness’ email address and send a limited link to the witness which will automatically expire after 72 hours.
- Parties can print and mail a copy of the exhibits to witnesses.
- Parties can create and send a flash drive of the exhibits to the witness for them to access on their own devices.