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Preparing Motion Paperwork and Filing in Sacramento

The Sacramento Superior Court requires documents to be filed in a very specific way. Although this guide specifically addresses motion paperwork (motions, oppositions, replies, proposed orders), these guidelines apply to most paperwork filed in Sacramento..

(Note: this guide assumes you have already served the motion on the other party(ies). If you have not, see our article on Serving Motions by Mail.)

Number of Copies

Original plus two copies: For most motions, the court requires you to file the original signed document plus two copies.

Optional third copy: You can include a third copy (and a self-addressed stamped envelope if filing by mail or dropbox), so the clerk can return an endorsed (stamped) copy to you. You can download copies from the court’s website, so this is not required.

Original unstapled: Leave the original document unstapled; the clerk will be scanning it into the computer. Staple the copies.

Exhibits and Exhibit Tabs

Attaching Exhibits: For each exhibit attached to your declaration, you must place a page in front of the exhibit identifying it as Exhibit A, B, and so forth. You can use either letters or numbers.

In addition, in one of the copies, you must insert bottom-tab divider before each exhibit. This is for the convenience of the judge when they read the papers. You can purchase exhibit tabs at the Circulation Desk in the Law Library or specialty legal supply shops.

Assemble Documents into Stacks

The court wants you to submit a separate stack of each document and its copies.

For instance, when filing a motion, a proposed order, and a proof of service, you will submit three stacks of documents: a stack of the original signed motion and its copies, a separate stack of the proposed order and its copies, and a third stack of the original signed proof of service and its copies. If you have additional documents, like declarations from other people, requests for judicial notice, etc., make a separate stack for each of them too.

If you are submitting them in the dropbox, you will find cover sheets and large binder clips to hold the whole package together near the box.

Filing Your Motion

Once you have assembled your motion and any accompanying documents for filing, mail or drop it off in the appropriate building.

Law and motion documents are filed at 813 6th Street. They can be filed with the clerk at the filing window in Room 212 or placed into the self-service drop box in the lobby. Other types of motions are usually filed at 720 9th St., Room 102.

Filing Fee: There is a $60 fee to file a motion. There is no fee to file an opposition or reply.

Fee Waiver: If you are receiving government benefits such as Medi-Cal or are below certain income limits, you may qualify for a fee waiver. Usually litigants obtain the fee waiver when they file their complaint or answer, but if you do not yet have a fee waiver, turn the fee waiver request forms in with the motion instead of a fee payment. For more information, see our Step-by-Step guide on Fee Waivers.

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