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To accommodate virtual hearings, many small claims courts across California require you to submit your evidence to the court and the other party before the hearing.
Do I need to submit my evidence to court and the defendant?
The answer to this question is in your** court-approved document packet**. It is very important to read through the entirety of your court-approved document packet. When you see that your hearing will be conducted virtually or telephonically, you will want to pay close attention to any additional instructions from the court.
Let's take a look at an example.
This is a sample court-approved SC-100 from a case filed in Riverside County. In the Order to Go to Court section, you can see that the hearing is scheduled for 09/28/2021 at 08:30AM in Department CVV5 via Telephonic Hearing. The court also indicates that they have attached additional instructions for you.
Information in the red box indicates that 1) the hearing will be conducted telephonically and 2) there are additional instructions.
We look further through the court-approved paperwork packet and find that there is additional instructions regarding the Submission of Evidence. This tells us that the plaintiff needs to submit evidence to the court and to the defendant before the hearing date.
Information in the red box indicates that 1) the plaintiff is required to submit evidence to the court and the defendant and 2) the evidence must be received by the court no later than seven (7) calendar days before the hearing date.
How do I submit my evidence to court and the defendant?
First, you want to make sure you include only evidence that is relevant to your case.
- Pictures, text messages, emails, invoices, contracts, receipts, videos, etc, are all examples of evidence.
Second, you want to make sure each piece of your evidence is clearly titled and dated.
- If you are printing out the evidence, you may want to hand-write the title and date onto each pieces of paper.
- If you are submitting the evidence electronically, you may want to edit the title of each of your attachment to include date.
- You may also want to add a description for each piece of evidence stating why it is important.
Third, choose** how you'd like to submit these evidence**.
- In our example above, the court provided 3 options to submit your evidence - by email, mail, or drop box. Other options may include online portal upload.
- If you are submitting evidence by mail or drop box, make sure you submit copies of your evidence. You do not want to submit the _original versions _of your evidence and lose them from your record.
Fourth, you want to add any additional information the court may require.
- In our example above, the court requires that you include the case number, date of hearing, and the name of the party submitting the evidence (i.e. you) as part of your evidence packet.
Finally, you want to submit your evidence packet on time.
- In our example above, the court requires that the evidence must be received by the court no later than seven (7) calendar days before the hearing date.
Sample Evidence Packet Mail/Email Template
Dear [name of courthouse] Courthouse,
My name is [name] and I am the [plaintiff or defendant]. I am submitting evidence to you for my case [case number] with a hearing date of [hearing date].
Evidence 1. [Title, Date]
Evidence 1 is important because [reason for why you think this piece of evidence is important for your case].
Evidence 2. [Title, Date]
Evidence 2 is important because [reason for why you think this piece of evidence is important for your case].
Evidence 3. [Title, Date]
Evidence 3 is important because [reason for why you think this piece of evidence is important for your case].
Thank you for your consideration,