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Yes, you file a copy with the court and serve the other side with a file stamped copy. So, technically, you will be filing it with the court, then serving the other side with a copy.
Yes, it should be a file stamped copy so the other side knows what you are giving them is the same thing that's been filed with the court.
No, that is actually the standard way to do it. California just has their own rules and way of doing things. The court may require you to "conference" with the other side before filing it, but that is up to the local rules in the specific court you are in. Monday morning, you should call the court and ask if you have to have a certificate of conference with your pleadings. Some judges require it and some don't.
A certificate of service is different from a certificate of conference. A certificate of conference is where you speak to the other side before filing to see if the agree or disagree with your motion.
I understand, but some judges require a certificate of conference on ALL motions. Some judges don't. I'm just letting you know that may be something you want to ask. For example, it is a requirement in federal court on all pleadings.
In federal court, for example, many judges have a rule that you have to have a certificate of conference on ALL filings. It doesn't matter how silly it seems for the particular motion. I've seen judges reject pleadings simply because they didn't have it.
I'm just telling you something to be on the lookout for that you may not have considered. But for your filing, you should file it and send it to the defense. I understand, but many state courts mirror federal court. Look, I'm just giving you a heads-up on that. Take it for what you will.
Also, if it is being electronically filed, the electronic filing system takes care of service since notice of all flings is sent to the parties automatically.