Checklist for Filing Civil Documents

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This checklist gives you general information about filing civil documents. The checklist is not all-inclusive and some of the information may not apply to you. Please consult all of the Local Rules and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. If you have questions about the law or your case, talk to a lawyer.

  • New civil actions: civil cover sheet (Local Civil Rule 3-1), filing of initiating document (Local Civil Rule 3-2), filing fee (Schedule of Fees), notice of interested parties (Local Rule 7.1-1), notice of related cases (Local Civil Rule 83-1.3), notice of pendency of other actions (Local Civil Rule 83-1.4.1)
  • Summons: contents (caption must be identical to the caption on the complaint), issuance, service, waiving service, service on federal defendants, time limit for service (Local Civil Rule 4 and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4)
  • Proof of service for traditionally and electronically filed documents (Local Civil Rule 5-3)
  • Motions: motion papers, conference of counsel prior to filing of motions (Local Civil Rule 7)
  • Ex parte application: include notice to other parties (Local Civil Rule 7-19)
  • Documents presented for filing or lodging: typeface, paper, pagination, original, copies, pre-punching and backing, spacing, title page (Local Civil Rule 11-3)
  • Trial briefs: page length of brief (Local Civil Rules 11-6 and 11-8)
  • Discovery motions: Local Civil Rule 37
  • Default and default judgments: application for default must be accompanied by the appropriate declaration; application for default judgment by the clerk is filed only when the default judgment is for a sum certain and must be accompanied by the appropriate declaration and a proposed default judgment; if default judgment is not for a sum certain and/or is for injunctive relief, a motion for entry of default judgment must be noticed before the judge; request for entry of default cannot be made on the original complaint when an amended complaint or a responsive pleading has been filed (Local Civil Rule 55)
  • Summary judgment motions: include separate Statement of Uncontroverted Facts and Conclusions of Law; proposed order and summary judgment motion must be submitted as separate documents (Local Civil Rule 56)
  • Proposed judgments and orders: signature line for signature of judge (Local Civil Rule 58-10)
  • Under seal and in camera documents: for each pleading, original and judge’s copy must be placed in a separate, sealed manila envelope; face page of document identifying title of document must be adhered to the front of each envelope containing sealed document; original and copies must each be identified as such on the front of the individual envelopes; sealed document must not be attached to any other document, especially to an unsealed document - sealed portion must be submitted as a separate sealed document; notice of filing under seal (which is not to be sealed) must accompany the sealed document, along with a certificate of service giving notice that documents are being lodged or filed under seal; proposed order must be in a separate envelope (Local Civil Rule 79-5)
  • Answer to a complaint: if a complaint has been amended, answer must be to the amended and not the original complaint; notice of related cases must be filed with the first appearance (Local Civil Rule 83-1.3)
  • Writ of execution and abstract of judgment: use date of entry of judgment; money amount must match the amount on the judgment; money amounts must be filled out in all appropriate spaces, if no amount, enter zero; add "jointly and severally" if the judgment contains such wording; name and address of judgment debtor must be included on the writ of execution; original writ of execution must be returned by United States Marshal before an alias writ of execution can be submitted (Post Judgment Procedures)


PLEASE NOTE: Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5(d)(4), the Clerk’s Office cannot refuse to file a document only because it is not in the form prescribed by the federal rules or local rules. If the document submitted for filing contains specified, substantive defects, the intake clerk will stamp the document as "received but not filed" and prepare a "Notice of Document Discrepancy" for review by the judge. The person filing the document will be given a copy of the notice. The judge may order the papers stricken or returned to counsel after they are examined. It is recommended counsel follow any directions given on the accompanying discrepancy form to correct the deficiencies.