E-Filing Case Related Questions

  • Are there any documents that should be filed on paper?
    Pursuant to Local Rule 5-4.2 and Local Criminal Rule 49-1.2, the following documents may not be filed electronically, and must instead be presented to the Clerk for filing or lodging in paper format:
    -Documents filed by pro se litigants (i.e., people without lawyers)
    -Documents filed under seal or in camera (as well as applications and proposed orders to seal or file in camera)
    -Documents filed in criminal duty matters before a case is assigned to a district judge, including applications for:
    -pen registers
    -search warrants
    -seizure warrants
    -arrest warrants
    -cell site information
    -tracking services
    -Bond-related documents


  • What do I do if the judge strikes my document?

    If the judge has stricken the document but provided no other instructions in the order, the document may be refiled as a "Corrected" document.

  • When a user files a pleading or other document with the court, does the system automatically serve the other parties or does the user have to do something extra to serve the others? And, do the other parties just get notification or the actual document?

    When a document is e-filed though CM/ECF, a Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) is automatically generated and e-mailed to the registered attorneys of record for parties who have appeared in the case who have consented to receive electronic service. The NEF includes the text of the docket entry, the unique electronic document stamp, a list of the case participants receiving e-mail notification of the filing, and hyperlink to the document(s) filed.

    Non-registered attorneys, attorneys who have not consented to receive electronic service and pro se/pro per parties will still need to be served in the conventional method through postal mail, personal service or fax. A traditional proof of service is required for all traditionally served pleadings/documents.

  • Are there procedural rules relating to electronic filing?

    Yes.  These are set forth in the Court's local rules, in particular Local Civil Rule 5-4 and Local Criminal Rule 49-1.

  • How can I determine the size of my document?

    To check on the size of the document, browse to your document on your system and either rest your curser over the file or right click on it to reveal the file size.

  • I tried to e-file a document but I received an error that says “ERROR: This document cannot be loaded because it is over 10 MB. Submit the document in smaller parts, labeled correctly". What does this mean?

    CM/ECF has a per document size limit (10 MB). If the document exceeds the size limit it cannot be uploaded into CM/ECF. You need to go back to your PDF, Word or WordPerfect document and create the document in smaller parts. (Example: the Motion may be separated from the exhibits, declarations, etc.) NOTE: each part of the document to be attached needs to be identified with either a caption page (see Local Rule 83_____) or a cover page taking the place of a tab, (i.e. EXHIBIT 5, APPENDIX II TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT).

  • What should I do if I receive a Notice of Deficiency in an electronically filed case or an Order striking a document filed in an electronically filed case?

    Read the notice or order and confirm whether you are required to re-file the document or are instructed to do anything else. If you are required to re-file the document, make sure it is done as soon as possible or by the deadline stated on the notice or order. Make sure the new document is e-filed as a "Corrected" version of the previously e-filed document.

    Otherwise, you can wait to see if the judge provides any further instruction.

    For any follow-up questions, please feel free to contact the ECF-Helpdesk.

  • When I query a case in CM/ECF, it gives me the previous case I looked at instead.

    Check your Cache settings in your browser. The "verify documents" entry should have the ‘once per session' or ‘every time' entry checked, but not the ‘never' entry.

  • Who can I call if I need assistance with electronic filing?

    Many of the most frequent questions are listed on the Frequently Asked Questions in the E-Filing section on our website.

    If your question is not answered by the Frequently Asked Questions, send an e-mail to ecf-helpdesk@cacd.uscourts.gov or call 213-894-0242. This is for assistance with electronic filing questions, not case specific questions.

    You may also want to refer to our website at www.cacd.uscourts.gov for some of your CM/ECF related questions.

  • I tried to e-file a document but it says "format not recognized"—what am I doing wrong?

    All documents must be submitted in Adobe PDF (portable document format) with an extension of ".pdf". Two common errors occur. First, a user thinks that he/she saved the document in PDF. The user then tries to file the WordPerfect version of the document; not the saved PDF version. Second, a user fails to indicate the full path name for the PDF file he/she wants to upload. Because the system could not find the file, it responded with the "format not recognized" message. The solution--provide the full path name when identifying the file (example: "c:\documents\motion.pdf") during the upload process.

  • How do I set a hearing before the assigned Magistrate Judge when electronically filing a discovery motion?

    During the process of electronically filing, the filer will receive a screen which sets the motion for hearing. The default hearing officer is the district judge, therefore the user will need to click on the drop down list of judges and manually select the assigned magistrate judge. Once selection is made the hearing will be set before the selected Magistrate Judge.

  • I e-filed a document that should have been filed under seal. What do I do?

    Please contact both the Court Room Deputy and the Help Desk (213-894-0242 or email at ecf-helpdesk@cacd.uscourts.gov), explaining the error. Then e-file a Notice of Manual Filing (form G-92 in the forms directory), print out the filed copy when finished, and take that to the intake window along with an Application to Seal and a Proposed Order.

  • I’m about to file a Notice of Appeal. How do I pay the fee?

    The fee should be paid online at the time the Notice of Appeal is filed.  The fee should be paid by credit card using “pay.gov,” a secure government-wide collection portal, to which the CM/ECF system will direct the filer at the time of filing.  Information about “pay.gov” is available at pay.gov.

  • Why can’t a document filed in error just be deleted?

    The Clerk’s Office may not delete any attorney e-filed document without a judicial order.

  • How do I view and/or download documents attached to multiple docket entries?

    To view and/or download multiple documents for a particular case, check the "view multiple documents" box located on the Docket Report selection criteria screen. The docket report will include a new column, with check boses for all documents that are electronically attached to the docket sheet, between the document number column and the docket text column.

    Select the documents to be viewed or downloaded by placing a check in the box next to the document number for those documents. The selection of the document will include all documents attached as attachments to the main document.

    Two buttons appear at the end of the Docket Report: View Selected and Download Selected. (NOTE: If View is selected, the documents will be in a combined PDF file for viewing. If Download is selected, CM will create a ZIP file of the documents for downloading.)

    If either button is clicked and one or more documents are selected CM/ECF computes the projected size of the document(s) and compares it with the maximum allowable file size, 10 MB. If the combined size of the documents selected is close to or over the allowable file size, each document will appear with the file size and documents can be delelected in order to comply with the size requirements. If no documents were selected, an error message will appear. Just go back and select the document(s).

    A single PACER billing receipt page will be displayed for PACER users. The billing receipt will contain multiple receipts, for each document selected, with a confirm button. If the PACER user, confirms the amount of the billing and VIEW was selected the selected documents (including their attachments) will be displayed for viewing. If the PACER user confirms the amount of the billing and Download was selected, the selected documents (including their attachments) will be combined in a ZIP file and a dialogue box is displayed for the user to select a destination folder for the downloaded ZIP file.

    Restricted Documents: Prior to viewing or downloading restricted documents, a screen appears to warn users about any specific document restrictions for documents to be contained in the PDF or ZIP file.

  • I’m about to file an Application of Non-Resident Attorney to Appear in a Specific Case (Pro Hac Vice Application). How do I pay the fee?

    The fee should be paid online at the time the Application is filed.  The fee should be paid by credit card using “pay.gov,” a secure government-wide collection portal, to which the CM/ECF system will direct the filer at the time of filing.  Information about “pay.gov” is available at pay.gov.

  • Can you please tell me what the deadline is for e-filing in California USDC? I first understood you could e-file up until 12:00 midnight , but I've also heard the deadline is closer to 6:00 pm or even 4:00 pm.

    Filing documents electronically does not alter any filing deadlines set by Court Order. Unless otherwise ordered by the assigned judge, all electronic transmissions of documents must be completed (i.e., received completely by the Clerk’s Office) prior to midnight Pacific Standard Time or Pacific Daylight Time, whichever is in effect at the time, in order to be considered timely filed on that day. Where a specific time of day deadline is set by court order or stipulation, the electronic filing shall be completed by that time. Check the judge’s initial scheduling order or e-filing order to see if that particular judge has an e-filing deadline or allows e-filing on holidays.

  • I’m not counsel of record in a case but I want to monitor a case. Is this possible?

    Yes, it is possible. Go to Utilities on the blue menu bar, click on Your Account/Maintain Your E-Mail Address. Click on your email address on the left (“Primary e-mail address”). In the middle of the screen, under “Case-specific options”, type in the case number you wish to monitor, then click “find this case” and add it to your list. WARNING: You will receive all ecf activity in that (those) case(s) - it is not limited to certain documents.

  • What should I do if I attached the wrong document to the entry?

    As soon as you notice the error - refile the correct document. Then file an Errata and link to the wrong document. No modifications to a docket entry can be made without court order.

  • How can I easily find an events category in CM/ECF?

    After logging into CM/ECF, click on the Search link on the blue menu bar.The Search screen will appear. Type in the event and click on ‘search’. If you are not sure the exact name of the event, type in a part of the name: i.e.: Summary Judgment, Declaration, Opposition. All the events which include that information will be displayed.

    The events in the search results will be a link directly to that event. So just click on the one you want and you can begin e-filing.

    You can also hover your mouse over each menu item on the blue menu bar and look at a drop-down and view each categories within each menu item and then the subcategories. Select the subcategory you need and start e-filing.

  • When I view a document the header that includes the filed date appears in the middle of the document making it difficult to view the document. Why does this happen?

    This is a view setting on your browser. Check with your IT department on how to adjust your view settings.

  • Why can't I see PDF documents that have been filed in criminal or social security cases through the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) e-mail?

    Access to the PDF document may be restricted in these case types for the following reasons:

    • Pursuant to the E-Government Act of 2002, only the attorneys of record in a Social Security case may view PDF documents - counsel of record must login to CM/ECF then into PACER in order to view the documents; these documents are available for public viewing from the public computer terminals in the Clerk’s Office attorneys.
    • The document may have been filed prior to the Court becoming a full e-filing court. Check to see if there’s a link (a line) under the document control number. If not, most likely, the case was not subject to electronic filing when the document was filed. Those documents are available at the courthouse Records Section in the traditional manner.
  • Can any attorney access or view documents in cases where they are not counsel of record?

    For Social Security cases, only the attorney of record and the Court have access to the documents e-filed after March of 2005, with the exception opinions appearing on the Written Opinions Report. These documents are available for public viewing in the Records Section of the Clerk’s Office.

    For criminal cases, judgments, orders and minute orders filed prior to August 1, 2005 are accessible only by attorneys of record. Judgments, orders, minute orders only are avaible to all PACER users up to January 1, 2007, when all criminal became subject to mandatory e-filing. All criminal document, except restricted or under seal are available to all public users.

    For Civil Cases, Judgments, orders and minute orders (unless under seal) have been available for all PACER users since 1994. On November 1, 2007, all patent, trademark and copyright cases were deemed subject to mandatory e-filing, all documents, except those restricted or under seal have been available to all PACER users. On January 1, 2008, all remaining civil cases were deemed subject to electronic filing. All documents, except those restricted or under seal are now available to all PACER users.

  • What kind of archiving system does CM/ECF have?

    The Administrative Office of the United States is currently working on archiving standards that meet the guidelines of the National Archiving and Records Administration. Currently the open and closed cases will reside on CM/ECF.

  • Do I need to provide the court with a proof of service of subsequent documents?

    Pursuant to Local Rule 5-3.3, the NEF (Notice of Electronic Filing) is the proof of service for all counsel served by electronic means through CM/ECF. A traditional proof of service is required for all service made upon non-electronic service recipients. It can be the last page of the filing as it is for traditional filings.  See Local Rule 5-3.2.