Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance

E-Filing Case Related Questions

  • Are there any documents that should be filed on paper?
    Yes.  Please refer to the “Exceptions to Electronic Filing” page for a list.

     

  • 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, an amended version of the document may be refiled as a “Corrected” document.

  • 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, find your document on your system and either rest your cursor over the file or right click it.

  • I tried to e-file a document, but I received an error message that says “ERROR: This document cannot be loaded because it is over 35 MB. Submit the document in smaller parts, labeled correctly.” What does this mean?

    CM/ECF has a per document size limit (35 MB).  If the document exceeds the size limit it cannot be uploaded into CM/ECF.  You must open your original PDF, Word, or WordPerfect document and split it into multiple smaller documents, each of which is below 35 MB in size.  Each smaller document should be identified with either a caption page (Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(a)) or a cover page in lieu 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 or an Order striking a document filed electronically?

    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.

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

    All documents must be submitted in PDF (portable document format) with an extension of “.pdf” (that is, a file name that ends in “.pdf”).  Two common errors occur.  First, a user thinks that he/she saved the document in PDF.  The user then tries to file the Word or 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 that sets the motion for hearing.  The default hearing officer is the district judge, so the user will need to click on the drop-down list of judges and manually select the assigned magistrate judge.  Once the selection is made the hearing will be set before the selected magistrate judge.

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

    Please contact both the Courtroom Deputy and the Help Desk (213-894-0242 or ecf-helpdesk@cacd.uscourts.gov (link sends e-mail))and explain the error.  Then, if you have not already done so, e-file an Application for Leave to File Under Seal pursuant to Local Rule 79-5.2.2.

  • 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 e-filed document without a judicial order.

  • 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.

  • How do I view and/or download multiple documents at the same time?

    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 boxes 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.  The selection of the document will include all 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, 35 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 deselected 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 will be 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 not counsel of record in a case but I want to monitor a case. Is this possible?

    Yes.  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 the selected case(s) -- it is not limited to certain documents.

  • What is the deadline for e-filing in the Central District of California? I first understood you could e-file 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 must 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 rules regarding e-filing on holidays.

  • How can I find events in CM/ECF?

    After logging into CM/ECF, click “Search” on the blue menu bar at the top of the screen.  The Search screen will appear.  Type in the name or part of the name of the event (e.g., Summary Judgment, Declaration, Opposition) and click “search.”  All the events that include the search term will be displayed as links.  Select one to begin e-filing.

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

    As soon as you notice the error, start again and file the correct document.  Then file a Notice of Errata and link it to the docket entry for the incorrectly filed document.  The docket entry for the mistakenly filed document cannot be deleted, and no modification to that docket entry can be made without a court order.

  • 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:

    1. Only the attorneys of record in a Social Security or immigration case may view documents filed in these cases online.  The general public cannot access these documents electronically from outside the courthouse.  Counsel of record, when logged in to PACER using their personal PACER account credentials, should be able to view the documents.  These documents are available for public viewing from the public computer terminals in the Clerk’s Office.
    2. 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, the case was most likely not subject to electronic filing when the document was filed.  Those documents may be available in hard copy 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?

    Yes, unless a particular case or document is under seal or subject to limitations on remote access, like those in place for Social Security and immigration cases (see Fed. R. Civ. P. 5.2(c)).

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

    When a non-sealed document is e-filed, a Notice of Electronic Filing (“NEF”) is automatically generated and e-mailed to all attorneys of record for parties who have appeared in the case who are registered users of the Court’s electronic filing system, as well as to pro se parties who have chosen to register for 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 a hyperlink to the document filed.  Clicking on the hyperlink will allow the recipient to access the document on PACER, and the first view of the document through that link will be free of charge.  The NEF will list all email addresses to which electronic notice was sent.

    Attorneys and pro se parties who are not registered must be served by other methods, such as U.S. mail or personal service.  A traditional proof of service is required for every document served on any party by any method other than through the Court’s electronic filing system.  See Local Rule 5-3.2.

    When a SEALED document is e-filed, a NEF will be generated and emailed, alerting registered users in the case that the document has been filed.  However, only the filing party’s attorneys (if anyone) will be able to access the document on PACER, so the filer cannot rely on the NEF to effect service of the document.  Service must be made by alternative means, and a proof of service included when the document is filed.  See Local Rule 79-5.3.

  • 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 non-sealed document is e-filed, a Notice of Electronic Filing (“NEF”) is automatically generated and e-mailed to all attorneys of record for parties who have appeared in the case who are registered users of the Court’s electronic filing system, as well as to pro se parties who have chosen to register for 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 a hyperlink to the document filed.  Clicking on the hyperlink will allow the recipient to access the document on PACER, and the first view of the document through that link will be free of charge.  The NEF will list all email addresses to which electronic notice was sent.

    Attorneys of record and pro se parties who are not registered must be served by other methods, such as U.S. mail or personal service.  A traditional proof of service is required for every document served on any party by any method other than through the Court’s electronic filing system.  See Local Rule 5-3.2.

    When a SEALED document is e-filed, a NEF will be generated and emailed, alerting registered users in the case that the document has been filed.  However, only the filing party’s attorneys (if anyone) will be able to access the document on PACER, so the filer cannot rely on the NEF to effect service of the document.  Service must be made by alternative means, and a proof of service included when the document is filed.  See Local Rule 79-5.3.