E-Filing Case Related Questions
Are there any documents other than Civil Case-Initiating 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
The following documents may not be filed electronically, but must also be submitted in PDF format after they have been filed with the Clerk in paper format:
Initial papers commencing any action or adding claims to any action, including:
- Notices of removal
- Third-party complaints
- Complaints in intervention
- Consolidated complaints
- Joinders in complaints
- Verified claims
- Abstracts of judgments
- Registrations of judgments
- Amendments to any of the documents listed above (INCLUDING AMENDED COMPLAINTS)
- Any first appearance document filed by a third party or non-party to the case
- Documents filed simultaneously with civil case initiating documents that request emergency relief
The following documents may, but are not required to be, filed electronically:
- Records for bankruptcy appeals, habeas corpus proceedings, and administrative review cases (such as Social Security appeals and ERISA and IDEA cases).
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
What types of civil initiating documents should be traditionally filed, and is a notice of manually filing required?
As this list may be revised more frequently than the FAQ’s, please check the Excluded Cases/Documents page for the most up to date listing of excluded cases and documents.
- New civil action documents, such as complaints and notices of removal
- Amended complaint
- Third-party complaint
- Intervenor complaint
- Consolildated complaint
- Corrected complaint
- Joinder in complaint
- Verified claim
- Writ of Execution and the Affidavit
- Any first appearance document filed by a third-party or non--party to a case Amendments to any of the documents listed
No, a notice of manual filing is not required for any of these documents.