E-Filing Criminal Duty Matters

  • What types of criminal duty matters are designated for the Pilot Project?

    Pursuant to General Order No. 17-02, criminal duty matters designated for the Pilot Project include applications for the following:

    • search and/or seizure warrants
    • pen registers and/or trap and trace devices
    • orders under 18 U.S.C. § 2703(d)

    Details regarding the Pilot Project can be found here.

  • Can a complaint and an application for a search warrant be submitted in paper format at the Criminal Intake window together because they're related?

    No. The USAO must e-file the search warrant application, while the complaint must be filed in paper format. When the complaint is brought to the Criminal Intake window for filing, the agent must notify the intake clerk that the related search warrant application has been e-filed and an email has been sent to the chambers email address of the duty magistrate judge. If it has not already been completed, the intake clerk must immediately perform quality control on the search warrant application before the agent takes the complaint and search warrant application to the duty magistrate judge. If there are deficiencies in the filing of the search warrant application that would require the case to be closed, the agent should be informed of the deficiency and should not bring the search warrant application to the duty magistrate judge.

  • When should an agent proceed to the chambers of the duty magistrate judge?

    An agent must not proceed to the chambers of the duty magistrate judge until the AUSA receives authorization by the MJ CRD or chambers staff.

  • How many copies should an agent bring to the duty magistrate judge when seeking to obtain a search/seizure warrant?

    The agent must bring two (2) copies (original and one copy) of the application and any other e-filed documents (e.g., Proposed Warrant, and if applicable, a completed Delayed-Notice Search Warrant Report (Form AO-95), Application for Leave to File Under Seal, and Proposed Order for Leave to File Under Seal).

  • Once I open a new criminal duty matter and obtain a case number, how long do I have to e-file my Application (case initiating document)?

    You must file your Application electronically within 2 business days to complete the opening of your new case. Otherwise, the case you just opened may be administratively closed.

  • Who can request a certified copy of a search/seizure warrant in a sealed case from the Clerk's Office?

    A certified copy can only be provided to the attorney of record on the docket. Otherwise, a court order is required in accordance with Local Rule 79-7.

  • Do I need to enter the case number on all my e-filed documents?

    Yes, the case number you receive (e.g., 2:17-MJ-12345) during the case opening process must appear on all your e-filed documents. Immediately after opening your case, you must add your case number to the caption of all documents you intend to file in the case, before you upload any of those documents to the docket.

  • Which types of Application for an Order under 18 U.S.C. § 2703 can be e-filed pursuant to the Criminal Duty Matters E-Filing Pilot Project?

    General Order No. 17-02 provides that applications for orders under 18 U.S.C. § 2703(d) must be electronically filed. Clerk’s Office staff will not review the body of your application to determine whether or not it is being filed pursuant to that subsection. It must be apparent in the CAPTION of your application that relief is being sought pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2703(d). Therefore, if you e-file a document captioned “In re Application of the United States for an Order Pursuant to 18:2703(d),” it will likely be accepted as a pilot project document. If you do not include a reference to 18 U.S.C. § 2703(d) in the caption of your application, that document may be rejected from the pilot project even if you actually rely on that subsection in your application. For instance, if you simply caption your document as an application for historical cell site information, it will likely be deemed not to qualify as a pilot case, regardless of what authority you may cite in the body of your application. Cases that do not fall within the scope of the pilot project as defined by General Order No. 17-02 should be presented for filing in paper format at the Criminal Intake window.

  • What should I do if I discover an error(s) in my e-filed document?

    If you notice the error immediately, and can quickly prepare and file an amended or corrected version of your document, you may do so. If you decide to re-file your document(s), use the appropriate CM/ECF events under the AUSA - Criminal Duty Matters category and select "Amended" or "Corrected" as the description from the drop-down menu in the system-delivered docket text.

    HOWEVER, DO NOT FILE A "NOTICE OF ERRATA" – AT LEAST UNTIL AFTER THE CLERK’S OFFICE HAS PERFORMED ITS INITIAL REVIEW OF THE CASE. For a brief time after filing, while your application will be sealed, your case will not. Only events in the AUSA - Criminal Duty Matters category will automatically seal documents filed when the case is first opened. If you e-file a Notice of Errata using the generic Notice of Errata event before the Clerk’s Office performs its initial review of the case – which is when the entire case will be sealed – the Notice of Errata will be available to the public.

    If you do not notice the error immediately, or cannot fix it immediately, wait until after the Clerk’s Office has performed its initial review of the case. Certain errors will result in the issuance of a Notice to Filer of Deficiencies and the administrative closure of the case. If your case is closed, do not re-file your corrected document in the closed case. Instead, open a new case electronically and e-file the correct document(s) with the new case number. Documents filed in administratively closed cases after the issuance of a Notice to Filer of Deficiencies will not be reviewed.

    If your case is not closed during the initial review process, then once Clerk’s Office staff have sealed the case, you may file either a Notice of Errata or an amended/corrected version of your document.

  • In some instances I need to send a search warrant application to a district judge instead of the duty magistrate judge. Should I follow the same e-filing procedure?

    No. If the district judge indicates the intent to review your search warrant application him- or herself, it must be presented for filing in paper format at the Criminal Intake window. The agent must notify the Criminal Intake clerk that the district judge assigned to a related criminal case has instructed that the search warrant application should be presented to that district judge instead of to a magistrate judge.

  • Can any member of the USAO access the CM/ECF AUSA - Criminal Duty Matters events to e-file the designated criminal duty matters documents with the court?

    No. Access to the CM/ECF AUSA - Criminal Duty Matters events is only available to AUSA CM/ECF users designated as Participating Filers. The USAO must give advance notice to the Clerk’s Office at ecf-helpdesk@cacd.uscourts.gov of the names of AUSA CM/ECF users who need access to the AUSA - Criminal Duty Matters events. To expedite processing of access requests, emails requesting access must originate from or copy Leo Martinez.

  • How do I add or remove an AUSA to a case?

    To add or remove an AUSA in a case, electronically file a Notice of Appearance or Withdrawal of Counsel (Form G-123). Only an AUSA previously granted access in a specific case can e-file a Notice of Appearance or Withdrawal of Counsel in that case.

  • Should an application for an anticipatory search warrant be e-filed or filed in paper format at the Criminal Intake window?

    The USAO must e-file the application for an anticipatory search warrant in CM/ECF pursuant to General Order No. 17-02.

  • Can an application for a warrant for a tracking device and an application for an anticipatory search warrant be submitted in paper format together at the Criminal Intake window because they're related?

    No. The USAO must e-file the application for an anticipatory search warrant, while the application for a warrant for a tracking device must be filed in paper format. When the application for a warrant for a tracking device is brought to the Criminal Intake window for filing, the agent must notify the intake clerk that a related application for an anticipatory search warrant has been e-filed and that an email has been sent to the chambers email address for the duty magistrate judge. If it has not already been completed, the intake clerk must immediately perform quality control on the application for an anticipatory search warrant before the agent takes the application for a warrant for a tracking device and the application for an anticipatory search warrant to the duty magistrate judge. If there are deficiencies in the filing of the application for an anticipatory search warrant that would require the case to be closed, the agent should be informed of the deficiency and should not bring the application for an anticipatory search warrant to the duty magistrate judge.

  • Should an application for an administrative inspection warrant be e-filed or filed in paper format at the Criminal Intake window?

    The USAO must file the application for an administrative inspection warrant in paper format at the Criminal Intake window.

  • What should I do if I discover there is a duplicate e-filing of the same case initiating document?

    The AUSA must e-file a notice to dismiss/terminate in one of the duplicate cases.

  • Should a returned search/seizure warrant be e-filed or filed in paper format at the Criminal Intake window?

    The returned search/seizure warrant must be e-filed if the case was initiated pursuant to the Criminal Duty Matters Electronic Filing Pilot Project (case opened on or after March 20, 2017).

    In cases that were initiated manually prior to the Criminal Duty Matters Electronic Filing Pilot Project (cases opened before March 20, 2017), the returned search/seizure warrant must be filed in paper format at the Criminal Intake window.

  • What if I have a technical issue or problem during the e-filing process?

    The Court’s CM/ECF Helpdesk is available via telephone or e-mail Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    The phone number is: (213) 894-0242

    The email address is ecf-helpdesk@cacd.uscourts.gov

  • What should I do if an Application is denied?

    If a search warrant is DENIED by the judge, and you intend to file an amended version, you must open a new case and re-file the search warrant application under the new case number.  If the judge does not deny the warrant outright, but directs that the affidavit be revised, you may be asked to file an amended document under the same case number.  If you are not sure how to proceed, please check with the judge's CRD.

  • For a search warrant application, should the notification email include a Word cover sheet and affidavit in one attachment?

    No. Documents should be sent according to the instructions in the USER MANUAL. The notification email should include a pdf fillable coversheet and an affidavit in Word as separate attachments.

  • Can I use my PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) account to access documents filed in a criminal duty matter (e.g., signed warrants, orders, applications, etc.) to obtain copies of those documents?

    No. Your CACD CM/ECF account must be used to access dockets and documents in criminal duty matters. Access to these cases/documents is only available with your CM/ECF login and password.