Technical CM/ECF Related Questions
When I click on the document link in my e-mail, it prompts me for a login and password. When I enter my ECF USER login it tells me my login failed. What do I do?
You need to enter your PACER login and password.
1. In Civil Cases, the first Time you or your staff click on a document link within the NEF in your email, the system should display the document without requiring a login. For each subsequent viewing, you will be required to login to PACER and be subject to incurring PACER fees.
2. In criminal Cases. the first time you click on a document link within the NEFin your email, the system requires you to enter your CM/ECF login and password. Next, you will need to enter your PACER login and password. You will not be charged the first time you view a criminal document. For each subsequent viewing, you will be required to login to PACER and be subject to incurring PACER fees .
3. Social Security Cases are restricted cases pursuant to the E-Government Act, the first time you click on a document link within an NEF in your email, the system requires you to enter your CM/ECF login and password. Next, you need to enter Your PACER login and password. You will not be charged the first time you view a document. For each subsequent viewing, you will be required to login to PACER and be subject to incurring PACER fees.
How do I attach a document to an entry?
During the e-filing process, an option to select the pdf document screen will appear.
Click on the browse button and locate the folder on your computer system where the PDF document has been saved. Then you will select the name of the document or pleading to be e-filed and double click on the image file or click on open. The file path to the document appears in the box where it says file name. If you do not have any additional attachments to the main document click on the ‘Next’ button.
If you have additional documents to attach to the main document,
Click the "Yes" on the radial button where it states: "Attachments to Document:" if there are additional attachments to be added and click on ‘Next' to proceed to the next screen.
Steps to proceed after selecting "Yes" to additional attachments to the main document.
Select the "Browse" button to search for the file name of the document to be attached, in the same manner as outlined for the main document.
In the field for category type, select the drop down arrow and the system will open a pull down screen. From the selections in the menu, select the type of attachment (e.g.: appendix, exhibit, etc.) If none of the selections apply, do not select anything in the drop down menu.
It is important to describe the attachment, click in the description box and type a description of the attachment. Click on the "Add to List" button. This is important because the description will appear in the docket text and when looking at the separate attachments. This enables the Court and counsel to know exactly what the attachment is, i.e. Motion for Summary Judgment pages 25-50, Exhibts 2-10, etc. If the description is not there, only (Attachments:) 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. will display on the docket entry and in the attachment list causing extra time to try to figure out what each attachment is. This can be confusing to the Court and counsel.
The system will add the selected document as an attachment to the document. The file name of each new attachment will appear in the window next to the Add to List button. Once all attachments have been added to the attachment window, select the next button to proceed to the next screen.
What is the procedure for requesting the addition or modification of a secondary e-mail address associated with their individual attorney record?
Attorneys or their authorized representative may add secondary e-mail addresses to his/her user record by logging into CM/ECF, selecting Utilities (on the blue menu bar), Maintain Your E-Mail Address and adding secondary e-mail addresses. The Court encourages attorneys to not add more than two secondary e-mail addresses.
What is an attachment or file attachment ?
If you are attaching a document within CM/ECF, an attachment is the document or documents prepared for electronic filing. It may be the main document or documents to be electronically filed along with the main document to complete the filing making one complete e-filed document. During e-filing a browse button allows the filer to browse to the document to be electronically attached to the docket entry. Example: a stipulation is attached during e-filing as the main document, the proposed order is "attached" as an additional attachment to the stipulation. A Motion is the main document and attached as the main document, a declaration, exhibit, appendix, proposed order are "attached" as additional attachments to the motion.
If the document is a generic document, not to be e-filed in CM/ECF,
Attachments or file attachments are documents that are attached to a message as an enclosure. It sends a duplicate copy of the original file to a recipient/ receiver. The file can be of any format and can be opened by the recipient/receiver if that person has the appropriate software to view the attached file.
Do attorneys have access to personally change or add secondary e-mail addresses?
Yes, attorneys have access to Maintain Your Address, Maintain Your E-Mail and Maintain Your Login. According to Local Rule 83.2-4, the changes must be made within 5 days of the actual change and attorneys still have the obligation of serving notice of any change on opposing counsel or co-counsel in all effected cases.
The Court encourages counsel to make the changes immediately in the CM/ECF system to avoid any disruption of service of the Notices of Electronic Filing.
How can I print a notice of electronic filing?
Login to CM/ECF, then click on Reports; select the option that says Docket Sheet. Enter the case number for the case and make sure that the box that says " Include links to notices of electronic filing" is checked. Click on Run Report, select the radio button (round silver ball) next to the docket entry for which you wish to print the notice of electronic filing . When the Notice of Electronic Filing displays then click File and Print to print the NEF.
Does the Court allow an attorney registering for ECF training to include a "secondary email address"? If so, how many secondary e-mail addresses are permitted?
Yes, After an attorney has registered and is an ECF user, the attorney may add secondary e-mail addresses to his/her user record by logging into CM/ECF, selecting Utilities (on the blue menu bar), Maintain Your E-Mail Address and adding secondary e-mail addresses. The Court encourages attorneys to not add more than two secondary e-mail addresses.
A document was filed in error, how can it be removed from the docket?
No changes can be made to the official docket without judical authority.
A Notice of Errata will need to be filed indicating the previous filing was made in error and link the Errata notice to the document which was incorrectly filed. Then re-file the document(s) as "Amended" or "Corrected".
Which browsers are not compatible/not supported with CM/ECF?
The following Internet Browsers either have not been tested or do not work with CM/ECF and therefore the Court does not support them:
- Internet Explorer 5.0 or lower
- Netscape (any version)
- AOL Browsers
- MSN Browser
In the event the documents are not displayed on the docket sheet; then go through the e-filing process again.
If the docket entry appears on the docket sheet but there’s no silver ball next to the document, it means the Notice of Electronic Filing was not created and counsel were not served with the docuemnt. Refile the document(s) as "Amended" or "Corrected" documents and link to the document which was not served.
Which browsers work with CM/ECF?
The following internet browsers have been tested and approved for use with CM/ECF:
- Internet Explorer 6.0 and higher
Mozilla Firefox 2.0 and higher
What hardware and software will attorneys need to participate in CM/ECF?
Visit our Software and Hardware requirements page for details.
I have logged into CM/ECF but I do not get all of the docket entries on the Docket Sheet. Why is that happening?
Make sure that the Filed/Entered Dates on the report criteria selection screen cover the appropriate dates.
The cache on your computer may be full. Cache is a location on your hard drive but your browser where data is stored. When you search the Internet, your browser keeps track of every page you have visited and saves this information on your hard drive. If this file becomes large (i.e., many pages have been searched), the result may be a loss of data. Clear your cache and Internet files from whichever browser you are using.
How can I learn who has consented to e-service in a case and who has not?
Login to CM/EC, click on Utilities, then click on Mailings. Next, click on Mailing Info for a Case. Enter the case number and click on Submit.
Is there anything that Macintosh Users need to be aware of in filing documents?
CM/ECF was not developed for use on a MAC and the court does not support Safari.
Make sure the files have extensions on the end of the file name (.pdf, .doc, .wpd, .txt, etc.). The file name "MOTION" will not work for the CM/ECF system but " MOTION.PDF" will work.
How do I file an Audio recording or non-paper document?
Please refer to Local Rule 11-5.1, Non-Paper Physical Exhibits
Are there any special instructions regarding AOL users?
The AOL internet connection will work for CM/ECF, but the AOL provided browser is not supported. In addition, the AOL spam blocking software has been known to block e-mails from court sites.
Why doesn't the Search menu in CM/ECF work?Answer:Some browsers, such as Google Chrome, do not support the Search menu function.If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer version 11, you may activate this feature by following these steps:
The Search menu should now be activated. If you still encounter issues, please contact your IT department.
- Log in to CM/ECF for e-filing
- Click on the Tools menu
- Select "Compatibility View Settings"
- In the pop-up window, click on the "Add" button to have the CM/ECF site added to Compatibility View
- Close the pop-up window
Why is my CM/ECF session freezing?
There are several issues that may cause your CM session to freeze:
- If you are accessing CM/ECF through a DSL or dial-up connection, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may be having issues and you are no longer connected.
- Check the Court's Website for announcements regarding CM/ECF issues. If no announced issues, wait for a few minutes and try e-filing again.
- If you find your session freezing after you have hit "NEXT", try using the Back button to return to the previous screen and click on NEXT again. The freezing can be due to a halt in the session which is common m behavior for web-based applications
- If you click on the Back button and "receive a page cannot be displayed error message" ; click on the Back button once more. The error means that your document has not been attached and you'll need to reattach your documents. It maybe better to start over; so the issue does not happen again .
- If the freezing appears after clicking on the "SUBMIT" button, please be patient. If you have a large document, it will take time for the system to upload it into CM. If the NEF is not displayed after several minutes, check the case docket sheet to see if the document (s) was filed successfully. If the document(s) were NOT successfully filed call the ECF Help Desk for assistance and DO NOT RE-FILE the documents.
Why do I receive a "Data Missing" error when I try to print reports from CM/ECF?
If you are using Internet Explorer and Windows XP with Service Pack 2, you may be having a problem downloading the "data only" format of the cases report. Two options are recommended to work around the problem.
- Use Internet Explorer, or Mozilla Firefox. The report will download correctly using any one of these browsers; or
- Delete the Windows XP registered file type for .txt files. To delete the registered file type in Windows XP, use the following steps:
- Double click "My Computer"
- Go to Tools, Folder options
- Click "File Types"
- Find the "TXT" file type from the list and click on it
- Click Delete
- When the confirmation box is displayed, click Yes
- Click "OK" to close the File Options box
How do I know if my electronic filing was successful?
The last screen you see when you electronically file a document is a copy of the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF). If you see the NEF, you know that your filing was successful. Another way to verify your filing is to view a copy of the case docket. If you do this, PACER fees may be incurred.
What does Page Not Available mean when I use the back button during an e-filing session?
The "Page Not Available" message means that your document has been dropped from the docket entry and must be reattached. It is usually best to just start over by clicking on the Civil or Criminal Menu. However, you can just use the back button until a CM/ECF e-filing screen appears then continue your e-filing by reattaching your document(s) to the docket entry.
Why can I not view a document from an e-mail (NEF)notifying me that something was filed?
Make sure your email system is set to open links with the Internet Browser or Firefox browser (depending on your default browser). If you get a login screen when you click on the document hyperlink from within the NEF, make sure you enter your ECF User login not your PACER login.
If someone else, who is authorized to use your ECF User login, has already viewed the document, your one free look will have expired and you will need to login to PACER and are subject to PACER fees.
The first time a document is viewed using the linked document in an e-mail notice (NEF), it will be free. Anytime after the first viewing, you will be charged to view the document. The document should be saved to your local hard drive during your first view. If you have given your login information to staff, the first one to view the document using your login information gets the free look. After that PACER charges are incurred.
Why can’t I access a previous page viewed by clicking on the "Back" button on the browser after selecting a link within the CM/ECF system?
Unlike most programs, a web browser will open multiple windows. In other words, two or more windows in which the browser appears may be active at the same time. Look at the tool bar at the bottom of the screen, this is the same bar where the start button is located. If the browser logo appears on two different buttons, you have more than one window open. Click on the button that is not active (not highlighted) to open the previous window. If there is only one window open, click on the "GO" menu item at the very top of the screen; a drop down menu will appear where you can click on the address of the page to which you wish to return.
What kind of notification does the attorney of record receive on a case?
All registered CM/ECF users will receive an email notification, Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF), of all filings, which includes a hyperlink to the document. Participants who are not registered must be mailed a copy of the filing by the attorney filing electronically.hese notices can be received in either Summary or Individual format.