Pro Se Electronic Filing
Electronic Filing for Pro Se Litigants
Pursuant to Local Rule 5-4.1.1, after making a first appearance, non-incarcerated pro se litigants may seek leave of Court to use the CM/ECF System to file electronically (e-file). In order to e-file, you must first demonstrate to the Court that you meet all the technical requirements necessary to access and utilize the CM/ECF System. Review and follow the steps detailed on this page to gain access to the Court’s electronic filing system.
Step 1: Determine whether you meet the technical requirements for e-filing
To meet the criteria for e-filing documents, you must have regular access to the following:
- A computer with internet access.
- An e-mail account on a daily basis to receive notifications from the Court and notices from the e-filing system.
- A scanner to convert documents that are only in paper format into electronic files (i.e., exhibits).
- A printer or copier to create required paper copies such as chambers copies.
- A word-processing program to create documents.
- A PDF reader and a PDF writer to convert word processing documents into PDF format, the only electronic format in which documents can be e-filed.
If you are able to meet these requirements, proceed to Step 2 below.
Step 2: Ask for permission from the Judge
You must submit an application for permission to e-file to the judge assigned to your case and then wait for the judge to grant your application. You are encouraged to use the Court’s template application form CV-05. Click here to complete your application. If the judge denies your application, you will not be able to e-file in your case. If the judge grants your application, proceed to the instructions in Step 3 below.
Step 3: Register with CM/ECF
Once the Judge grants you permission to e-file, you must fill out and submit a G-80 form within five (5) days of receiving the order. Click here to access the G-80 form.
Because you are a pro se litigant, your registration process is different from that used by attorneys. Therefore, you cannot use the online registration tool located on the Court’s website. Upon completion, you must e-mail the G-80 form to ProSeLogin@cacd.uscourts.gov.
Step 4: Register with PACER
You must have a PACER account in order to view your case docket sheet and retrieve documents. Your CM/ECF login will only allow you to e-file documents; it will not allow you to view documents. You must have both a PACER account and a CM/ECF account to fully utilize the CM/ECF system.
Visit the PACER website www.pacer.gov to register for a new account or call the PACER Service Center at (800) 676-6856 to obtain a registration form by mail.
Step 5: Review the Court’s Online Tutorials
Before attempting to e-file any documents in your case, you should take a moment to review the online instructions and tutorials provided on the Court’s website. Tutorials can be accessed by clicking here. Online tutorials were developed for attorneys; however, most of them are also applicable to pro se litigants who have been granted permission to file electronically. Some screen shots in the tutorials may no tmatch screen shots in the CM/ECF System exactly due to periodic software upgrades. Please disregard any references to the "General Order" as the General Order pertaining to electronic filing has been replaced by Local Rule.
You should also visit the Court’s E-Filing page to review other relevant materials and FAQs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can I e-file a new complaint or notice of removal?
No, you may only e-file subsequent documents in your case after you have manually filed your complaint or notice of removal.
Q. Can I e-file under seal documents?
No, you may only e-file regular, non-sealed documents.
Q. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. If I have multiple cases, do I need to apply to e-file in each case?
Yes, you must manually file an Application for Permission for Electronic Filing in each case in which you wish to e-file.
Q. Can I file documents for other people using my login and password?
No, the CM/ECF login and password issued to you can only be used to e-file your own documents in your own case(s). Any attempt to file documents for other parties may result in your login and password being revoked by the Court.
Q. Once I am issued a CM/ECF login and password, do I have to e-file all of my documents?
No, e-filing is not mandatory. Even though you have been granted access to e-file, you may still file documents at the Civil Intake filing window or via mail.
Q. Will I still receive paper copies of documents filed in my case?
No, pursuant to Local Rule 5-3.2.3, by registering to e-file you have given consent to receive electronic service of documents through the CM/ECF System.
Q. Do I have to provide a paper copy of my filing to the judge?
Yes, unless otherwise ordered by the assigned judge, one mandatory chambers copy of every electronically filed document must be delivered to the chambers of the assigned judge, or designated location, no later than 12:00 noon on the following business day. See L.R. 5-4.5.