Next Generation (NextGen) of CM/ECF

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The United States District Court for the Central District of California will be upgrading its CM/ECF software to the Next Generation (NextGen) of CM/ECF on February 18, 2020. NextGen is the culmination of a multi-year project headed by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to provide for the current and future filing and case management needs of all CM/ECF users.

What is New for CM/ECF E-Filers in NextGen?

Central Sign-On is a new functionality that will allow attorneys and pro se parties with permission to electronically file (“E-Filers”) to maintain one account across all NextGen courts (appellate, bankruptcy, and district). What this means is that E-filers will be able to use one login and password to access all NextGen courts where they have permission to file, as well as to access PACER for all courts.1

What Can E-Filers Do NOW to Prepare for NextGen?

  • Each E-filer MUST have his/her own individual PACER account. If you do not have an individual PACER account, you must create one before the Court upgrades to NextGen. To register for an individual PACER account, go to and click on “register.” Shared PACER accounts cannot be used by e-filing attorneys once the court has upgraded. However, firms may set up a PACER Administrative Account to help manage attorney accounts and have those individual accounts centrally billed for PACER access fees. To register for a PACER Administrative Account, please visit
  • If you already have an individual PACER account, you will need to identify whether you have an upgraded or Legacy account. Go to for instructions on making this determination. Log in with your current PACER credentials and review the Account Type. If the Account Type is “Legacy,” you must upgrade your account before February 18, 2020. Click the Upgrade link and complete the upgrade process. If the Account Type is “Upgraded PACER Account,” you already have an upgraded account and no action is required.
  • CJA Panel Attorneys and other exempt PACER users: Please note that you will only need one PACER account for filing and viewing in NextGen. If you currently have two separate PACER accounts (one for private use and one for CJA or other exempt use), your exemption privileges will be added to your individual upgraded PACER account, and you will be able to switch between exempt and non-exempt PACER use within the same account. For now, make sure that your individual, private account is upgraded as explained above. We will provide step-by-step instructions at a later date on how to link your exemption privileges to your individual account and how to select the appropriate status (exempt or non-exempt) when accessing PACER.
  • Each E-filer must know his/her current CM/ECF login/password for filing documents. If you do not know your login or password and your contact information is current, please use the password reset feature from the CM/ECF login page at or contact the court’s CM/ECF Helpdesk at If your contact information is not current, please submit a Request for a CM/ECF account at to have your password reset – then immediately log in to CM/ECF and update your contact information. Instructions for updating your contact information in CM/ECF can be found here.

What Must E-Filers Do Once the Court Upgrades to NextGen?

Once the court upgrades to NextGen, E-filers must link their existing CM/ECF accounts to their upgraded PACER accounts for Central Sign On. This linkage, however, cannot be done until AFTER the court upgrades to NextGen. After the court upgrades, you will NOT be able to electronically file until your CM/ECF account has been linked to your upgraded individual PACER account. We will provide step-bystep instructions at a later date on how to link a CM/ECF account to an upgraded PACER account.

For More Information on the improvements and upgrade process, please visit: or call PACER Services at 800-676-6856. Feel free to contact the court’s CM/ECF Helpdesk directly with any questions at CM/ECF Helpdesk.

Thank you for your cooperation as the court prepares to upgrade to NextGen CM/ECF.


Kiry K. Gray
District Court Executive/Clerk of Court


1 Eventually all federal courts will transition to NextGen, allowing users to e-file in any court with a single account. Until that point, e-filing in courts that have not yet upgraded to NextGen will still require a separate account for each such court. This will include the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, as the Bankruptcy Court and the District Court use separate E-Filing systems, for which users are assigned separate CM/ECF E-Filing accounts. The Bankruptcy Court is not upgrading to NextGen at the same time as the District Court, so Bankruptcy filers will continue to use their existing Bankruptcy accounts until such time as the Bankruptcy Court upgrades to NextGen.