CM/ECF and PACER

Answer:

Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF or ECF) is a comprehensive system that allows the Court to manage and maintain electronic case files and offer electronic filing over the Internet.  Unless sealed, a document filed in a case is immediately available electronically through the Internet.

Answer:

Full access to CM/ECF is available to attorneys, and limited access is available to certain other professionals (such as approved personal financial management course providers, creditors, trustee staff, etc.).

For information on obtaining a login and registering for ECF, please see the CM/ECF webpage.

Answer:

Emailed notices from the court can be received by both debtors and ECF registered participants with an active login.

The registered ECF participant, in addition to having an active account must be a party to a case, or an attorney of record for a party to a case. Email notices to ECF participants include filing error notices and Notices of Electronic Filing, commonly called an “NEF” for short.

A debtor may receive court-generated notices and orders by email instead of U.S. mail when enrolling in the Debtor Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing (DeBN) program.  DeBN is a free and voluntary service available to all debtors with an open bankruptcy case.  Visit the DeBN web page for additional information or to obtain a Debtor Electronic Noticing Request form. 

Answer:

When a document is filed in ECF a Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) is automatically generated and emailed to the ECF registered parties in the case.  The NEF includes the text of the docket entry, the unique electronic document stamp, a list of the case participants receiving email notification of the filing, and a hyperlink to the filed document(s) (not a copy of the filed document).  Most recipients will receive one free look at the document when they click on the hyperlink to the document.

Parties to a case who are not ECF registered participants will not receive an NEF.

Answer:

An NEF email containing a hyperlink to a filed document can be viewed the first time for free.  This one free view link expires after the first use or 15 calendar days, whichever occurs earlier.  To retain a free copy of the document for your records, print or save the document during this initial viewing period.

If you click the link after it has expired, you will need to enter your PACER login information, and you will be charged to view and print or copy the document.

Also, the NEF may include a case number link.  If you click on the case number link, it will display the Docket Report for the case. You must log into PACER to view the Docket Report, and you will be charged for access.

Answer:

If you forward the NEF within 15 calendar days of receipt without having viewed the document, the recipient of your forwarded email will be able to view the document for free until the free view expires.  The free view expires after a first viewing or expiration of the 15 days, whichever occurs earlier.  After the free view expires a charge will be incurred to view and print or copy the document.

Answer:

The NEF email may have gone to your junk email folder.  Also, if a recipient inadvertently identified a previous Court email as spam, the ISP may be blocking email from the Court.  Sometimes, depending upon the policy of your ISP, you may not receive an NEF if your email inbox is full.  Contact your ISP to rectify this situation.  Note: Some ISPs may automatically route Court email to a junk mail folder.  Go into your junk mail folder and mark email from the Court as "not junk mail."

Answer:

Yes.  As a registered ECF filer you may authorize a duplicate NEF be sent via e-mail to one (1) member of your support staff.  Please contact the Helpdesk at helpdesk@canb.uscourts.gov to add or change your support staff email address.

Answer:

Separate from receiving an NEF email, other notices in a case may be sent by the BNC, sometimes by regular mail.  To receive BNC notices via email a creditor must sign up at the BNC public web site at www.ebnuscourts.com.  Submit your completed registration form to the BNC.  A similar service from BNC is available for debtors.  See the FAQs below for Debtor Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing (DeBN).

Answer:

In ECF select Utilities, then under the Miscellaneous category heading select Mailings and then Mailing Info for a Case.  Enter the case number and submit.  An Electronic Mail Notice List should appear, along with access to a list of case participants to receive non-electronic (manual) notice.  The electronic participants are also listed on an NEF that is emailed in a case after a document is filed.  The contents of an NEF may also be viewed by clicking on the "silver bullet" hyperlink next to each electronically filed numbered entry on a case docket.

Answer:

All documents uploaded to ECF for filing must first be saved in a portable document format (PDF), with the file name extension ending ".pdf ".  The most common reason for receiving a "format not recognized" error message is the document to be uploaded is actually not saved as a PDF, or the full “.pdf ” file name extension is not provided.  

To avoid this issue, use the browse button on the file selection screen to navigate to the file you want to upload.  Before completing the selection and uploading the document, right click and open it as a PDF to make sure it appears in its entirety and in the proper format.

Answer:

Yes.  Always use the 8.5" x 11" paper size when scanning or converting documents to PDF files.  After creating each PDF file, verify that an 8.5" x 11" document was created.

Answer:

Prepare a new document that withdraws the original document.  File the withdrawing document in the “wrong” case or adversary proceeding using the event Withdrawal of Document and by linking the withdrawing document to the original document.  The Withdrawal of Document event is located in the Miscellaneous category under the Bankruptcy and Adversary menus.  Then file your document in the correct case or adversary proceeding.

Answer:

Try using the ECF “Search” feature.  For example, when filing an Application to Pay a Filing Fee in Installments, use the search term “installments” to locate the event “Pay Filing Fee in Installments.”  If you are unable locate an event for the document you are filing, contact the division where the case is filed for assistance.

Answer:

Check to see if you have a pop-up blocker enabled. If so, it needs to be disabled. Then go to the Utilities menu and under the category heading “Your CM/ECF Account” click Internet Payments Due.  You will be taken to the pay.gov payment screen.

Answer:

In the Utilities menu, under the category heading “Your CM/ECF Account”, click Internet Payments Due.  You will be taken to the pay.gov payment screen.

Answer:

In the Utilities menu, under the category heading “Your CM/ECF Account” click Internet Payment History.  Insert a date range and submit.

Answer:

You cannot change the address listed for a creditor in a case, but if you are using ECF or ePOC to file the claim you can add a new address by selecting Add Creditor and entering the creditor's name and the correct address.  Additionally, if you are filing the claim on paper or via ECF or ePOC, you may also docket a Notice of Change of Address for the creditor, wait 24 hours, and then file the claim under the new corrected address.

Answer:

Prepare a new document that withdraws the proof of claim.   File the withdrawing document in the “wrong” bankruptcy case using the event Withdrawal of Claim.  The Withdrawal of Claim event is located in the Claim Actions category in the Bankruptcy menu.  Then file your proof of claim in the correct case.

Answer:

Your login and password may not be active due to unpaid fees associated with your account.  To check if you have unpaid fees in ECF go to Utilities then click on Internet Payments Due.  All outstanding fees must be paid before your account can become active again.

Also, a password not used to access ECF within 90 days of issuance, or for a continuous period of at least one (1) year, is automatically deactivated.  Please contact the CM/ECF Helpdesk at helpdesk@canb.uscourts.gov for assistance reactiviting your account.  When contacting the helpdesk please have the following information for your account:

  • Name, Bar ID (if applicable)
  • Firm Name (if applicable)
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Email and secondary email (if applicable)
Answer:

When an attorney leaves a law firm the firm is required to notify the Court of the name and contact information for the attorney(s) taking over the departing attorney’s active cases and adversary proceedings that are pending with the Court.  This is done by filing a Notice of Substitution of Attorney in each active case and adversary proceeding and using the CM/ECF event Substitution of Attorney located under the Miscellaneous category in the Bankruptcy and Adversary menus.

If the attorney leaving the firm is retaining cases or adversary proceedings, the departing attorney must file a Notice of Change of Address in each case or adversary proceeding.  For additional information please consult Civil Local Rule 3-11.

If a list of active cases or adversary proceedings is required, please contact the IT Help Desk via email at helpdesk@canb.uscourts.gov.

Answer:

You do not need to register for CM/ECF more than once.  Even if you change firms, your login remains valid.    It may however, be necessary to establish a new PACER login and password.  Contact the Pacer Service Center for assistance.

Answer:

In ECF, go to “Bankruptcy” then “Miscellaneous” and select the event “Request to Remove Primary Email from Case.”  Use of this event will remove your primary e-mail address from a case.  However, all secondary e-mail addresses (additional e-mail addresses used by you and your staff), will not be removed from the case.  After removal of a primary email address, as a party to the case all court notices, orders and service of pleadings previously sent to the primary email address will be sent by regular mail in paper form, and Notices of Electronic Filing will be sent to secondary email addresses.

Answer:

Click the forgotten password link on the ECF login screen, or click here.

Answer:

No, because each court separately assigns the ECF login for filing privileges in that court, presently it is not possible to obtain a universal login to file via ECF in all courts.

Answer:

Information abour PACER is available from the PACER website.

Answer:

The firm PACER account may be used, but if you want to keep your PACER fee billings separate from the firm's you will need to establish a separate PACER account.  Information on obtaining a PACER account is available at the PACER website Registration Page.

Answer:

Once you are logged in as a CM/ECF filer, click on the Utilities menu.  Under the Your Pacer Account category, click Change Your PACER Login. Enter a new PACER login and password.  You can change the default PACER login by checking the box Make this my default PACER login. Once you associate a PACER login and a filer login, there is no way to un-associate the two without making another PACER login the default.