CM/ECF and PACER, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

CM/ECF & Pacer

What is Electronic Case Filing

CM/ECF is a comprehensive case management system that will allow courts to maintain electronic case files and offer electronic filing over the Internet. As case documents are filed, the information is immediately available electronically through the Internet.

What are the hardware/software specifications for CM/ECF?

Refer to the CM/ECF hardware & software specifications for more details.

How do attorneys register for CM/ECF?

In order to electronically file court documents and to receive e-mail notices of filed documents, attorneys must be admitted to practice before the Court and be registered to file electronically. Attorneys who file electronically in other federal courts may apply for a training waiver. Please see the CM/ECF home page or the Electronic Case Filing Procedures for more information.

How do I start receiving email notices from the court?

You must be an attorney and a registered participant on the system and have a current login and password. As the attorney of record in a case you will automatically receive email notices from the court.

How do I sign up to receive notices from the Bankruptcy Noticing center (BNC) via e-mail?

To sign up, visit the BNC's public web site, at www.ebnuscourts.com, read the information provided, download and complete the registration form, and submit it to the BNC.

Where do I obtain information about PACER?

You may obtain information from the PACER website.

The electronic notice I received has a link to the docket sheet. Am I charged to view the docket sheet?

Yes, the fee is applied for accessing a docket sheet and any documents accessed from the link on the docket sheet.

My firm already has a PACER login and password. Do I need to establish a separate PACER account, or can I use the firm account?

The firm PACER account can be used for the query component of CM/ECF. However, if you would like to keep the billing separate from the firm's, you will need to establish a new PACER account. A PACER account may be obtained from their Reigstration Page.

How do I change my default PACER login?

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.

What should we do when an attorney leaves the firm?

When an attorney leaves, the law firm is required to notify the court and indicate the name of the attorney taking over the active cases. This can be accomplished by filing the CM/ECF event, under the Miscellaneous category, Notice of Appearance (of substitute counsel) on each active case.

If the attorney leaving the firm is taking the cases, the attorney must file a "Notice of Change of Address" on each case.

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

I am changing firms. Do I need to establish a new e-filing login and password?

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

How do I change my email address with the Court?

Send an email to the helpdesk. The email address is helpdesk@canb.uscourts.gov

How do I change my CM/ECF password?

Click the forgotten password link from the login screen in CM/ECF or click here.

Can I have the same filing login for all courts I practice in?

Since each court assigns the filing login for filing privileges in the CM/ECF system, it is not possible to obtain a universal filing login at this time.

Is there a time limit for when the free copy expires?

Yes. 15 calendar days.

Who receives the automatic e-mail notification?

Email notification will be sent to all attorneys who are registered participants in CM/ECF and represent parties on the case, who requested special notice or are parties in any associated cases.

Can an attorney's support staff receive a copy of the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) e-mail?

Yes. Attorneys have the option of authorizing duplicate receipt of the NEF to one member of his/her support staff.

Is there a limit as to how many additional email addresses I may add to my profile?

Yes, one.

If I forward an e-mail notification I received to another individual will that individual be charged for viewing the document?

The document within an email notification is accessed by a hyperlink. This hyperlink takes you to a site which will allow the first viewing to be free. The first individual to view the linked document will not be charged. If you forward the email notification without viewing the document, the recipient of the email will be able to view the document for free. Anytime after the first viewing, a charge will be incurred to view the document. If additional access to the document will be required, save it to a local hard drive during the first viewing.

How do we know who is participating electronically on a case?

Within the Utilities menu option in CM/ECF there is a miscellaneous option to view Malings..>Mailing Info for a case. Attorneys can look at this information to see who is receiving service electronically and who is receiving paper service. Attorneys who are electronic participants are also listed on the Notice of Electronic Case Filing that is generated by CM/ECF after documents are filed. The Notice of Electronic Case Filing can also be viewed by opening the "silver bullet" hyperlink next to each electronically filed docket entry.

I tried to file a document but it says format not recognized, what am I doing wrong?

All documents must be submitted in Adobe PDF (portable document format) with an extension of ".pdf". Two common errors occur. First, a user thinks that he/she saved the document in PDF. The user then tries to file the WordPerfect version of the document; not the saved PDF version. Second, a user fails to indicate the full path name for the PDF file he/she wants to upload. Because the system could not find the file, it responded with the "format not recognized" message.

The best way to avoid this problem is to use the Browse button on the file selection screen and navigate to the file you wish to upload. Be sure to right click on the document and open it in Adobe before completing the selection.

Does it matter what paper size setting is used in creating PDF files?

Yes. Always use 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. (In Adobe, this can be found under the File menu, Properties)

What do I do if I filed a document in the wrong case?

Prepare a new document withdrawing the original document, and file the withdrawing document using the event Withdrawal Document(s) from the Miscellaneous category under the Bankruptcy or Adversary menu.

What should an attorney do if the documents they are filing are not listed in the attorney event list?

Contact the division where the case is and ask for assistance.

If I filed a fee-generating document and was not prompted to pay, what do I do?

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

Where can I go to pay my outstanding fees?

Under the Utilities menu, under the Your CM/ECF Account category, click Internet Payments Due and you will be taken to the pay.gov payment screen.

How can I find out when I paid a fee?

Under the Utilities menu, under Your Account click Internet Payment History. Insert the date range and submit.

I am trying to file a proof of claim for a creditor. The creditor is listed in the case, but the address for the creditor is incorrect. How can I change the address?

You cannot change the address, but can add a new address by selecting Add Creditor and entering the creditor's name and the correct address. Or docket a Notice of Change of Address for the creditor, wait 24 hours, then file the claim under the correct address.

If I file a proof of claim in the wrong case, what do I do?

Prepare a new document withdrawing the proof of claim and file it using the event Withdrawal of Claim from the Claim Actions category under the Bankruptcy menu.

Why can't I see the hyperlinks under the various menus when I enter my login and password?

There are a couple of reasons that your login and password may not be active:
Check to see if you have outstanding fees with the court. Utilities>Internet Payments Due. All outstanding fees will need to be paid before your account can become active again.

Passwords will become temporarily inactive if there has been no activity within one year of issuance. Please contact the CM/ECF Helpdesk for assistance in having your account reactivated. (helpdesk@canb.uscourts.gov) In contacting the helpdesk please verify the following information on your account:

  • Name, Bar id (if applicable)
  • Firm Name (if applicable)
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • email and secondary email (if applicable)