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Frequently Asked Questions About CM/ECF

Getting Started

Can the general public view cases and documents before the Court?

  • Yes, anyone with a PACER account can access public cases and documents before the Court.

 

What’s the difference between CM/ECF and PACER?

  • The Case Management/Electronic Files (“CM/ECF”) System is an electronic filing system used to electronically file documents with the Court via the internet.

  • The Public Access to Court Electronic Records (“PACER”) System is an electronic public access service that allows users to run reports and view documents from all federal courts via the internet.

  • PACER acts as a portal to the documents and case information stored on CM/ECF. The same information, functions, queries, reports and documents that were available through the Court’s CM/ECF System in the past are available through the PACER System.

 

Do I need a PACER or CM/ECF account to view the Rules of the Court, Administrative Orders and Slip Opinions on the Court’s website?

  • No, all of the content on the Court’s website, www.cit.uscourts.gov, will be accessible without a CM/ECF or PACER account.

 

Is CM/ECF and PACER training available?

  • The CM/ECF User=s Manual is available on the Website to download. Upon receipt of the login and password, it is highly recommended that attorneys familiarize themselves with the CM/ECF System by reading the materials available on the Website and practicing in the training database.

  • The Clerk=s Office will provide training classes in New York City and Washington, D.C. The locations, schedule of classes and Training Registration Form will be posted on the CM/ECF Training Page of the Court=s Website, as the dates become available.

  • If you have any CM/ECF-related questions, please contact the CM/ECF Help Desk at 1-866-450-1859 or send an email to: cmecf_helpdesk@cit.uscourts.gov

  • PACER provides a Frequently Asked Questions section, free training and video tutorials on their website at: www.pacer.gov.

  • If you have any PACER-related questions, please contact the PACER Service Center at 1-800-676-6856 or send an email to: pacer@psc.uscourts.gov.

 

What hardware and software are needed to file documents in the CM/ECF System?

CM/ECF Filers and Confidential Information Filers will need the following hardware and software to file documents through CM/ECF:

  • A personal computer running a standard platform such as Windows or Macintosh.

  • A PDF-compatible word processor like Macintosh or Windows-based versions of WordPerfect or Word.

  • Internet service.

  • A web browser that supports 128 bit encryption. Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer 8 and 9 are highly recommended.

  • Software to convert documents from word processor format to portable document format (PDF). Adobe Acrobat is recommended. Adobe Acrobat version 6.x and above, adequately meet the CM/ECF filing requirements.

  • Adobe Reader is needed for viewing PDF documents.

  • A scanner may be necessary to create electronic images of documents that are not in a word processing format.

 

Who do I contact to get help?

  • For questions about the CM/ECF System, case information or technical assistance regarding hardware and software requirements, please contact the CM/ECF Help Desk at 1-866-450-1859 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time or send an email to: cmecf_helpdesk@cit.uscourts.gov.

  • Staff support for CM/ECF will not be available on a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday or any other day on which the Court is not open for business. After 5:00 pm EST, callers should leave a message and they will receive a response the next day that the Court is open for business.

  • If you have any PACER-related questions, please visit the PACER website at: www.pacer.gov, contact the PACER Service Center at 1-800-676-6856 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Central Standard Time or send an email to: pacer@psc.uscourts.gov.

 

CM/ECF and PACER Accounts

IDo I need to register for PACER, CM/ECF or both?

  • If you are an attorney admitted to the Court and only wish to file documents and receive one free look at documents served upon you via Notice of Electronic Filing, you will only need a CM/ECF account.

  • If you wish to access queries, reports and other documents, you will need a PACER account.

 

How do I register for a CM/ECF and/or PACER account?

  • For a CM/ECF Filer or Confidential Information Filer account, attorneys must submit a completed CM/ECF Registration Form to the Court.

  • Attorneys will receive CM/ECF User IDs and Passwords for the live database and the training database. Once attorneys are registered with the CM/ECF System, they will have the ability to file documents electronically and will receive Notices of Electronic Filing in cases in which they appear.

  • You must register for a PACER account at the PACER website: www.pacer.gov.

 

I have a CM/ECF Filer or Confidential Information Filer account and a PACER account, can I link them together?

  • Yes, this will allow you to file, run reports and view documents using only your CM/ECF User ID and Password.

  • If you do not link your accounts together, you will need to use your CM/ECF User ID and Password to file documents and then use your PACER Login and Password to run reports and view documents not served upon you via Notice of Electronic Filing.

  • When you log in to CM/ECF using your CM/ECF User ID and Password and attempt to view a document, perform a query or run a report, you will be taken to a PACER Login page.

  • To link your accounts together, check the box marked, “Make this my default PACER login”, enter your PACER Login and Password and click on the Login button.

  • After your accounts are linked together, you will no longer be prompted to enter your PACER Login and Password.

 

I already have a PACER account, do I need to register for a new one?

  • No. You may use your current PACER account to run reports and view documents.

I already share a PACER account provided by my firm/agency/company, do I need to register for my own PACER account?

  • No, you may continue to use your shared PACER account. If you are also a CM/ECF Filer or Confidential Information Filer, you will be able to link your CM/ECF account to your shared PACER account to allow you to file, run reports and view documents using only your CM/ECF User ID and password.

 

I am leaving my law firm, how do I update my CM/ECF and/or PACER account?

  • To update your CM/ECF account, you must notify the Court by submitting a Request for Change in Information form. If you appear in active cases before the Court, you will need to file the appropriate forms in each of your cases.

  • If you have a PACER account that is shared with others in your previous law firm, you must register for a new PACER account. Information on registering for a PACER account is available at: www.pacer.gov.

  • If you have your own PACER account, you must update your PACER account through the “Manage My PACER Account” page on the PACER website at: www.pacer.gov.

  • If you have previously linked your CM/ECF and PACER accounts together and wish to link your CM/ECF account to a different PACER account, you must update that link by logging in to CM/ECF and clicking on ‘Utilities’. Click on ‘Change Your PACER Login’ and enter a new PACER Login and Password. To link your CM/ECF account with the new PACER account, check the box marked, “Make this my default PACER login” and click on the Login button.

 

I registered for a CM/ECF and/or PACER account, but have not yet received a Login and Password. How can I check on this?

  • If you have not received your CM/ECF User ID and Password within two weeks after submitting your CM/ECF Registration Form, please contact the CM/ECF Help Desk at 1-866-450-1859 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time or send an email to: cmecf_helpdesk@cit.uscourts.gov.

  • If you have not received your PACER Login and Password, please contact the PACER Service Center at at 1-800-676-6856 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Central Standard Time or send an email to: pacer@psc.uscourts.gov.

 

Why isn’t my CM/ECF User ID and Password working?

  • It could be one of the following reasons:

    1. All CM/ECF User ID and Passwords are case sensitive.

    2. CM/ECF Logins are in lower case letters.

    3. If you have updated your CM/ECF Password since November 1st, 2011, your password must be at least 8 characters long and include both upper and lower case letters and a digit or special character (i.e. 0-9, @, #, $, %).

    4. If you have not updated your CM/ECF Password, your Password must be at least 7 characters long and include a digit or special character.

    5. Only CM/ECF Filers or Confidential Information Filers may use a CM/ECF User ID and Password.

  • If you have lost your CM/ECF Password, click on the link, “If you have lost or forgotten your CM/ECF Password, click here.,” on the CM/ECF Login page. Follow the instructions and the CM/ECF System will send an email to your primary email address with a link to the CM/ECF screen where you will be able to create a new password.

  • For help, please contact the CM/ECF Help Desk at 1-866-450-1859 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time or send an email to: cmecf_helpdesk@cit.uscourts.gov.

 

Why isn’t my PACER Login and Password working?

  • Please visit the PACER website at: www.pacer.gov, contact the PACER Service Center at 1-800-676-6856 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Central Standard Time or send an email to: pacer@psc.uscourts.gov

 

I have lost my CM/ECF password, what do I do?

  • Click on the link, “If you have lost or forgotten your CM/ECF Password, click here.,” on the CM/ECF Login page. Follow the instructions and the CM/ECF System will send an email to your primary email address with a link to the CM/ECF screen where you will be able to create a new password.

 

I have lost my PACER Login and/or Password, what do I do?

  • Please visit the PACER website at: www.pacer.gov, contact the PACER Service Center at at 1-800-676-6856 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Central Standard Time.

 

I am a Confidential Information Filer and need to update my CM/ECF Password, what do I do?

  • Login to CM/ECF, click on Utilities, then Maintain Your Password. Enter your new password and click Submit.

  • Note: Your new password must be at least 8 characters long and include both upper and lower case letters and a digit or special character (i.e. 0-9, @, #, $, %).

 

CM/ECF and PACER Fees

When I log into PACER, I am prompted for a Client Code. What is the Client Code?

  • You may use the optional Client Code field to help you organize your PACER transactions for your internal billing process. You can enter up to 32 characters of text in this field. For more information on Client Code settings, visit the PACER website at: www.pacer.gov and click on Manage My PACER Account.

What are the access fees for using the PACER System?

  • Generally speaking, access to documents, docket sheets or case-specific reports is $0.10 per page for the public and private attorneys and $0.08 per page for the government(until 2015, and then the government will also be charged $0.10 per page). The fee is capped at 30 pages for most documents - for most documents, no fee is charged beyond the 30th page (see the PACER website for those few documents where charges beyond 30 pages are incurred. No PACER fees are charged for accessing slip opinions and PACER fees will not be charged until an account holder accrues more than $15.00 in fees in a quarterly billing cycle. Also, documents served on parties by a Notice of Electronic Filing can be viewed once without incurring any charges. After this “one free look,” however, charges will begin to incur. To view the PACER Fee Schedule, visit the PACER website at www.pacer.gov.

Are there additional fees for filing documents through CM/ECF?

  • No. Initiating documents and Notices of Appeal may require filing fees per the Rules of the Court, but there are no additional fees for filing documents through CM/ECF.

Notices of Electronic Filing and One Free Look

I am a CM/ECF Filer or Confidential Information Filer, do I need a PACER account to receive notice of activity in my cases?

  • No. Whether or not you have a PACER account, CM/ECF will send you a Notice of Electronic Filing when there is activity in your cases.

I am a CM/ECF Filer or Confidential Information Filer, how do I get my one free look at a document served upon me via Notice of Electronic Filing?

  • When you receive your Notice of Electronic Filing, click on the hyperlink to the document. You will not be charged for your first look at the document and you may print and/or save the document to your computer for future use. If, however, you click on the hyperlink to the docket sheet or attempt to access the document after this free look, you will need a PACER account and be subject to PACER access fees.

Does each attorney of record in a case get one free look at a document served upon them via Notice of Electronic Filing?

  • Yes, all attorneys of record receive one free look at the document served upon them via Notice of Electronic Filing.

I have secondary email addresses linked to my CM/ECF Filer or Confidential Information Filer account, do they get one free look at the documents served upon them via Notice of Electronic Filing?

  • Yes, anyone receiving a Notice of Electronic Filing will get one free look at the document and be able to print and/or save that document to their computer for future use. If they click on the link to the docket sheet or attempt to access the document after this free look, they will need a PACER account and be subject to PACER fees.

I am a CM/ECF Filer or Confidential Filer, but I am not getting Notices of Electronic Filing in cases in which I am involved, what’s wrong?

  • First, make sure you are listed as an attorney of record in the case. If you are listed on the docket sheet, contact your organization’s technical support or review your e-mail settings to verify whether your server restricts e-mail from the CM/ECF System.

  • If you continue to experience difficulties, please contact the CM/ECF Help Desk at 1-866-450-1859 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time or send an email to: cmecf_helpdesk@cit.uscourts.gov.

Case Related Issues

When is a filing due?

  • Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, all electronic filings will be deemed timely as long as they are filed before midnight, Eastern Standard Time.

When are documents considered to be filed?

  • A document shall not be considered electronically filed until the filer receives a CM/ECF System-generated Notice of Electronic Filing.

Do documents need to be in a particular format before they are filed on the CM/ECF System?

  • Yes, the CM/ECF System will only accept documents in PDF.

I can’t find the docket event for my filing, what do I do?

  • You can search for docket events by clicking the Search button located on right side of the CM/ECF toolbar. When you are prompted to search for menus and events, type in a word or phrase and click ‘Search.’ The system will then provide you with a list of docket events using that word or phrase. If your docket event is listed, you may click on it to begin the filing process.

  • If you cannot find the docket event using the Search feature, contact the CM/ECF Help Desk at 1-866-450-1859 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time or send an email to: cmecf_helpdesk@cit.uscourts.gov.

  • If you need to file a document after Clerk’s Office hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, EST), you can use the docket event, Z-motion or Z-document, to preserve your filing date.

I am having problems with my computer and the deadline is here, what can I do?

  • You may file the document by certified mail and accompany it with a Notice of Manual Filing. Be sure to contact the CM/ECF Help Desk at 1-866-450-1859 as soon as possible to let them know of the situation.

I made a mistake in my filing, how do I correct it?

Are any documents precluded from being filed electronically?

  • Yes, physical exhibits and classified documents should be sent or hand-delivered to the Court and accompanied by a Notice of Manual Filing.

Where can I get the Court’s Rules and forms?

  • The Rules of the Court and accompanying forms can be found here.

  • CM/ECF forms can be found here.

I know that my password is my signature, but what do I do if I am filing a stipulation that other attorneys have signed?

What constitutes electronic service?

  • Per Administrative Order 02-01, the electronic filing of any document and the Court’s transmission of a Notice of Electronic Filing of that document shall constitute service on all counsel or pro se parties who are registered with the CM/ECF System.

Are there any documents that can’t be served electronically?

  • Documents that are not filed electronically, initial jurisdictional filings requiring service per CIT Rule 4 and documents requiring service upon pro se parties that are not registered with the CM/ECF System must be served in non-electronic form.

Must I provide a Certificate of Service with my electronic filing?

  • You must only provide a Certificate of Service when serving parties in a non-electronic format.

With mandatory e-service, will I still get the five extra days to respond to motions?

  • Yes, pursuant to Administrative Order 02-01, parties will receive five extra days to respond to motions when they are filed and served electronically.

Will I get the five extra days to respond if the document is hand-delivered?

  • No, there are no extra days for responding to hand-delivered documents.
  • Can I submit a Motion to Intervene and the subsequent Notice of Appearance, Form 13 and Form 17 as just one filing?

    • Each document should be filed separately and in this order: Motion to Intervene, Notice of Appearance, Form 13, Form 17(attorneys) and Form 17(consultants).

    PDF

    What is a PDF document?

    • PDF stands for Portable Document Format. This format was chosen because it allows a document to retain its pagination, formatting and fonts no matter what type of computer is used to view or print the document.

     

    How do I make a PDF document with Adobe Acrobat?

    • The CM/ECF User’s Manual provides sample instructions for a typical conversion.

    • Note: Your software may be different than what is described in the sample instructions. Please consult your technical support staff or software provider if you require additional help.

     

    My document is not in a word processing format, how do I file it?

    • Scan the document at 300 dpi(dots per inch) and make the PDF document searchable by using the ‘Paper Capture’ feature.

     

    I filed a public version of a document, with redacted text suppressed, yet other CM/ECF users were able to view the entire document, including confidential redacted portions, how can this be?

    • Depending on how the data was suppressed, all the information you included in your document can be available to anyone who views it.  PDF documents are not necessarily secure if you unknowingly leave Metadata behind in the document for others to view.  For a more detailed explanation, see the Court's recent Technical Broadcast on Metadata (click here).

     

    Technical Issues

    Is the CM/ECF System secure?

    • The CM/ECF System has several layers of security. In order to ensure that your filing has not been altered in any way, please refer to the verification procedures in the CM/ECF User’s Manual.

     

    What does "Internal Server Error" mean?

     

    I submitted a document and I got the message, "You cannot load this file because it's over 10 Megabytes (MB)", what do I do?

    • This is most likely to occur with scanned documents. If the main document exceeds the 10 MB limit, the document must be broken up into logical divisions with each division not exceeding the 10 MB limit.

    • Our Court has adopted a Bulky Document Standard. Please refer to the User’s Manual for detailed instructions on how to handle the submission of large documents.

     

    I tried to file a document and there is a message that says "ERROR: Document is not a well-formed PDF document", what is wrong?

    • All documents filed with the System must be in PDF format. These documents are identifiable by ".pdf" at the end of the document name.

     

    I tried to file a PDF document and I get a message that states: "ERROR: This document has security measures in effect, such as password protection or access restriction. This PDF document cannot be accepted." - What should I do?

    • You must deactivate the Adobe Acrobat security features, such as password protection, save the file, and submit the document again.

     

    I tried to access Query and received the following message: “Security violation: You do not have access rights to this program (iquery.pl). Please contact the Systems Administrator if you feel this is in error. This access attempt has been logged.” What is wrong?

    • Most likely your internet browser cache needs to be cleared.

    Internet Explorer:

    1. Open the Tools menu and choose Internet Options.
    2. From the Temporary Internet Files area, choose Delete Files.
    3. In the next dialog box, choose All Offline Content and then press OK.
    4. Close the browser.
    5. Run Internet Explorer again and log-in to the system.

    Mozilla Firefox:

    1. Open the Tools menu and choose Options.
    2. Select the Advanced panel and click on Network.
    3. From the Offline Storage area, click on Clear Now.
    4. Close the browser.
    5. Run Mozilla Firefox again and log-in to the system.


    Note: Your software may be different than what is described in these instructions. Please consult your technical support staff or software provider if you require additional help.

     

     

    If you have any CM/ECF-related questions - Please contact the CM/ECF Help Desk at 866-450-1859 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time or send an email to cmecf_helpdesk@cit.uscourts.gov.

    If you have any PACER-related questions - Please visit the PACER website at: www.pacer.gov, contact the PACER Service Center at 1-800-676-6856 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Central Standard Time or send an email to: pacer@psc.uscourts.gov.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Last modified August 29, 2014