ECF FAQs

ECF FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. Do proposed orders have to be filed on the docket AND uploaded into your E-Orders program?

ANSWER: Yes. The proposed order must be filed as an attachment to the motion AND it must be uploaded into the Court’s Electronic Order Processing application (E-Orders).

2. Can I file my motion, objection notice, hearing notice, and order as one pleading?

ANSWER: No. Please make separate docket entries for each pleading, so that they appear separately on the docket sheet. However, the PDF file that you attach to each of the event may include all of the pleadings in it. This means that you would upload the same PDF file to each of the individual docket entries. OR you may create a separate PDF file for each event and upload each PDF file to the corresponding event.

3. Does it matter in what order I file a motion, notice, and proposed order?

ANSWER: Yes. The motion must be filed first. After the motion is filed, file the notice of opportunity to object, and the hearing notice. Finally upload the order. The notices and proposed order MUST be linked to the motion. In order to “link” docket entries, when prompted you must either check the box to reference another event and then place a check mark in the box to the left of the appropriate event(s) that are displayed.

4. I cannot find the event I need to file in any of your ECF Categories?

ANSWER: First, click on the “Search” option at the top of the screen. Type in the name of the pleading you wish to file (e.g. Sanctions; Relief from Stay). This search results will show you where the corresponding event for your pleading is located. If the event is not listed, call the CM/ECF Help Desk at 202-354-3281 BEFORE YOU FILE.

PAYMENT OF FEES

1. How are fees paid?

ANSWER: E-filed documents requiring a fee will be paid via a credit card or ACH payment. We no longer need or require an attorney credit card registration form. At the end of filing a pleading requiring a fee, when the Notice of Electronic Filing appears, the e-filers is presented with the payment screen. Upon the successful processing of the payment, the filer receives a receipt, and a receipt is docketed to the case record. If for any reason an e-filer is unable to use their credit card or ACH to pay a fee, the e-filer MUST CALL THE COURT’S CM/ECF HELP DESK BEFORE FILING THE PLEADING. E-filers who do not pay outstanding balances within 24 hours of the time of filing will be locked out of CM/ECF until the balance has been paid. Paper documents filed over the counter will still be paid via cash, certified check, or money order.

2. I filed a pleading that required a fee, but the payment screen never appeared. What should I do?

ANSWER: You need to do a couple things: 1. Click on the Utilities menu and then click on Internet Payments Due. From this screen you can proceed to pay the outstanding fee balance. 2. Check your computer’s security settings and make sure you do not have “popup window blockers” preventing you from viewing the payment screen popup window.

3. Can I still pay fees via check or cash when e-filing?

ANSWER: E-filers are required to pay fees on-line using the internet payment feature. If, for any reason, you are unable to use the internet credit card or ACH, YOU MUST CALL THE CM/ECF HELP DESK BEFORE FILING THE PLEADING.

CORRECTIONS

1. What happens if a document is filed in error?

ANSWER: Filings in CM/ECF occur in real time. Therefore, errors immediately appear on the docket and are distributed through the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) email to other participating e-filers. If the e-filer does not catch the error first, the Clerk’s Office will issue an Electronic Deficiency Notice (EDN) that tells the e-filer that an error has occurred and what needs to be done to correct it. Similar to all other pleadings filed in a case, EDNs have a NEF that is sent to ALL case participants. Therefore, if you receive a NEF that an EDN has been issued, please review the EDN to verify whether you or another case participant needs to correct a pleading. CM/ECF allows court personnel to edit errors made in the docket entry. In the course of editing and correcting entries, court staff may ask e-filers to file amended pleadings. Instances that affect calendar entries and noticing may need to be re-filed. 

2. I filed the wrong pleading, how do I correct it?

ANSWER: File a Request to Withdraw Document. This event is found under the Bankruptcy --> Miscellaneous menu option. If the pleading that was incorrectly filed created a deadline (hearing objection, etc) please be sure to terminate the appropriate deadline if prompted, otherwise the Clerk’s Office with terminate the deadline. If a pleading was accidentally or unintentionally filed, the Request to Withdraw Document must be filed to remove it. DO NOT file a Motion to Dismiss/Strike/Withdraw Document to remove the pleading; this motion requires a court order to authorize the dismissal, striking, or withdrawing of the unintended pleading.

3. How long do I have to correct an error or mis-filed pleading?

ANSWER: After receiving an EDN or notice from the Court of an error or mis-filed pleading, all e-filers have 72 hours in which to correct the error.

GENERAL INFORMATION

1. When a user files a pleading with the court does the system automatically serve the other parties or does the user have to do something extra to serve the others? And, do the other parties just get notification of a filing or do they get the actual document?

ANSWER: When a document is filed in CM/ECF, a Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) is automatically generated and e-mailed to only those who have registered for ECF and/or requested NEF in the case, as well as to any registered user who has requested to receive NEF 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 document(s) filed. All recipients will receive one free look at the document.  The court will have a local rule or administrative procedure authorizing service through CM/ECF, the automatic sending of the NEF with the hyperlink will constitute service on all parties registered for electronic-filing with the court. The filer (including the court filer) is responsible for serving the parties who are not registered for electronic-filing in a manner authorized by the federal rules of procedure. Actions commencing contested matters, Lift Stay Motions and adversary proceedings for example, must be served by first class mail.

2. How does the court handle documents that cannot be rendered into PDF format?

ANSWER:  Documents that cannot be scanned (due to oversized pages, poor quality or excessive length) can be maintained in a paper file. The corresponding docket entry for such documents would contain a note stating that the document is in hard copy format for viewing in the Clerk’s Office (Bulky Pleading).

3. How does the court accommodate counsel who have no computer?

ANSWER: Counsel may use the equipment in the Clerk's Office room 1225 or U. S. District Court’s Lawyer lounge on the 4th floor of the courthouse.

4. How does a user file a multi-part motion?

ANSWER: Under the 'Motion/Applications' category, the user can select one or more events by holding down the control key and clicking on each desired event. Each relief sought requires a separate proposed order.