What is Case Management - Electronic Case Files?

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia has implemented the federal judiciary’s automated docket and electronic filing system known as Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF). CM/ECF was developed through the Administrative Office of the U. S. Courts (AO) using Internet technology to provide federal courts a modern mechanism for handling information and moving closer to a paperless operating environment. The case management (CM) portion of the system replaces the BANCAP system. Not only is docket information viewable, but most documents and pleadings are viewable in their entirety as Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

HOW IT WORKS:  The electronic case filing (ECF) portion will allow trained attorneys and trustees to file bankruptcy cases and other pleadings over the Internet. ECF accepts documents in PDF. PDF retains the way a document looks - so the pages, fonts, and other formatting are preserved. Filing a document with the court's CM/ECF system is quite easy: 

  • Create the document using word processing software. Save the document using PDF software.
  • Log onto the court’s CM/ECF system, using a court-issued login and password.
  • Follow the set of simple prompts to provide information about the case, party, and document to be filed.
  • Attach the PDF document and submit it to the court for filing (by pressing a submit button).
  • Save or print the CM/ECF electronic receipt e-mailed from the court confirming that the document was filed.

CM/ECF allows attorneys to print case documents on their own office printers - no more pulling files and ordering copies. Docket sheets, claims registers, and many other reports are just keystrokes away with CM/ECF. Users may also opt to receive e-mail notification of filings in cases of interest.

 

BASIC USER COMPONENTS:

  • Personal computer running a standard platform such as Windows or Macintosh
  • Word processing software
  • Internet access and a browser
  • Software to convert documents into PDF
  • Scanning equipment

TRAINING:  Click here for more information.

FEES:  There are no added fees for filing documents over the Internet in CM/ECF. Existing document filing fees apply. Electronic access to court data is available through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) program. Attorneys and litigants receive one free copy of documents filed electronically in their cases. Additional copies are available for viewing or downloading at seven cents per page. Directed by Congress to fund electronic access through user fees, the judiciary has set the fee at the lowest possible level sufficient to recoup program costs.

SECURITY:   CM/ECF has many security features and has passed an evaluation by the National Security Agency. Access to the system is through the court-issued login and password.