Case Management/Electronic Case Filing FAQ

1. What is the Case Management/Electronic Case File (CM/ECF) project?
2. What are the benefits and features of using ECF?
3. Who developed CM/ECF?
4. What hardware/software is needed on the attorney's end to use ECF?
5. What is Adobe Acrobat?
6. How is payment of filing fees handled for ECF cases?
7. How is the requirement of an original signature (attorney and/or debtor) handled for ECF cases?
8. Can an attorney authorize someone in their office (such as a paralegal) to use their login name and password to file documents in ECF?
9. How can I obtain current information and updates regarding the CM/ECF Project?
10. How does an attorney become an authorized CM/ECF user?
11. What ECF training and support is available for attorneys and others in their offices.
12. How does it work?
13. Can the general public view ECF cases and the documents in those cases?
14. Will any member of the public be able to use ECF to file documents?
15. What if I discover an error on the docket sheet in PACER?
16. What is a transfer/assignment of claim?

General Questions

1. What is the Case Management/Electronic case file (CM/ECF) project?

CM/ECF is a two-part solution to the judiciary's case management and filing needs. The system includes the capability for electronic files, including the ability to accept court filings over the Internet. CM/ECF allows all documents associated with a court case to be managed electronically. It supports the unique interests of different communities -- courts, attorneys and the public -- while providing a next generation case management system. Eventually the traditional case file will be a completely electronic "case file" that does not have any or very little paper.

2. What are the benefits and features of using ECF?

There are a number of significant benefits and features:

a) Registered attorneys are able to file documents with the court 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, from any location (home or office),

b) Public access to case information is available to all registered users (attorneys, parties and the general public) through the Internet. This includes the ability to view the full text of all filed documents and images,

c) Immediate e-mail notification of case activity to parties and court staff,

d) Secure storage of documents,

e) Immediate and concurrent access to case files,

f) Reduced need for physical file space,

g) Future ability to view archived files without retrieval from records storage facility.

3. Who developed CM/ECF?

CM/ECF is the key automation project in the federal judiciary. All software development for the project is done centrally, by employees of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts in Washington, DC.

4. What are the hardware/software requirements for ECF?

Hardware:

  • Personal computer (PC) with a standard operating system (i.e.Windows 95 (OSR 2.0), Windows 98, Windows Millennium, Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows NT (4.0 w/Service Pack 5 or 6));
  • 64 MB or more of RAM;
  • 115 MB of hard disk space;
  • and a CD ROM drive.
  • A Pentium (or equivalent) based processor is suggested as the processor speed of the PC could impact the response time of the CM/ECF application.
  • Macintosh with Mac OS X, 8.8, 9.0.4, or 9.1;
  • 64 MB or more of RAM;
  • 105 MB of hard disk space;
  • and a CD ROM drive.
  • Scanner for documents that are not available in electronic format.
  • Modem that is at least 56K, although high speed access is preferred. Connection can be made at speeds less than 56K, however response time may be less than optimal.

Software:

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher
  • Adobe Acrobat Writer software to convert documents from word processing format to Portable Document Format (PDF) or to save scanned documents to PDF. Note: The Adobe Acrobat Reader software that is available at no cost through Adobe's website http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html does not allow for conversion of documents to PDF.
  • Word processing package such as Microsoft Word or WordPerfect.

Internet

  • An Internet Service Provider (ISP) using point-to-point protocol (PPP). It is recommended that the provider be capable of a minimum connection speed of 56K. High-speed access (i.e. ISDN, cable modem, and DSL) is recommended for attorneys who plan to do a high volume of electronic filing.

5. What is Adobe Acrobat?

Adobe Acrobat is commercial software from Adobe that allows you to save your documents in PDF (portable document format). All documents filed in ECF must be in PDF format (with the exception of the case mailing matrix, which is required to be in txt format). Acrobat is available from commercial software retailers for approximately $200 - $300. Adobe also distributes a program called Acrobat Reader that allows you to view and print (but not create) PDF documents. The reader is available at no cost through Adobe's website at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html.

6. How is payment of filing fees handled for ECF cases?

Payment for ECF filings fees will be made by credit card.

7. How is the requirement of an original signature (attorney and/or debtor) handled for ECF cases?

The Court implemented Fourth Amended General Procedure Order (GPO) 2001-8 on May 1, 2007. This GPO and related Administrative Procedures for Electronic Case Files establish the practices and procedures for the filing, signing, and verification of documents by electronic means. Specifically, the use of an attorney's court issued password to file documents electronically shall constitute the signature of that attorney for purposes of Fed.R.Bankr.P. 9011. In addition, the Administrative Procedures require that every petition, pleading, motion, and other paper served or filed in accordance with the procedures shall be subscribed by the attorney signing such pleading or document with a facsimile imaged signature or an "electronic signature", e.g. "s/Jane Doe". Please refer to GPO 2001-8 for further information on signatures.

8. Can an attorney authorize someone in the attorney's office (such as a paralegal) to use the attorney's login name and password to file documents in ECF?

Yes, but the court recommends that such access be very limited and controlled since whatever is filed under that name and password is deemed to have the attorney's signature on it.

9. How can I obtain current information and updates regarding the CM/ECF Project?

Interested parties can visit the court's website at www.cob.uscourts.gov for updates on the project. In addition, you can contact Diane Hunter, at 720-904-7442

10. How does an attorney become an authorized CM/ECF user?

Attorneys must obtain the required hardware and software and complete a CM/ECF training class that will be offered by the Court. For more information on training options, visit our website at www.cob.uscourts.gov.

11. What ECF training and support is available for attorneys and others in their offices.

Please click here for our training options.

12. How does it work?

The electronic case files system accepts documents in a portable document format (PDF). PDF retains the way a document looks, so the pages, fonts and other formatting are preserved. Filing a document with the courtís CM/ECF system is quite easy:

  1. Create the document using word processing software.
  2. Save the document in PDF format.
  3. Log onto the courtís CM/ECF system, using a court-issued login and password.
  4. Follow the set of simple prompts to provide information about the case, party and document to be filed.
  5. Attach the PDF document and submit it to the court for filing (by pressing a submit button).
  6. Save or print the CM/ECF electronic receipt emailed from the court confirming that the document was filed.

13. Can the general public view ECF cases and the documents in those cases?

Public users will be charged to view ECF reports and queries. PACER accounts will be required and may be obtained by contacting the Pacer Service Center by telephone 8:00 am - 5:00 pm Monday-Friday CST at (800) 676-6856, or via its website at http://pacer.psc.uscourts.gov.

14. Will any member of the public be able to use ECF to file documents?

Access is available to authorized attorneys. Limited access is also available to other frequent users (e.g. creditors; taxing authorities).

15. What if I discover an error on the docket sheet in PACER?

Please e-mail the case number and a description of the error to our quality assurance team at cob_qa@cob.uscourts.gov.

16. What is a transfer/assignment of claim?

A transfer of claim is governed by FRBP Rule 3001(e)(2), the procedure to be followed when a creditor that has filed a proof of claim in a case sells or otherwise transfers its claim to another entity. Rule 3001(e)(2) requires the transferee to file evidence of the transfer and further requires the clerk to notify the alleged transferor by mail of the filing of the evidence of transfer. The notice sent by the clerk also must state that any objection must be filed within 21 days from the date the notice is mailed. No notice is required if the Transferor and the Transferee waive this requirement by attaching the supporting documentation when the Transfer of Claim is filed.

This filing requires a $25.00 fee for each assignment. Official Form B210A "Transfer of Claim Other Than for Security" and Form 210B " Notice of Transfer of Claim Other than for Security" can located at http://www.uscourts.gov/FormsAndFees/Forms/BankruptcyForms.aspx.

The fee will be assessed by bankruptcy courts upon the filing of the claim transfer, whether filed by a transferee or transferor. It will apply to Amended and Partial claims transfers as well. In the event multiple claims transfers are filed at one time by one entity the $25 fee will be charged for each individual claim transferred. This fee also applies to paper filed transfers as well.

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