CM/ECF Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can the general public access CM/ECF to electronically file documents?
No. Only registered attorneys, trustees and limited filers are authorized to file in CM/ECF.
2. Can the general public view CM/ECF cases and the documents in those cases?
Access to view cases and documents in CM/ECF is available to anyone with a PACER login and password. There are also computers available at the Court for those who do not have a PACER account.
3. How are fees paid?
CM/ECF allows filers to directly pay filings fees through CM/ECF using the U.S. Treasury Internet credit card service, Pay.Gov. Additional information is available on the Court’s website.
4. Can an attorney add new attorneys from their offices to the database?
Only authorized court staff may add attorneys to the database as system users.
5. What is a Notice of Electronic Filing?
When a document is filed in CM/ECF, a Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) is automatically generated and e-mailed to the registered parties in the case. The NEF includes the text of the docket entry, the unique electronic document stamp, a list of the case participants receiving e-mail notification of the filing, and a hyperlink to the document(s) filed.
6. How many times may I access a PDF document through the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF)?
You may access the document the first time for free by clicking on the hyperlink.
Once you’ve had a “Free Look,” you may access the document again, however PACER fees will apply. The “Free Look” is available for 15 days from the date of the NEF. The link will become disabled after 15 days. Users are encouraged to save the PDF document onto their firm’s network drive or to the local hard drive for subsequent access.
Registration and Training
7. Must all users participate on online training?
Training is required for all Trustees, Attorneys, and limited filers unless they have already received training, Login ID and Password in another bankruptcy court district.
8. How do attorneys register for CM/ECF?
Attorneys, trustees, and limited filers must register online and either provide proof of proficiency in CM/ECF or complete an online training course demonstrating proficiency in CM/ECF.
To register, go to www.cacb.uscourts.gov, click CM/ECF Training and Registration.
9. Can my support staff (paralegal/assistant) use my login to file my documents electronically?
The attorney’s authorized staff may be allowed to use the assigned Login ID and Password. Attorneys cannot knowingly permit a password to be used by anyone who does not have authorized access to the program.
10. What should I do when my support staff (paralegal/assistant) entrusted with my CM/ECF login information leaves the firm or my employment?
Attorneys should immediately: 1. reset your CM/ECF password, 2. reset your email password associated to your CM/ECF account, and 3. verify that the departing staff’s email address is no longer associated to your login.
11. Can my support staff participate on on-line training?
Yes, attorneys and trustees’ are urged to encourage their staff to review the on-line Electronic Learning Modules. However, staff is not required to submit quiz results to the court for review.
12. Can Bankruptcy Court issued logins and passwords be used to submit electronic documents to the District Court or other Bankruptcy Courts?
No. Each Court will issue a unique Login ID and Password to be used for the sole purpose of filing in that particulate Court.
13. Are there separate logins and passwords for PACER and CM/ECF?
Yes. A PACER Login ID is required for querying cases and is provided by the PACER service center. A CM/ECF Login ID is required for attorneys to file documents electronically and is issued by the Bankruptcy Court.
14. I represent a plaintiff on an Adversary proceeding, how do I opt out of receiving email notification on the lead Bankruptcy case?
A new registrant may select to opt out of receiving electronic notification on the lead Bankruptcy case during the registration process for a CM/ECF login. Current CM/ECF users may contact the ECF Help Desk at ECF_Support@cacb.uscourts.gov to request an update to their profile. [NOTE: This election will stop all of the attorney’s e-mail notices from the bankruptcy case, as long as the attorney has no involvement in the main case. This is a global decision and applies to all adversary proceedings where the attorney is involved. In other words, this option cannot be on a case-by-case basis. ]
15. How can I update the email address associated to my CM/ECF login?
CM/ECF users must contact the ECF Help Desk at ECF_Support@cacb.uscourts.gov to request an update to a primary and/or secondary email address(es).
16. What are the hardware/software requirements?
For information regarding hardware and software requirements, go to www.cacb.uscourts.gov, click on CM/ECF Training and Registration.
17. Why am I having problems with my CM/ECF login and password?
Confirm the following:
- Are you using the correct Login and Password? There are separate passwords to access PACER and CM/ECF.
- Are you in the correct website? CM/ECF Live is https://ecf.cacb.uscourts.gov
18. I don’t like the login and password assigned by the court. Can I pick my own?
You may change your password; however, for tracking purposes, the ability to change your login has been disabled.
19. I am having trouble logging in. After I enter my login and password and then click on Login, a message appears stating I did not Logout the last time I used CM/ECF.
Some common causes of the problem are:
- You may have closed your Internet browser without properly logging out of the CM/ECF system during your last session. Frequently, the Internet browser memory retains the login information at that site, and continues to assume you have a session open. This can often be corrected in Internet Explorer by clearing your computer’s cache.
20. How do I clear the Cache?
Refer to the CM/ECF Attorney/Trustee Manual, accessible from either the CM/ECF homepage or via the Manual selection in CM/ECF, for information on how to clear your cache.
21. I cannot view a PDF document when using the link in my summary e-mail or when using my PACER account. What is the problem?
Try updating to the latest version of Adobe Reader. Also try downloading Critical Updates for Adobe.
22. Is Adobe Acrobat 6.0 compatible with CM/ECF?
Yes, Adobe Acrobat 4.0 and higher is compatible with CM/ECF.
23. Can I have my e-mails sent to more than one email address in my office?
Yes. When you register, you may indicate additional e-mail addresses to be added to your account. Thereafter, you have the ability to maintain your own email account(s) (refer to FAQ #15).
24. How do I know who will receive electronic notice of my document, and who should be served by regular mail?
The information can be verified, while in CM/ECF, through the following steps:
- Click Utilities > Mailings > Mailing Info for a Case > Enter the case number
- The information displays
25. Will there be a notification when CM/ECF is down for maintenance?
Yes. Registered users will receive e-mail notification of scheduled system maintenance.
26. How will signatures on documents be handled for documents filed electronically?
The signature line must also contain /s/ and the name where the Filer’s or User’s signature would otherwise appear in a signed document. For more information regarding signatures, please refer to the Court Manual.
27. Can CM/ECF accommodate recorded audio files (e.g. WAV files) as part of the case record?
Not at this time.
28. How can I make sure I do not attach the wrong PDF file when I am filing a document?
When you click on Browse to locate your file during the docketing process, highlight the filename, right-click and select “open” from the drop-down menu to open the PDF file. View the document and verify it is the correct PDF before you attach it to the docket event.
NOTE: It is imperative that each PDF file is opened and viewed prior to attachment.
29. How do I know when a document is deemed filed?
The date and time of filing is displayed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF).
30. Where do I locate the Notice of Bankruptcy Case Filing?
The Notice of Bankruptcy Case filing is located under Query of the CM/ECF menu bar.
31. What happens if a document is filed in error?
Email the ECF Help Desk at ECF_Support@cacb.uscourts.gov immediately after you discover an error has occurred. Incorrect entries or PDFs will not be deleted. Errors may be edited by court personnel only. A corrective entry by the Court may be required. An e-mail is generated whenever a corrective entry is made.
32. What should an attorney do if the document they are filing is not listed in the pick list?
First search for the proper event code, by selecting Search from the CM/ECF menu and entering the proper keyword. A list of event codes is displayed as a hyperlink under the various menus. If the event code is not in the pick list, choose the event most closely describing the intent of the pleading. Use the generic docket code only if you are unable to find a close match.
NOTE: Avoid using generic codes whenever possible.
Suggestions regarding docket events should be directed to ECF Help Desk at ECF_Support@cacb.uscourts.gov. The Court will review these suggestions to determine the necessity of creating new events.
33. When a user files a pleading with the court, does the system automatically serve the other parties or does the user have to serve them?
When a document is filed in CM/ECF, a Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) is automatically generated and e-mailed to the registered parties in the case. The NEF includes the text of the docket entry, the unique electronic document stamp, a list of the case participants receiving e-mail notification of the filing, and a hyperlink to the document(s) filed. If a party requiring service is not a registered user, that party will not receive the NEF, but will need service by regular mail.
34. What should I do if I accidently file a motion in the wrong case and the motion requires a fee? Will I be charged a second fee when it is filed in the correct case?
Yes, you will be charged the second fee when the motion is filed in the correct case. The motion filed in the incorrect case can be withdrawn by filing a Dismissal of Motion
35. If I submit a creditor matrix in PDF format with the voluntary petition, is that sufficient?
No. In addition to submitting the creditors’ matrix as the last document to the petition PDF, the creditor matrix should also be uploaded into the database in text (.txt) format.
36. Should I file the Statement of Social Security form with the electronic petition?
The Statement of Social Security Number form must be filed separate from the petition using private event code(s) Statement of Social Security Number(s) Form B21 or Statement of Social Security Number(s) Form B21 (AMENDED STATEMENT). The Statement of Social Security Number form must contain original (holographic) signatures.