In the event that the Court is unable to accept electronic filings due to a scheduled or unscheduled failure or outage of CM/ECF (an "Outage"), the option of filing papers manually at the filing window always remains available and should be utilized whenever it is essential that a particular document be filed by a particular date. However, as it is significantly more cumbersome and time-consuming for the Court to process paper filings, we would prefer that attorneys limit the number of instances in which they file manually during an Outage. Please refer to the following guidelines for assistance in evaluating whether a given document should be filed manually during an Outage.
- You should file a hard copy of the relevant papers manually at the filing window if you need to commence a new bankruptcy case before the Court is again able to accept electronic filings ("Resumption of Service") or if, in the exercise of your professional judgment, you conclude that (a) applicable law requires that your client file a given set of papers before Resumption of Service in order for the filing to be effective or (b) it is not within the judge's discretion to excuse noncompliance with the applicable deadline. You might reach this conclusion, for example, if one of the following is true:
PLEASE NOTE: PARAGRAPHS (a) THROUGH (c) ARE EXAMPLES ONLY AND SHOULD NOT BE UNDERSTOOD AS AN EXCLUSIVE LIST OF THE INSTANCES IN WHICH YOU SHOULD FILE MANUALLY DURING AN OUTAGE.
- The paper is a complaint, a notice of appeal, a proof of claim, an election to opt-out of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, a motion to vacate a default or a motion to extend time to file schedules or other case commencement documents, and the applicable statute of limitations, bar date or filing deadline will run before Resumption of Service;
- The Bankruptcy Code or the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure establish a specific deadline for the filing of the papers in question that will run prior to Resumption of Service (e.g., a motion to extend the automatic stay in a second bankruptcy case pending within a year; a motion to assume or reject a lease of nonresidential real property; a complaint objecting to a discharge; or a complaint seeking to have a debt declared nondischargeable); or
- You need to file something in order to create bankruptcy court jurisdiction over a given dispute prior to Resumption of Service so that the Court will have jurisdiction to act (e.g., you need to file and serve an adversary proceeding so that the Court will have the jurisdiction to issue a temporary restraining order to preliminary injunction).
- If you conclude in the exercise of your professional judgment that the provisions of paragraph 1 do not apply, please observe the following guidelines:
- Filing: Except as provided in paragraph 2(e) below, do not file the document manually. Except as provided in paragraph 2(e) below, wait until Resumption of Service and file as soon as possible thereafter.
- Service: Serve the document by the applicable deadline imposed by the Local Bankruptcy Rules (or any other applicable rules) on all appropriate parties, including the judge, by the same method of service required or authorized under the Local Bankruptcy Rules and/or the Court Manual. If a given party to be served is a registered CM/ECF user who has not opted out of electronic service by NEF, you may serve the document by emailing a copy of the document to the email address that would have been used by CM/ECF to serve the document. However, be sure to prepare, maintain (and file by the deadline set forth in paragraph 2(e) below) a proof of service that accurately describes how and when you served these people. The stand court form for a proof of electronic service will not suffice as it does not include a section for service by email other that through CM/ECF.
- Judge's Copy: As you will not be able to attach proof of filing to the judge's copy at the time of service on the judge, please note on the front page of the document in the upper right hand corner, "NOT YET FILED DUE TO AN OUTAGE."
- Obtaining a Hearing Date: During the pendency of an Outage, if you elect to wait until Resumption of Service to file a motion, request or application, you may nevertheless select a hearing date from the judge's self-calendaring system (or request a date from the judge's calendar clerk for matters that cannot be self-calendared) for your motion, request or application and put the date, time and place of the hearing on the caption page of the service copies of the document, but be sure to serve your papers at least as many days in advance of the hearing date that you select as is required under the Local Bankruptcy Rules and any other applicable rules.
Absolute Deadline for Filing:
- Matters to be Set for Hearing:
- Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, if the papers that you have been unable to file electronically due to an Outage comprise a motion, application or request that is set for hearing, you must file those papers (manually, if necessary) not less than three court days before the date set for the hearing, or If your papers comprise a response to a motion, request or application,your hearing will need to be rescheduled.
- If your papers comprise a response to a motion, request or application, or a reply thereto - or if the paper you seek to file is a stipulation to continue or resolve a hearing2 - the deadline set forth in paragraph 2(e)(i)(A) above does not apply. Oppositions, replies and stipulations to continue or resolve hearings should be filed promptly after Resumption of Service, even if Resumption of Service occurs after the date scheduled for the hearing, but in all instances you must ensure that service copies, including the judge's copy, are served in a timely manner so that the judge and affected parties have an opportunity to review and act on these documents prior to the hearing even if they have not yet been filed.
- Matters Not Set for Hearing: If your motion, application or request is one for which there is no hearing, your papers will need to be filed, manually if necessary, on or before the date on which you need to have an order signed. The judge will not sign an order acting on or in response to a motion, application or request unless that motion, application or request has been filed with the Court.
1 The term, "Outage," as used in these guidelines refers to an instance in which CM/ECF is not functional and does to refer to an instance in which your office or your internet service provider is having technical difficulties and you are therefore unable to accomplish an electronic filing. If there is an Outage within the meaning of these guidelines, you will receive an email to this effect from ECF Support, advising you that the system is unavailable.
2 If you have reached an agreement with opposing parties to resolve or continue a matter, please notify chambers by phone as soon as possible, whether or not there is an Outage.