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File a Case

Find instructions on filing federal case records electronically and other information about CM/ECF, the application courts use to maintain electronic case files.

Need to file a case in federal court using CM/ECF? Get started. 

Want more specific court information about CM/ECF including help desk numbers and maximum pdf file size? Look up the court you wish to file in.

Review CM/ECF release notes, access to automated scripts, and other information needed to extend the functionality of CM/ECF

Is your court migrating to NextGen CM/ECF? Follow these steps to prepare in advance.

 Frequently Asked Questions

Once your court implements the NextGen CM/ECF system, you will be required to use your PACER account for all courts.

Because each bankruptcy and district court assigns the login for filing credentials in the CurrentGen CM/ECF system, it is not possible to obtain a universal filing login in these court types. However, some courts allow you to request a particular login and password when you register, so you may be able to use the same filer login for many courts.
 

Please verify that your username and password are correct

PACER and the PACER Case Locator require that cookies and JavaScript are enabled in your browser. Confirm you do not have a corrupt cookie stored on your system. Delete all cookies stored on your system by clearing your cache and try again. 

A nature of suit code is a tool for categorizing the types of cases filed in the federal courts. This code is the basis of all federal caseload statistics produced by the federal Judiciary. Review a list of nature of suit codes (pdf). 

There are a few reasons this issue may be occurring. 

The PDF may be form-fillable and needs to be flattened so that it cannot be edited or altered by other users. To do this: 

  1. Open a fillable form and add the necessary data.  

  1. Click File and select Print. 

  1. Select a PDF printer and click OK or Print.  

  1. In the pop-up window, select where to save the "flattened" version of the form. 

  1. Click Save and file the form in CM/ECF. 

Another issue may be the size of the document. Check if your document is not larger than the maximum file size permitted for that court. In addition, make sure the PDF does not contain marks or logos with links to the site of the company that developed the product, as the court will not accept these files. 

To prevent users from editing your form fields in a fillable PDF, you must "flatten" or lock the form before saving. 

  1. Open a fillable form and add the necessary data.  

  1. Click File and select Print. 

  1. Select a PDF printer and click OK or Print.  

  1. In the pop-up window, select where to save the "flattened" version of the form.  

The document should now be "flattened" and cannot be altered.