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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

If you have two PACER accounts, upgrade your private account. Contact the PACER Service Center by email to move your existing exempt privileges. PSC staff will provide access instructions by email. Once this happens, your “CJA” PACER account will be deactivated.

Attorneys in a case are emailed a notice of electronic filing (NEF) in district and bankruptcy cases, or a notice of docket activity (NDA) in appellate cases. The email contains a hyperlink to the document and is sent when a document has been filed or when there is activity in the case.

Each attorney of record in a case or pro se litigant will receive an email containing a hyperlink to a filed document. One free copy is available to each party of a case (e.g. attorney of record or pro se litigant) and any secondary address on the email information screen within CM/ECF. The free copy does not apply to transcripts.

Yes. A fee is applied for accessing a docket sheet and for any documents accessed from the link on the docket sheet.

Each federal court maintains an appropriate use statement for filing logins. In addition to the local appropriate use guidelines, the following applies in all federal districts: Passwords are issued to permit electronic filing and entry of data. Extracting data from CM/ECF through any program, script, or mechanism other than those provided by the court is strictly prohibited and may result in criminal prosecution or civil action. Electronic filing privileges may be suspended if, in the judgment of the court, they are being misused.

Read the PACER Policies and Procedures