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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

Each court has its own procedures and requirements. Check with the court website for more information.

You can make updates to personal information such as address, password, email notification preferences, etc. The process for making changes depends on your court's CM/ECF system.

For district and bankruptcy courts using the CurrentGen CM/ECF system:

  • In CM/ECF, click on Utilities and select Maintain Your CM/ECF account. 

For appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts using Next Gen CM/ECF:

  • Make updates through the Manage My Account section of this website.

Find out if your court uses the CurrentGen or NextGen CM/ECF systems.

The second login prompt is requesting your PACER username and password, which is required whenever you request a report or document from a case while logged in as an electronic filer. To avoid getting the second login prompt, you can store your PACER username and password. To do so, when you enter your PACER credentials, check the checkbox “Make this my default PACER login” on the CM/ECF login page. After checking this box, you will only need to use your CM/ECF credentials for electronic filing and for viewing documents via PACER.

When an attorney leaves a firm, both the attorney and the firm need to consider the implications to the CM/ECF noticing system. For district and bankruptcy courts that use the CurrentGen CM/ECF system, if cases will move with the attorney, he or she should change the email notification setup and submit a change of address to the clerk's office. Different courts have local rules and procedures governing this process, check the courts website.

For courts that use the NextGen CM/ECF system, this can be done through the Manage My Account section of this website. Different courts have local rules and procedures governing this process, check the courts website.

In the past, CJA users had separate PACER accounts for private and CJA work. This is no longer the procedure. You will use the same PACER account for private work and CJA work. CJA users can request that CJA privileges be activated on their PACER account by emailing In your email include your PACER account number and the district in which you have been appointed to the CJA panel. Learn more about turning on your CJA exempt status when performing CJA work in Current and NextGen courts.

NOTE: If you are logged in as a CJA attorney, make sure you are only doing CJA work. Exempt usage is closely monitored by the court, and you will be subject to charges if you are not doing exempt work.