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Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do first to get ready for NextGen CM/ECF being implemented at my court?

If you are currently registered to file electronically in a federal court that has announced it will convert to NextGen CM/ECF, you will first need an upgraded PACER account. 

Follow the steps on the "Get Ready for NextGen CM/ECF" page to upgrade your account. 

Register for a new PACER account if you do not have an account. 

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Certificate of Service is a statement certifying that the party filing the document has sent a copy of the document to the opposing party or attorney. Requirements for Certificates of Service vary depending by circuit. Contact the circuit to determine if there are local rules governing this process. 

Log in to Manage My Account and check your ‘Account Type.’ It should indicate you have an Upgraded PACER Account.  

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

The following rules authorize individual courts by local rule to permit papers to be filed by electronic means:

  • Rule 5(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 
  • Rule 5005(a) of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, 
  • Rule 25(a) of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, and 
  • Rule 49(d) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. 

The following rules authorize service of documents by electronic means if parties consent:

  • Amendments to Rules 5(b), 6(e) and 77 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 
  • Rules 45 and 49 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, 
  • Rules 25 and 26 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, and 
  • Rules 7005, 9006, 9014 and 9022 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy

The amendments do not apply to service of process.

Most courts have issued an authorizing local rule; most have supplemented the local rule with a general order and/or procedures that set forth the relevant electronic filing practices in that court. Individual court rules and procedures are generally available on their websites. Use the Court CM/ECF Lookup to find individual court website links.