HOW DOES ECF/CM WORK?
Federal CM/ECF is a case management system implemented in the Federal Judiciary for all bankruptcy, district and appellate courts. CM/ECF allows Courts to accept filings and provide access to filed documents over the Internet. The benefits are readily apparent; 24-hour secure access where Court dockets are immediately updated and available. This is a rare time where all courts (bankruptcy, district and appellate) in all states are using the same case upload system.
HISTORY OF ECF/CM
The Administrative Office of the United States Courts is moving swiftly to implement a case management/electronic case filing (CM/ECF) system in all district, appellate, and bankruptcy courts nationwide. The case management (CM) and docketing portion replaces the aging software currently used by most courts with a nationally-supported but flexible system that allows courts to customize its own docketing and reporting capability. The electronic case files (ECF) portion allows courts to manage documents electronically to whatever extent they choose, from allowing attorneys to e-file documents and create docket entries over the Internet, to having court staff convert paper documents into electronic form by scanning. It also provides 24-hour access to case files by judges, court staff, and the public in a reliable and secure electronic form.
PUBLIC ACCESS TO COURT ELECTRONIC RECORDS
The primary method to obtain access to electronic case files through the Internet will be through a modified version of the old Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER), called ECF-PACER. This new web-based system will contain both the dockets (a list of the documents filed in the case) and, after the court begins accepting electronic case filings, electronic copies of the actual case file documents.
To file electronically, a PDF (portable document format) file must be created, Adobe Corporation. These PDF files can then be e-mailed, uploaded, or mailed on diskette to the Court that requires the electronic filing.
Electronic Case Filing is not difficult. This Electronic Case Filing (ECF) Tutorial is designed for attorneys and law firm staff interested in learning how to use the CM/ECF system. Through guided practice, using simulated CM/ECF screens and actions, you will learn how to file pleadings and other materials using the CM/ECF system. We encourage your feedback.