CM/ECF FAQ

TRAINING

If I was trained in another Court (or am e-filing in another Court), do I need to attend the training in PA-M?

Any attorney who has an active bar status and is currently e-filing with another Bankruptcy or District Court can, but is not required, to attend our in-house training. You will need to complete the appropriate ECF Registration form located on our website (www.pamb.uscourts.gov) on the CM/ECF Registration page in order to receive a Login and Password to our CM/ECF system.

 

LOGIN/USER ACCOUNT

Can my ECF login and password be the same as my PACER login and password?

No. The PACER Service Center has requested the courts refrain from allowing the same login and password as CM/ECF. Technical problems have surfaced as a result of this practice.

Can I have the same login and password that I have in another Court?

Yes. On the ECF Registration Form there is a question that states "If you are a filing user in another federal electronic case filing system and wish to use that login to our Bankruptcy ECF system, please provide it here." All ECF users are able to change their passwords.

What is the difference between a PACER login and an ECF login? Why do I need both?

PACER and CM/ECF work together. PACER allows users to obtain case information only from Federal Appellate, District and Bankruptcy Courts. PACER combines court data throughout the country into one location for look-up purposes. They track usage in their system and bills the user on a monthly basis. CM/ECF is a nationwide system used by the Courts. It allows trained users to file documents in the system electronically and grants rights to specific docketing or reporting functions in our data. Both a PACER and a CM/ECF login is needed.

Who do I contact if I am having problems with PACER?

If you are experiencing any problems with PACER, you can use their toll free number 1-800-676-6856 to get assistance.

What is the procedure if an attorney leaves a law firm?

If an attorney leaves a law firm, the attorney needs to update their ECF account with their new address, phone number and e-mail address. If the attorney will no longer practice Bankruptcy law, the attorney will need to notify the court in writing and the court will disable their Login and Password.

If any of the cases associated with the attorney are to remain with the firm, a substitution of counsel is to be filed by the new attorney in the firm handling the case.

How can I get a list of cases associated with an attorney?

To get a list of cases associated with an attorney, log into the CM/ECF system and select Query on the CM/ECF menu bar.  Enter the name of the attorney, select “attorney” from the Type selection box and click Run Query

Can someone with an ECF login still file documents in paper format with the Clerk's office?

E-filers are required to file documents electronically. If you are an e-filer and you continue to file paper documents, an Order to Show cause may be entered. Paper documents are accepted from pro-se parties. Non-ECF attorneys will be contacted by someone in the clerk's office to advise you of our mandatory electronic filing as of April 1, 2006.

Can I get a waiver from e-filing?

Non-ECF attorneys can file a motion in the case in which they are involved requesting a waiver.

DOCKETING/E-FILING

Are there differences in ECF between PA Eastern or PA Western and PA Middle?

Yes. All courts are able to customize the menus and docket events as necessary. So the appearance of the ECF system may be similar with all three courts, but the menus, docket entries and e-filing procedures may vary. The "Administrative Procedures for Filing, Signing and Verifying Pleadings and Papers by Electronic Means" and "Filing Instructions” are available on our website (www.pamb.uscourts.gov). You are encouraged to read them prior to e-filing with our Court.

Where can I find copies of the Official Bankruptcy forms?

Samples of all of the Official Bankruptcy forms are available on the U.S. Courts website (http://www.uscourts.gov/FormsAndFees/Forms/BankruptcyForms.aspx) maintained by Washington, DC.  There is also a link to this website on our website (www.pamb.uscourts.gov) on the Forms page.

How do I sign an electronically filed document?

Your log-in and password are your signature. You will be required to retain the paper document of certain things which require verification, in case you need to produce them in Court. To actually electronically file, you will use the s/ as your signature on the document and that's what will appear in CM.

What is a Notice to Filing Party?

The Notice to Filing Party is sent by the Clerk’s Office. The notice is received via e-mail by the Attorney who docketed the entry. The notice will contain a brief explanation of the error and what action should be taken by the filing party. Each notice should be reviewed and acted upon.

How do I file Correspondence?

Correspondence can be faxed or paper mailed to the Court. 

How do I attach a Proposed Order if I forgot to attach it to the motion?

Log into the CM/ECF system and electronically file the proposed order with the court by accessing Miscellaneous, Exhibit.  Additional text should be added to the entry indicating it is a proposed order and relate it to the motion.

How do I make a correction to a docket entry?

The docket entry can be withdrawn and refiled or amended.

Does a Certificate of No Objection need to be filed after an objection period runs on a notice I serve?

No. 

If I pay for the same pleading twice, how can I get a refund?

If you accidently pay for the same pleading twice, you can request a refund. You will need to complete the “Request for Refund” form, which is located on our website (www.pamb.uscourts.gov) on the Recommended Forms page.   Once the form is completed, electronically file the document with the court by accessing Motions/Applications, Refund of Electronic Payment.

 

What is the easiest way to check what I've docketed?

Go to Utilities and select View Your Transaction Log.

How do I clear the cache in my browser?

If you are using Internet Explorer, click Tools from the menu bar and select Internet Options.  Place a check in the box next to “Temporary Internet Files” and “Cookies” and click Delete.  Once it is finished, click OK to close the Internet Options dialog box.

If you are using Mozilla Firefox, from the FireFox menu, select History, Clear Recent History.  Select “Everything” from the range to clear drop down list and click Clear Now

Why can't I add all of my creditors when filing an Amendment, Proof of Claim or adding them through Creditor Maintenance?

When manually adding creditors into CM/ECF, either through Creditor Maintenance>Enter individual creditors or File Claims or Miscellaneous>Amendment to Petition/List of Creditors/Schedules/Statements, the creditor Name and Address box is a text area which allows a maximum of 250 characters to be entered. 

CM/ECF Release 5.1 was tested by the Administrative Office of the US Courts using Firefox 15, 16 and 17 and Internet Explorer 8 and 9

Newer versions of these browsers have been found to be programmed to strictly adhere to the maximum number of characters on this screen.  So the browser version you are using may be the reason why you cannot add all of your creditors. 

When this occurs, filers can do one of the following:

(1) Upload the creditors as a .TXT file via Creditor Maintenance>Upload list of creditors file;

or

(2) Add smaller quantities of creditors using Creditor Maintenance>Enter individual creditors until all of the creditors have been manually added.

Who do I contact if I cannot find an appropriate docket event for my pleading?

Click here to send an e-mail to the CM/ECF Event Help mailbox and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.  Please include a description of the document you are trying to file and the case number you need to file it in.

What is the procedure if the debtor does not have any Payment Advices?

Local Bankruptcy Form 1007-1(c)-Certification of No Payment Advices is available on our website (www.pamb.uscourts.gov) on the Local Mandatory Forms page.  Once the form is completed, electronically file the document with the court by accessing Miscellaneous, Employee Income Records (Certification of No Payment Advices).

 

E-MAIL

Is there anything I need to do if my e-mail address changes?

If your e-mail address changes, you must update that information in our system in order to continue to receive Notices of Electronic Filing from the CM/ECF system. To do this, log into the CM/ECF system and on the CM/ECF Menu Bar, select Utilities, then select the link Maintain Your ECF Account. The account screen will display with your contact information.  Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on E-mail information. The screen will display with your Primary e-mail address. Make any necessary changes to this screen and click Return to Account Screen.  Make any necessary changes to your contact information and click Submit.  If any of your contact information was changed, you will get a screen to search for existing party records, click Submit.  Then you will get a screen that has a drop-down box containing all of the case numbers and names that will be updated, click Submit.  If contact information was not changed, you will only receive one screen to click Submit.  The process is not completed until a  screen display indicating that the update was successful.

Why am I not getting emails?

If you have a spam blocker installed or if your inbox is full, you may not be able to receive e-mails. If your E-mail address has changed, you must update this information in your ECF account in order to avoid any disruption to your E-mail service.  To see what emails you did not receive, log into the CM/ECF system and on the CM/ECF Menu Bar, select Reports, then select the link Docket Activity Report.

How do I access my free look?

When you receive the Notice of Electronic Filing in your e-mail, click on the document number that has a line under it (e.g. 21) and the document will display.

Once the document has been opened, you have received your one free look.

The free look is not in the hyperlink to the docket (e.g. 1:09-bk-00109)

HEARINGS

What is Court Hearing Scheduler (CHS)?

Court Hearing Scheduler is used when attorneys are docketing specific docket events in CM/ECF that are setup to self-schedule hearings for notices attorneys are serving.  The hearing list consists of dates, times and locations that are predetermined by the courtroom deputy.  Prior to e-filing a motion, filers must access the Matter Hearing Dates (CHS) program located on our website (www.pamb.uscourts.gov) to obtain the objection and hearing information to include in their notice.  A demo of the Court Hearing Scheduler is available on the Self-scheduling Hearings page of our website.

What is CourtCall?

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania has arranged for attorneys to participate in hearings by telephonic appearance by using CourtCall, an independent conference call company.

Telephonic Court Appearance Procedures