Administrative Procedures

I. General Electronic Filing Requirements

A. Definition of “Electronic Filing"

“Electronic filing” means uploading a pleading or document from the registered user’s computer using the Court’s Internet-based Electronic Case Filing System (“ECF” or “System”) to file that pleading or document in the Court’s case file. Unless otherwise provided in these Administrative Procedures (“Procedures”), the Court’s Local Rules, or Court order, sending a document or pleading to the Court via e-mail does not constitute “electronic filing.”

B. Attorneys

1. Electronic Filing Required: All attorneys appearing in this Court must file, sign, and verify documents using ECF. See L.B.R. 5005-1. To become a “Filing User,” an attorney must register to access ECF in accordance with these Administrative Procedures.
2. Requests to File Non-Electronically: An attorney may be excused from the electronic filing requirement in a specific case for good cause or as otherwise provided in the Court’s local rules. Requests to file non-electronically must be made in writing and set forth: (1) good cause to file and serve pleadings non-electronically; (2) why the attorney is unable to comply with L.B.R. 5005-1; (3) what steps have been taken to comply; and (4) how long compliance will take. Requests will be determined by the presiding judge.
3. Counsel Appearing Pro Hac Vice: Counsel admitted to appear pro hac vice must register for electronic filing or request to file non-electronically within ten days of the order so admitting. This requirement does not apply if the attorney is associated with local counsel who is registered as a Filing User and will be responsible for all filings with the Court.

C. Self-Represented (Pro Se) Parties

1. General Rule: Unless otherwise required by court order or these Procedures, individuals appearing without an attorney are not required to file electronically.
2. Requests to file electronically: An individual appearing without an attorney may request to file documents electronically. These requests will be determined by the presiding judge. If the request is granted, the individual must comply with these Procedures, the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, the Court’s local rules, and any other requirements imposed by the presiding judge.

D. Official Case File

Except as otherwise provided by these Procedures or other applicable laws or rules, the Clerk’s Office will not maintain a paper file in any case assigned to the ECF System. The official court record is the electronic file maintained on the Court's server.

II. Registration for the Electronic Filing System

A. Full Access User Registration

1. Individuals wishing to have Full Access to the ECF System must complete and sign the appropriate registration form. The Registration form is available on the Court’s website under Court Info, Case Management/Electronic Case Filing, Electronic Filing - Registration. A copy of the signed registration form must be attached as a PDF document when registering through the Court’s website.
2. Training Requirement/Waiver of Training: To receive an ECF password as a Full Access User, individuals must either attend the Court’s required ECF training or apply for a waiver of the training requirement. A waiver may be requested on the registration form and may be granted for persons who are a Full Access User in another court’s ECF system.
3. Filing Agent Access. A Full Access User (typically an attorney) can set up additional access for staff members. This level of access (known as Filing Agent Access) should be used instead of sharing the Full Access User’s password. Filing Agent Access allows the staff member to file documents electronically on behalf of the Full Access User. The Filing Agent Access is associated with the Full Access User who created that access. The Full Access User is responsible for maintaining Filing Agent Access and is required to make changes as needed. Information on setting up Filing Agent Access can be found here: PAMB Filing Agent Access

B. Limited User Registration

1. Limited User access is typically available for creditors, law firms, auditors, transcription companies and personal financial management providers. Limited User access also may be made available to others in appropriate circumstances as determined by the presiding judge. A Limited User login provides filing users with limited access to the ECF system. A Limited User is unable to file certain type of documents, including motions, answers, objections, etc. Limited Users can only file the documents listed here.
2. Individuals wishing to become a Limited User must complete, sign, and submit the Application for Limited Use Password form. The form is available on the Court’s website under Court Info, Case Management/Electronic Case Filing, Electronic Filing - Registration.
3. Limited Users may, but are not required to, attend the Court’s ECF training course.

C. E-mail Address Requirements

1. E-mail address confirmation upon registration: To ensure the Clerk's Office has the correct Filing User's e-mail address in the System, upon completion of the registration form and any required training, the Filing User’s login and password will be sent via e-mail.
2. Maintaining a Valid E-Mail Address: Each Filing User is responsible to ensure there is a valid e-mail address in his/her user record. The Clerk’s office does not monitor undeliverable e-mails. A Filing User that does not maintain a valid e-mail address may not receive System generated Notices of Electronic Filing (“NEFs”) (see below for more information about NEFs).

D. System Passwords and Security

1. Password Security. A Filing User must create a strong password that is at least eight characters long and includes both uppercase and lowercase letters and at least one digit or special character. Passwords should not be shared with others. To have staff members file on behalf of a Full Access User, the Full Access User’s password should not be shared; rather, Filing Agent Access should be set up for the staff member(s). If an employee of the Filing User leaves his/her employment, the Filing User must change his/her password (if the password was shared) and/or delete the employee’s associated Filing Agent Access.
2. Multiple Passwords: Each Filing User is entitled to one or more ECF passwords. Because ECF can only display one street address per password, an attorney with more than one office location may obtain a separate password for each office.
3. Malware Detection and Removal: All Filing Users must install and update Anti-Virus software at all locations from which CM/ECF is accessed. All files must be checked for malware before being submitted for filing in the ECF System.

E. Information Changes/Change of Employment

If any of the information on the Registration Form changes, e.g., name, mailing address, e-mail address, etc., the Filing User must update that information in the ECF system. See L.B.R. 9010-1. If an attorney is leaving his or her firm and any clients are remaining with the firm, the firm must comply with L.B.R. 9010-1(d).

F. Case Access Termination

Only those Filing Users who have an active Filing User Account with a valid e-mail address will receive NEFs. If an individual Filing User’s access has been terminated in a specific case, then he/she will not receive NEFs.

III. Electronic Filing and Service of Documents

A. Document Legibility

Before filing a document with the court, a Filing User must verify its legibility.

B. Timeliness of Electronic Filings

Filing a document electronically does not change the filing deadline for that document. Filing must be completed before midnight Eastern Standard Time to be considered timely filed that day.

C. Service

(see Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7005, Fed. R. Civ. P. 5(b)(3), Local Rule 9013-2 and Miscellaneous Order 5:05-mp-50007).
1. Whenever a pleading or other paper is filed electronically in accordance with these Procedures, the System generates a Notice of Electronic Filing (“NEF”) that is e-mailed to the Filing User and any other Filing User in that case. If the recipient is a Filing User, the NEF is the equivalent of service of the pleading or other paper by first class mail, postage prepaid.
2. The foregoing paragraph does not apply to papers that are required to be served in accordance with Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7004. See, e.g., Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3007(a)(2)(A), 3012(b), 4003(d), 5009(d), 7004, 9014.
3. Parties who are not Filing Users must be provided notice and/or service of any electronically filed pleading or other document in accordance with the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and the local rules.
4. A certificate of service must be included with all documents filed electronically indicating that service was accomplished through the NEF for parties and counsel who are Filing Users and indicating how service was accomplished on any party or counsel who is not a Filing User. See Local Rule 9013-2.
5. A Filing User may request the discontinuation of service by electronic notice in a particular bankruptcy case or adversary proceeding by making the appropriate docket entry. Upon receipt of the request, the Filing User will be administratively terminated in that particular case for the purpose of receiving notices. The Filing User will no longer receive an NEF and will not receive notice by first class mail. A Request to Discontinue Service of Notices form is available on the Court’s website.

D. Signatures

1. Local Rule 5005-1 addresses Electronic Filing and Signing. Rule 5005-1(a)(3) applies to all filings, including any documents that require verification. In addition to the requirement of that rule, the attorney of record or the party originating any document that is electronically filed must maintain the original signed document. The original must be made available upon request of the Court.
2. Electronically filed documents must include a signature block for the Filing User and set forth the name, address, telephone number and, where applicable, the attorney’s state bar registration number.
3. Multiple Signatures: Documents requiring signatures of more than one party must be electronically filed by: (1) submitting a scanned document containing all necessary signatures; (2) representing the consent of the other parties on the document; or (3) in any other manner approved by the Court.

E. Fees Payable to the Clerk's Office

1. Non-debtor ECF Users must pay all filing fees due using the Internet Credit Card payment system.
2. If a case filing fee is to be paid in installments, the Filing User should electronically file a separate application to pay in installments when filing the bankruptcy petition. Such cases must not be filed using the Case Upload feature of ECF because that feature requires full payment.

F. Orders and Notices Issued by the Court

1. The Clerk’s Office will electronically file all signed orders and all notices.
2. Any order filed electronically without the original signature of a judge but with the judge's electronic signature has the same force and effect as if the judge had affixed his/her signature to a paper copy of the order. The Court may enter standard orders to grant or deny motions. Orders also may be in the form of a text-only docket entry.
3. Upon entry of an order or court notice, an NEF will be transmitted to Filing Users. This NEF constitutes the notice required by F.R.B.P. 9022 and/or 9036. Except for debtors participating in Debtor Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing (DeBN), notice will be given to non-Filing Users in paper format.

G. Proposed Orders Submitted to the Court

Proposed orders must be e-filed with the respective pleading in revisable pdf format. Guidelines can be found here.

H. Title of Docket Entries

Filing Users are responsible for designating a docket entry title for the document by using one of the docket events prescribed by the Clerk’s Office. Please see the Court’s Filing Instructions and the Guide to Docketing & Noticing.

I. Exhibits to Pleadings

Exhibits must be docketed as an attachment to the pleading (see section below on File/Document Size Limitations).

J. Creditor Matrix

Filing Users must upload the creditor matrix into ECF in a text (.txt) format. The creditor matrix must comply with the formatting requirements set forth here and the docket entry instructions found here.

K. File/Document Size Limitations

No single docket entry (meaning the main document together with any exhibits) can exceed 50 MB. If the main document together with any attachments exceeds 50 MB, the files must be subdvided and filed using multiple docket entries.

L. Correcting Documents Filed in Error

A document incorrectly filed in a case may be the result of uploading the wrong .pdf file to a docket entry, selecting the wrong document entry from the menu, or entering the wrong case number. As soon as possible after an error is discovered, the Filing User must amend or withdraw the document filed in error. Filing Users cannot make changes to a document or docket once the transaction has been accepted by the System.

M. Technical Failures

Technical failures are governed by L.B.R. 5005-3 and 5005-4.

N. Privacy Protection for Filings with the Court

All Filing Users must comply with the privacy protection requirements of Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9037 and L.B.R. 9037-1.

IV. Public Access to the System

A. Public Access at the Court

Electronic access to the electronic docket and documents filed in the System is available for viewing to the public at no charge at the Clerk's Office during regular business hours. A fee for a paper copy of an electronic document is required in accordance with 28 U.S.C. §1930.

B. Internet Access

Except as provided in the above paragraph, electronic access to the ECF System for viewing purposes is limited to subscribers to the Public Access to Court Electronic Records ("PACER") System. Subject to certain exceptions, fees are charged for remotely accessing certain case information. Additional information on remote access and applicable fees can be found at www.pacer.gov.