FAQs

  • How many people at a time can view the same document image or the same report, such as a docket sheet, in a case?

    There are no limitations for either function.

  • How many users can file documents at once in the ECF System?

    There is no fixed limit.  Enhancements to communications speed and capacity are expected to be an ongoing task to ensure that we meet the needs of users.

  • Are there fees for PACER access?

     PACER is the system used to look up case information and run reports.  There is a charge for each screen viewed and page printed in the PACER system.

  • Is electronic filing mandatory?

    Documents filed by attorneys after August 1, 2002 must be filed electronically.  Parties who are not represented by attorneys may still submit documents in paper format.

  • Can the general public view electronic cases and the documents in those cases?

    Yes, there are public terminals in the intake area of the court for viewing of cases.  Also, anyone with Internet access and a PACER login and password can view cases/documents.

  • What are the benefits of electronic filing to attorneys, the public, and the court?

    Some of the benefits are as follows:

    • Full case information, including docket sheets and the full text of the filed documents, are readily available to everyone simultaneously without having to retrieve case records from the file room.  Attorneys, trustees, other government agencies, the public, and the court staff can also access this information at any time from any location with Internet access.
    • Parties can file and retrieve court documents 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
    • Attorneys, trustees, and the US Trustee receive notices electronically in ECF cases.  This eliminates the costs to those parties of handling and mailing paper notices. It also greatly speeds delivery and allows easier tracking of case activity.
    • Maintaining files in electronic form reduces physical storage space needs.
    • Since the ECF System uses standard Internet software, the out-of-pocket cost for participation is typically low; and, the amount of time needed to learn how to access and use the system is reduced for average computer users.

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