ECF Filing Tips and Terms

Item Filing Tip/Term Definition
Creditor Mailing Matrix When you create a creditor mailing matrix the information must be a .txt file for creditor upload during case opening. 

The creditor matrix must contain the mailing address of all appropriate parties. Each mailing address should not exceed five lines. If the address exceeds five lines, it will not be properly noticed by the court. To fix the address, you must make the appropriate modifications in the original software. 

Declarations When attaching a Declaration as a supportive document, the Declaration should be a separate .PDF file, and it should not be combined with the motion or application. 
Declaration of Electronic Filing 

CSD 1801

Definition: The required declaration of the attorney and the debtor’s acknowledgment of the case opening and filing of documents electronically.

Within 15 days of filing the petition, this form must be filed over-the-counter or electronically with original signatures in a scanned format (Declaration re:ECF (CSD 1801) or the case can be considered for dismissal.

When the court receives Form CSD 1801, it will be entered onto the case docket. The public will have access to this document from the docket report.

Defendant’s Attorney NEVER add the attorney for the defendant during adversary case opening. This will be done when the answer if filed by the defendant’s attorney.
Document Events Definition: The Document Event represents the document that will be filed electronically. The document events are listed either in alphabetical order or by category.

For step-by-step assistance, refer to the online procedures and select the event name.

E-Orders Definition: Orders submitted to the court electronically. The orders must comply with the local rules and must follow the Guidelines for E-Orders. Guidelines are available on the online manual.

E-Order templates must be used to submit electronically. If a template is not used, the court will reject it for compliance.

Signatures for attorney and parties must appear in /s/ with name on the appropriate signature lines of the template.

ECF Availability ECF is available 24 hours, 7 days a week, including weekends and holidays. The filing day begins 12:00 a.m. and ends at 11:59 p.m.
ECF Filing Menus The ECF filing system has two filing menus: Bankruptcy and Adversary.

Selecting the appropriate menu for the proceeding type will then display the appropriate categories to file the document. For example, when filing a motion, select the Bankruptcy or Adversary menu and then select Motions/Applications.

ECF Filing Screens The filing screens for most events are shown below. Prompts will appear when data fields (such as hearing dates, proof of service dates, etc.) are required for the filing.
  1. Case Number - enter the appropriate case number
  2. Party Filer selection - select the party filer for the document being filed.
  3. Document Event selection - select the appropriate event for the main document being filed.
  4. Browse field - attaches the .PDF file for the document.
    • Attachment to Documents - select "yes" to move to an additional browse field. Use only for supportive documents.
  5. Filed date - enter the document file date.
  6. Refer to Existing Event(s)? - select to link back to a related document.
  7. Modify docket text - modify text using the free-text boxes or the prefixes in the drop-down menu. Use only for pertinent information not already built in the standard docket text.
  8. Warning screen - verify before the docket text and the .PDF file are placed onto the court’s docket as a permanent record.
Email Notification of Filing Activity Users must set up email notification. When a document is filed in a case that you are participating in, you will be notified by email of the activity.

When you receive this notification, you can review the document (.PDF file) one time at no cost. No PACER fee will be charged.

Embedded Fonts Embedding the fonts in Adobe Acrobat will ensure that letters and symbols appear accurately and clearly on the .PDF file.

Embedding fonts in Adobe Acrobat needs to be done only once.

Fee Documents When filing a fee document, a summary of charges window will appear and allow you to select Pay  Now or Continue Filing.
  • Pay Now allows the user to pay the amount due.
  • Continue Filing allows the user to continue filing and then when done, pay the total amount shown on the summary of charges.
Filing Sequence When initiating a new action in the case (such as filing a motion or application), the new action should be filed first before any notice or supportive documents.
Internet Browsers We recommend that you use Netscape (the most current version) or Internet Explorer to access the ECF system.
Large .PDF Files A .PDF file should not exceed 8 megabytes (approximately 100 page). If the .PDF file exceeds 8 megabytes, consider dividing the .PDF file into smaller .PDF files. To check for file size, click here.

When filing the divided and smaller .PDF files, attach them as supportive documents.

Lock Out When the filing fees are not paid, the ECF system will lock you out.

If you are locked out of the system, no bankruptcy or adversary filing menus appear, you must pay the fees that are due to continue.

Log Out For security reasons, always log out of the system when you have finished filing.

The proper way to log out of the ECF system is to use the Log Out menu.

Login and Password Only one login and one password are provided for each attorney after he or she a successfully completes ECF training. After receiving the login and password, the attorney is now certified.

The login and password gives certified attorneys access to the ECF system for electronic filing.

This login and password are the attorney’s responsibility if they are shared with office staff. The login and password can be used by only one person at a time.

Main Document Definition: The document for which the document event is chosen. When attaching supportive documents, they become the second, third, etc., documents to follow. They can be viewed on the docket report as the assigned document number for the main document. When you click the numbered hyperlink, it will then display the main document number again and the subsequent documents.
Notice of Electronic Filing Definition: The Notice of Electronic Filing is your receipt (confirmation) for the filing. We recommend that you print the receipt or save it as a .PDF file for your records.

This notice can also be used in the event that an attachment, such as large exhibits, needs to be attached to this document. Attach the notice to the exhibit and bring the exhibit to the court. The court will scan the exhibit and attach it to the appropriate docket entry as on the notice.

Notices & Hearings Whenever a document can be filed in the Notices & Hearing category, the document must be filed as a separate docket entry. This category creates deadlines, due dates, objection periods, etc.
Original Signatures on Paper Documents Original signatures must be on the original paper document and must be retained in the attorney’s office until the Appellate period is over.
PACER PACER is used to access ECF reports. There is a charge for viewing all documents in ECF.
Party Role Type When adding a new party to the case, make sure that the "Role" type is correct. For example, if adding a creditor, select Creditor as the role type.
Plaintiff’s Attorney The plaintiff’s attorney MUST be added during adversary case opening. If it is not done, the issued summons will appear incorrectly.

If the issued summons is incorrect, contact the appropriate case clerk to correct it.

Plaintiffs and Defendants When opening an adversary case, always enter all plaintiffs first and then all defendants.

Remember to select the appropriate role type.

Refer, Link, Relate Documents to Main Document When filing case documents relating to another document, link it back to that document. The rule of thumb is to relate noticing, supporting and opposing documents to the initial document (usually a motion or application) unless the procedure states differently.

Linking documents back to other documents makes it easier to locate on the docket and in reports.

Signatures on .PDF Documents The following signatures are acceptable:
  • /s/name of signor on signature line
  • /s/ on signature line and name of person below signature line
  • scanned signatures
Social Security Numbers on Petition .PDF Files When filing any document in a .PDF file (such as the petition) always have the social security number redacted, as stated in the Privacy Rule, General Order 168.
Social Security Number and Case Opening Debtor information uploaded during case opening, either manually or via a debtor.txt file, must include the complete social security number.

The social security number will appear redacted on the case docket when viewed by the public.

Statement of Social Security Number 

Form B 21

Definition: The required document for the debtor’s statement of their social security numbers.

Within 15 days of filing the petition, this form must be filed over-the-counter or electronically with original signatures in a scanned format (Statement of Social Security Number (B21) or the case can be considered for dismissal.

This entry will be secured so that the public will not be able to view the pdf document from the docket report.

Supportive Documents Filing supportive documents and exhibits, such as Declarations and Memorandums of P & A’s , can be done in two ways:
  • Attaching to the main document at the time of filing.
    • The ECF document event for the main document chosen will display a question "Attach to Documents?" on the Browse field screen. Selecting "yes" will display another screen with a Browser field.
  • Filing as a separate docket entry.
Timed Out If the ECF system has been idle for more than 20 minutes it will automatically time out. To log in, type your password at the prompt.
Verifying .PDF File while filing When filing the document, we recommend that you verify your .PDF files. This ensures that the correct files are selected for the selected document events.