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FAQs: CM ECF
How do I convert a Creditor Matrix (List of Creditors) to a text (.txt) file?
A creditor matrix is a list of creditors that contains each creditor's name and mailing address. This information is used for noticing and also for claims information when applicable. The list of creditors is uploaded to case's docket in the electronic CM/ECF system.
The list of creditors must be created in an ASCII file format and saved with the .txt file extension before it can be successfully uploaded to the CM/ECF system.
If you are creating the list of creditors from within a word processor, such as Word or WordPerfect, you must follow these specific directions to save the file as an ASCII text file:
- Using Word: Click on File, then Save As. Change the "Save as Type" to Plain Text or MS-Dos Text. Name the file. Click Save. This procedure will save the file with the filename that you typed, and add a .txt extension to the filename.
- Using WordPerfect: Click on File, then Save As. Change the File Type to ASCII Dos Text. Name the file. Click on Save.
The specifications for creating a List of Creditors are extensive. Be sure to consult the complete instructions for the creating the List of Creditors found in Form CSD 1007.
How do I get a login for CM/ECF?
Only attorneys certified by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court - Southern District of California can file electronically using CM/ECF.
To be certified and file documents electronically in CM/ECF, attorneys and their staff must be registered with the court and be trained. To learn more or to register for the court's training, visit our CM/ECF Training & Registration page.
For more information, contact our CM/ECF training Help line: (619) 557-7535.
I am having problems viewing Adobe Acrobat files or when I open a PDF file that states "Done"; nothing appears on the screen.
What are some keyboard shortcuts I can use in CM/ECF?
You can use the following keyboard shortcuts within the CM/ECF system:
- CTRL + A to select all
- CTRL + C to copy
- CTRL + V to paste
- CTRL + Z to undo previous action
- CTRL + P to print
- CTRL + Q to quit
What are the benefits of using CM/ECF to file electronically?
The CM/ECF system:
- Is easy to use
- Is available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week
- Is secure and reliable
- Reduces paper, copying, and mailing costs
- Sends e-mail notification of case activity
- Instant filing of documents
- Automatic e-mail confirmation for filers
- Simultaneous access to information by multiple parties
- Viewing, saving, and printing of documents such as docket sheets, claims registers, and reports
With CM/ECF, these are eliminated:
- Copy requests
- Waiting in line or calling to check when an item was docketed
What are the hardware and software requirements for using the CM/ECF system?
The CM/ECF electronic filing system requires the following hardware and software:
- A computer running a standard operating system, such as Windows or Mac OS X
- A Web browser. For CM/ECF, the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Internet Explorer are recommended. (Some users have had positive experiences with other Web browsers, but Firefox and Internet Explorer have been tested and certified for compatibility with CM/ECF.)
- Internet service
- A PDF-compatible word processor, such as Microsoft Word or Corel WordPerfect
- The ability to convert documents from your word-processing format to Portable Document Format (PDF). Word and WordPerfect can convert documents to PDF. Other software products (such as Adobe Acrobat) also can be used.
- The ability to view PDF documents using products such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available for free
- A document scanner, if litigants need to create PDF images of documents they wish to file
What are the scanning guidelines for CM/ECF?
For fast and efficient use of CM/ECF, it is critical that your scanning software for documents is correctly configured. The consequence of a poor or incorrect setup is a significantly increased file size that can be up to 20 to 40 times the size of a correctly scanned document. This enlarged file size can cause:
- Increased file storage requirements at the user's PC (as well at the Bankruptcy Court's server), together with a general slowness in handling these files.
- Increased network traffic both locally and through the user's Internet Service Provider, resulting in long file-upload times. The communications network may time out if the files exceed the recommended size.
- A very slow response time from CM/ECF as the user attempts to upload a large file. This may result in file rejection or a delay in obtaining a confirmation of successful receipt.
- A very slow download and/or file opening when attempting to read large files already uploaded in CM/ECF.
Follow these steps and checks to ensure correct scanner software settings:
- Resolution should be set to 200 dpi, or a maximum 300 dpi.
- Image type should be set to black and white drawing (NOT gray scale, NOT color).
- Scanned image output or "save as" format should be TIF (ideally compressed CCITT4). (Check your scanner software manual for information on how to set output type.)
A simple test scan should be made and the file converted to PDF for CM/ECF upload. This PDF conversion can be done using one of several software packages but a good example is Adobe Acrobat (the full package, not just Adobe Reader). Simply drag the scanned file onto the Acrobat Icon and conversion is automatic. This conversion should not significantly increase the file size.
To verify the file size, locate the file using Windows Explorer. Click on the filename to select it. Right-click the filename and select Properties. The file size will be listed. If your document is mostly text, it should be no larger than approximately 50 KB per page. At most, a very detailed page with graphics should be no larger than approximately 200 KB per page.
PRINT THIS PAGE AND SCAN IT AS A TEST! At 200 dpi this single page scans and converts to a 35 KB PDF file. At 300 dpi this single page scans and converts to a 52 KB PDF file.
What if the addresses on the Creditor Matrix (List of Creditors) and the Proof of Claim don't match?
Effective June 1, 2009, the Clerk’s Office will no longer update the List of Creditors (Creditor Matrix) to add any creditor’s address(es) that are reflected on a proof of claim and are not on the debtor’s mailing matrix (i.e., new, mailing and/or payment addresses). Parties should be aware when noticing to check both the Claims Register and List of Creditors (Creditor Matrix) for all address information.
To make changes to your address or update an existing address on the List of Creditors (Creditor Matrix), please visit our Web site for the appropriate bankruptcy forms. If you have any questions, please contact the court.
What is the maximum file upload size in CM/ECF?
The maximum file size for uploading to CM/ECF is 35 MB.
Which login should I use? CM/ECF or PACER?
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court - Southern District of California is a NextGen CM/ECF court. Users who wish to file electronically should use their PACER login.
To obtain a PACER login and password, visit our CM/ECF Training & Registration page.
To learn more about PACER and how to obtain a PACER login, visit the PACER Web site.