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Case Filing FAQs and Common Errors

  • Solutions to Common Docketing Errors in CM/ECF




    Selecting a generic docketing event such as “Notice (Other)” or “Notice of Filing” instead of the appropriate, more specific event.


    CM/ECF includes a search feature on its toolbar. For example, if you are filing a Notice of Deposition, you can enter “deposition” in the search bar. Each event containing the word “deposition” in CM/ECF will appear. This process will assist you in identifying the correct docketing event.


    Selecting all defendants in a multi-defendant criminal action when the filing only pertains to one defendant.


    Ensure you select only the check box for the appropriate individual defendant’s case.


    Not selecting the correct parties when filing an amended complaint.

    When filing an “Amended Complaint”, you must select all appropriate filers (typically all plaintiffs listed on the amended complaint) and all parties against whom the amended complaint is filed (typically all defendants listed on the amended complaint).


    Duplicating docket text from the “Category” drop-down menu in the “Description” field when adding attachments to a filing.  

    When adding attachments to a filing, the “Category” drop-down menu allows you to select from several key words such as “Exhibit”, “Appendix”, “Affidavit”, etc. to describe each attachment. If none of the supplied words applies, leave that box blank. The “Description” field is for free text and will allow you to describe the attachment. Do not repeat words from the “Category” choice in the “Description” field.


    Selecting only the “Continue” event or the “Motion for Extension of Time” event in criminal docketing when the motion requests both a continuance of a hearing and an extension of time.


    Select both the “Extension of Time” and “Continue” events under the “Motions” category when filing a motion to continue a hearing and to extend deadlines in a criminal case.

    Placing an incorrect judge’s initials in the case caption of a filing after the case has been reassigned.

    Check the judge assigned to the case on the docket to ensure you add the correct judge’s initials to the case number in the caption of the filing.


    Not adding corporate parents or other affiliates to the case when filing a “Certificate of Interested Persons/Corporate Disclosure Statement”.

    When docketing the “Certificate of Interested Persons/Corporate Disclosure Statement” event, add the corporate parent(s) or other affiliate(s) when prompted. If there are multiple, be sure to add all of them.

    Not using the “Return of Service Executed” event in civil docketing when filing proof of service of a summons (often, these are filed incorrectly using the events “Affidavit of Service” or “Certificate of Service”).

    Use the event “Return of Service Executed” when filing proof of service of a summons. Use the “Affidavit of Service” or “Certificate of Service” event when filing proof of service of something else (e.g., subpoena, initial disclosures, discovery, etc.).

    Receiving the following error message after uploading a document to a docket entry: “Document is malformed or contains code which may cause an external action (such as launching an application). This PDF document cannot be accepted.”

    Use the tool “Sanitize Document” or “Remove Hidden Information” on the document using Adobe Acrobat. Re-save the document. Then, upload the document to the entry again.

  • When docketing, I am prompted to login again after each screen. Why is this happening?

    Your browser security settings are set to not accept a cookie from the ECF system.  You need to accept a cookie from the ECF server, otherwise it assumes you have not logged in or your cookie has expired.

  • How do I get a refund for duplicate fees paid online?

    Select Refund Procedures from the menu list on the left of this screen

  • What is the procedure when there is a large number of PDF files for a single pleading?

    When you have a large number of PDF files to attach, we suggest that you file no more than 20 - 25 files per entry.  This will help ensure your success.  If you have more than 30 files for a single filing, select the appropriate event for your first entry and attached the first set of PDF files. For each subsequent set of PDF files, select the Notice of Filing event which will require you to link back to your original entry and you will attach your next set of PDF files.

  • What are the rules and procedures regarding filing electronically?

    Rules and procedures for electronic filing can be found in Appendix H of the Local Rules.

  • Is there a limit to the number of PDF files that can be attached to a single entry?

    No, there is no limit.  We suggest that you attach no more than 20 files per entry to ensure success with your filing.  The more files that you attach will require more time to process.  If your processing time goes past the 30 minute window, you will lose your entry and must begin again. 

    When you have a large number of PDF files to attach, select the appropriate event for your first entry and attached the first set of PDF files. For each subsequent set of PDF files, select the Notice of Filing event which will require you to link back to your original entry and allow you to attach your next batch of PDF files.

  • Is there a size limit for a PDF file to be attached?

    All PDF files must be 30 MB or less.  If your PDF file is larger than 30 MB,  you will need to split it into two or more files so that each individual file is 30 MB or less in size.

    If your file is less than 800 pages and is over 30 MB,  it is likely you are scanning your file in either color or grey scale, or a high dpi (dots per inch).  Either of these options will create an unusually large file size.  We suggest that your scanner be set to 300 dpi or less, and set to black/white scan only.  You should only scan in color when it is appropriate and necessary for the document.

  • What types of files can be attached to a docket entry?

    PDF files are the only acceptable file type for filing.

  • How do I find the appropriate event to use for my pleading?

    The search feature will allow the user to search for keyword(s) and display all events in the system which contain the word(s).  Each of the displayed matches is a link to that event allowing you to click on that appropriate match and the docketing process for that event will begin.