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ECF E-Filing Tutorial

This tutorial walks you through the procedural steps required to electronically file documents (e-file) in a case. Here we focus on one type of event or action rather than an exhaustive list of events available to you in ECF.

Logging into ECF

  1. You must have the ECF username and password that was provided to you in two emails from the ECF_Help_Desk.
  2. Go to the court website at https://cand.uscourts.gov/.
  3. Click the CM/ECF logo which looks like this:
  4. This will take you to the page titled, ECF Information. We suggest that you bookmark this page as it contains information about your e-filing account and the e-filing process. In the right portion of the screen, click the Log in to CM ECF icon.
  5. Enter your ECF User Name in the Login field.
  6. Enter your ECF Password in the Password field.
  7. Ignore the Client Code field.
  8. Click the “I understand that, if I file, I must comply with the redaction rules.  I have read this notice.” checkbox to confirm that you have reviewed and understand your responsibility regarding redacting sensitie information.
  9. Click Login.

E-filing a Document

A blue navigation bar displays at the top of the ECF application.  You should see headings for Civil, Criminal, Query, Reports, Utilities, Search, and Logout. If you do not see the Civil and Criminal headings, click Logout and re-enter the ECF login credentials that were sent to you.

You have two options to begin the e-filing process.

Option 1

  1. Begin by clicking the Search heading.
  2. This provides a Search Menus and Events box where you can perform a keyword search.  Enter keywords related to the type of filing you wish to submit and click Search.
  3. ECF will return results of all the Events that match your search criteria.  An Event is a collection of code that creates specific types of docket entries.  Click on the Event you wish to use.  If you do not see what you are looking for, try a different keyword.
  4. Follow the instructions beginning with Step 5 in Option 2.

Option 2

  1. Begin by clicking on the Civil heading.
  2. A list of available categories and subcategories will appear. In this example, look under Motions and Related Filings and select Motions – General.
  3. Clicking Motions – General, takes you to a page where you select an Event.  Either scroll through the alphabetical list of events, or click in the “Start typing to find an event” box and begin typing keywords.  The Available Events will display events with matching text strings.
  4. Click on the Event you wish to use in the Available Events list. That event will populate the Selected Events box on the right.  If you selected an Event in error, click on the Event in the Selected Events list to remove it from the list and select another option from the list of Available Events.
  5. To confirm your Event selection, click Submit.
  6. On the Motions screen, your Civil Case Number should automatically populate the field.  If you are involved in more than one case, you will see a drop-down list of all cases in which you can e-file. Choose the appropriate case number and click Submit.
  7. On the next screen, you will see your hyperlinked case number. Do not click on the blue case number.  If you do, you will be taken to PACER to view your docket sheet. Instead, click Submit.
  8. On the next screen, click on your name in the Select the Party box and click Next.  Do not click on the entries on the left side of the screen.
  9. ECF only accepts PDF documents. Click Choose File and upload your PDF document.  Without a document, you will not be able to move forward with your filing. Click here if you need support finding your documents in Windows 10.
  10. If you have additional documents to upload, use the Attachments section. Click Choose File and upload another PDF document. Click the adjacient Category and choose the best match for the type of document.
  11. If there is not a Category that meets your needs, you may type a Description of the document in the field designated for that purpose.
  12. When you are done uploading documents, click Submit.
  13. Some events allow you to link your entry to a previous entry in your case. If you choose to link your filing, the following screen will provide the option to link your current submittion to an existing filing.  To do so, click the “Should the document you are filing link to another document in the case” check box.
  14.  If you do not wish to link your filing, be sure the “Should the document you are filing link to another document in the case” check box is NOT checked.
  15. After making your selection, click Submit.
  16. You have the option to add text to your docket entry. Type any text that is relevant to your filing in the text box or forgo this step and click Submit.
  17. You must click the final Submit button on the screen with the red Attention!! notification to complete your filing.  If you do not complete this step because you wish to start over, or you are unable to finish your filing, your document will not be uploaded to your case.
  18. Your document and docket entry will be uploaded to your case docket.