In July 2002, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana implemented the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system. CM/ECF is a comprehensive case management system that allows courts to maintain electronic case files and offer electronic filing over the Internet. Using CM/ECF, courts can make case information immediately available electronically via the Internet. Eventually, CM/ECF will replace case management systems used by the federal courts across the country. CM/ECF enhances the accuracy, management and security of records, reduces delays in the flow of information and achieves costs savings for the judiciary, the bar, and litigants.
There are a number of significant benefits and features:
There is no fee associated with the electronic filing aspect of the CM/ECF system, which requires an ECF account. Additionally, an ECF-registered attorney will receive a Notice of Electronic Filing for each document that is filed in his/her ECF cases. If the document was filed electronically, the Notice of Electronic Filing will contain a hyperlink that will allow the recipient to obtain a free copy of the document.
Public users accessing the CM/ECF system through a PACER account are charged 8 cents per page for information obtained through the CM/ECF system. There is a cap of $2.10 charged for a single PDF document; however, this cap does not apply to docket sheets or reports. No fee is owed until a PACER account holder accrues charges exceeding $10 in a billing period.
The Southern District of Indiana offers the following CM/ECF training materials online; a tutorial, and CBT modules. A free, 1-hour, hands-on CM/ECF training class is held at the Indianapolis Courthouse once each week. Area law firms may also arrange to have a free ECF demonstration held at their firm. Please contact the Clerk's Office at (317) 229-3700 to sign up for CM/ECF training or schedule a demonstration.
For help with an electronic filing or an electronic notice from the Court's CM/ECF system, please contact the Clerk's Office (317) 229-3700.
For PACER questions and browser-related issues, please contact the PACER Service Center at (800) 676-6856 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central Time, or go to: www.pacer.psc.uscourts.gov
Yes, the public can access case data and documents in CM/ECF unless the case has been sealed by the court. The public access component of CM/ECF requires a user to enter a PACER login and password. Because a PACER login and an ECF login perform different functions, a filing attorney should have both. For those currently not registered with PACER, a PACER account may be obtained at: http://pacer.psc.uscourts.gov/register.html
No. Access to the filing portion of CM/ECF is available only to attorneys who have registered for and obtained an ECF login and password in the Southern District of Indiana. To obtain an ECF login and password, please submit a completed Attorney Registration Form.
For authorization to file documents electronically and to receive e-mail notices of documents that are filed, an attorney must be admitted to practice (either through standard or Pro Hac Vice admission) and register for an ECF account. Upon registration with the court, attorneys will be provided with an identification name and password that will permit access to the filing aspect of the system. Visit the Court's ECF webpage to obtain an Attorney Registration Form and other valuable ECF information. ECF training is provided by the Court at no charge. To schedule a training session or an ECF demonstration at a law firm, please contact the Clerk's Office at (317) 229-3700.
Once logged in, go to 'Utilities' on the blue tool bar at the top of the page.
NOTE: If a password is forgotten, please see "How do I reset my password"
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1. Return to the court's Home page and click on the 'ECF-PACER Login' link.
An attorney whose name, mailing address, telephone number, fax number or e-mail address (primary and/or secondary) has changed must notify the clerk’s office within 30 days of such change (see L.R. 5-3(c)(1).) Please follow the instructions to complete and/or file a Notice of Change of Attorney Information.
The CM/ECF system automatically generates a Notice of Electronic Filing (an email message containing a hyperlink to the document filed) whenever a document is filed with the court. This Notice is emailed to all ECF-registered attorneys of record for the case in which the document was filed. Recipients of the email notice may use the link within the notice to view the document that was filed at no charge.
ECF-registered attorneys of record in a case receive one free electronic copy of all documents filed electronically. Registered attorneys will receive a Notice of Electronic Filing (an email message containing a hyperlink to the document filed) each time a document is filed electronically using the Court's CM/ECF system. The hyperlink within the Notice of Electronic Filing may be used to view the document filed at no charge.
The Notice of Electronic Filing hyperlink will expire after the earlier of these two events: the first use or 30 days. Any time that same hyperlink is accessed after it has expired, the user will be asked for a PACER login and will be charged (10 cents per page) to view the document. All users are advised to print or save the document during the initial viewing period in order to avoid future charges.
The document within an email notification is accessed by a hyperlink. The hyperlink takes the recipient to a site which will allow the first viewing of the document to be free. The first individual to view the linked document will not be charged. If an email notification is forwarded without viewing the document first, the recipient of the email will be able to use the free-look. Anytime after the first viewing, a charge will be incurred to view the document. To avoid charges, the document should be saved to a local hard drive and/or printed during the first viewing.
Log into the CM/ECF system with your ECF login and password. Click on ‘Utilities.' Click on ‘Maintain Your Account.' On the screen titled Maintain User Account, click on ‘Email Information' at the bottom of the page. You can send additional notices to other email addresses by checking the box ‘to these additional addresses' and listing other email addresses in the box to the right. After completing the information requested on the screen, click on 'Return to Account Screen.' Click on ‘Submit.' Then, click on ‘Submit' again. You should receive a confirmation message on the screen that your email preferences were successfully updated. Make sure you keep your email address current, so you don't miss notices.
When an attorney leaves a firm, both the attorney and the firm need to consider the implications to the CM/ECF noticing system. If cases will move with the attorney, the attorney needs to change his/her e-mail address and follow the instructions to complete and/or file a Notice of Change of Attorney Information. If cases will remain with the firm, the firm will need to ensure that the Court docket accurately reflects the proper attorney of record and that the new attorney of record is properly set up to receive e-mail notification.
If an attorney receives an email notification that does not contain a hyperlink to the document filed, it is because the document was not filed electronically. Email notifications are provided for all documents filed in ECF cases, regardless of the manner (paper or electronic) used to file the document. The email notification will contain a link to the document if the document was filed electronically. A hyperlink may not be provided for documents that were filed on paper, as the filing party will be responsible for serving all counsel of record with a paper copy of the document.
Attorneys need the following hardware and software to electronically file, view, and retrieve documents in the electronic filing system.
Documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) do not require a copy of the word processing program used to create them in order to be viewed. They can be viewed by anyone who has a free Acrobat® Reader, a product of Adobe® Systems, Inc. In addition to its cross platform advantage, a PDF document matches very closely the format of the original document in which the PDF document was created. All of the pleadings in the CM/ECF system are stored in PDF format. To view PDF files, you must have a copy of the Acrobat® Reader software, which you may download free from the Adobe® Systems Internet website, at: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html
For more information about PDF documents, click here > PDF Tips
Write your document in Microsoft Word® or Corel WordPerfect® and when finished, click on 'File' > 'Print.' Select 'Acrobat Distiller' as the printer, then name your file, place it in the proper directory, and click 'OK.' The file will be created with a .pdf extension. In doing this, you are not actually printing your document to a printer, but you are saving it as a PDF file. To print a physical copy of the document, open the newly-created .pdf file and print to your local printer. Always print from this PDF file, rather than the word-processed file that created it to ensure that the paper and electronic versions are consistent.
No. There are dozens of different software manufacturers who have created PDF writer packages. In fact, some of them are available at no charge and can be downloaded with ease directly from the internet. For more information about creating PDF documents, click here > PDF Info.
Convert the document(s) to PDF before submitting them electronically. Then go to the Court's Website at www.insd.uscourts.gov and click on the 'ECF-PACER Login' link. Use the attorney's ECF login and password to access the CM/ECF system. Go to the Civil Events page using the 'Civil' link on the blue menu bar at the top of the screen. Click on the appropriate event category for the document that you are filing and follow the instructions on each screen.
To find out if opposing counsel is a registered e-filer and will be served electronically with a copy of your document, login to CM/ECF and follow these instructions.
CM/ECF has a Mailing list feature that will allow a user determine if opposing counsel is a registered e-filer and will be served electronically with a copy of the filed document, or to copy a service list for a particular case and paste it into a word processing document. To obtain the current mailing list for a case:
The Southern District of Indiana implemented the CM/ECF system on July 1, 2002. All civil cases filed on or after that date are maintained in CM/ECF and case participants are required to file electronically in those cases. Any civil cases filed prior to July 1, 2002 (with a few exceptions) and all criminal cases are still monitored through the Court's previous case management system, known as JAMS. Docket sheets for JAMS cases may be viewed online at no charge, however documents may not be filed electronically for JAMS cases. To determine whether a particular case is docketed in CM/ECF or JAMS, check the Court's Case Info webpage.
For help with an electronic filing during regular business hours, please contact the Southern District Clerk's Office at (317) 229-3700.
After hours, please consult any of the Court's online ECF resources for assistance with electronic filing.