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Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I learn how to file documents in CMECF and view them in PACER?
Each court that offers electronic filing will provide training. Filing documents in CMECF is easy; a minimal amount of training is generally all that is needed. Many courts also have developed user manuals for attorneys and other users, which are available on their Web sites. Please see our ECF training information here. A set of PACER training modules is available here.
What is a Grand Jury?
A Grand jury does not determine guilt or innocence, but whether there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed. The evidence is normally presented only by an attorney for the government. The grand jury must determine from this evidence whether a person should have formal charges filed by the government. If the grand jury finds probable cause, then it will return a written statement of the charges, called an indictment. Grand jurors sit on a panel of 16 to 23 jurors and generally serve one to three days every other month for one year. Grand jury terms may be extended if necessary. For more information, see our Introduction for Grand Jury Service guide.
How much does it cost to file a Civil Action?
Please see the Fee Schedule for this information.
How Much Will I Be Paid for Serving on a Jury?
The U.S. District Court will pay you an attendance fee of $50.00 per day (unless you are a federal government employee), plus travel expenses for mileage per mile round trip from your home. Jurors who earn in excess of $600.00 in attendance fees in one calendar year will receive a form 1099. *Mileage rate and subsistence are based on the current governmental Per Diem allowance.
Is CMECF currently available?
Yes. The CMECF system for bankruptcy courts began implementation nationally in early 2001. The district court CMECF system began to roll out nationally in May 2002. Implementation of the CMECF system for appellate courts began in 2005. Over 41 million cases and 500 million documents are on CMECF systems and more than 700,000 attorneys across the country are filing documents electronically.
How do I save my "One Free Look" ?
As you know, active CM/ECF participants receive an e-mail notification of all activity in each of their cases. The e-mail notification contains the "one free look" document promised as part of the CM/ECF program. Active CM/ECF participants are currently receiving those e-mails, and viewing those documents. It is advantageous for the recipient to save that document for viewing later without incurring the eight cents per page charge. These instructions will begin at the point where you are viewing the e-mail message containing the attached PDF document.
To be able to save the PDF document as described below, make sure that the Adobe program is opening in your Web browser, not as a separate window.
Click on the link to the document found within the e-mail.
- Once the document has opened in Adobe, click the disk symbol to save it to your computer's hard drive or to a portable drive.
- Click on the link to the document found within the e-mail.
How Long will I be On Call?
Petit jurors for the Northern District of Mississippi are required to: (1) be on call for a period of one month or (2) serve on one trial. You are instructed to call the automated juror information phone line or check online through the E-Juror program as instructed on your summons. You will continue checking for instructions as directed for the duration of your jury term. If you are selected to serve for a trial which exceeds the service period, you will be required to serve until the completion of the trial. Many of the trials in this Court are anywhere from three to five days long.
If you are selected to be on the grand jury, you will be required to serve for a period of one (1) year, reporting every other month (six (6) times during the year) with each session lasting from one (1) to three (3) days.