Frequently Asked Questions
What is CMECF?
CM/ECF -- the Case Management/Electronic Case Files project -- is a joint project of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts and the federal courts to replace existing case management systems with a new system based on current technology, new software, and increased functionality. This new system will give federal courts the ability to maintain electronic case files and offer electronic filing of court documents over the Internet.
What does CM/ECF provide for attorneys and the public?
CM/ECF offers a number of benefits for attorneys and the public:
1. Case information, including the docket sheet and the filed documents, is available for viewing and downloading to attorneys and the public at any time from locations other than the courthouse, via the Internet through the PACER system at a cost of ten cents per page. ATTORNEYS AND PARTIES ARE PROVIDED FREE ACCESS ONE TIME TO DOCUMENTS FILED ELECTRONICALLY IN THEIR CASES.
2. Parties, the Judge, Court staff and the Public can review the case file simultaneously.
3. At the court's option, registered attorneys can file case documents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, over the Internet, with no additional filing fees. Attorneys can file case documents from their offices or homes right up to the filing deadline, without worrying about postage, messenger services or traffic congestion.
4. Attorneys filing over the Internet automatically create docket entries, and docket sheets are updated immediately when documents are filed.
5. An automatic verification, in the form of a "Notice of Electronic Filing," is sent by e-mail to the filer immediately after filing.
6. Parties to litigation can receive immediate notice by e-mail of activity in their case that contains a hyperlink to the filed document.
7. Since CM/ECF uses Internet standard software, the out-of-pocket cost of participation for attorneys is typically very low.
Who may file documents on CMECF systems?
Filing a document into CM/ECF requires a login and password. In the Northern District of Mississippi, only registered attorneys, as officers of the court, are permitted to file electronically as noted Administrative Procedures (Section 1 B, p3) . Pro Se (Non- Prisoner) parties may consent to recieve documents electronically [Form 6]. Please See our Administrative Procedures for more details, and for a copy of the form.
Are there fees associated with CM/ECF?
There are no added fees for filing documents over the Internet using CM/ECF, although existing court document filing fees do apply. Click Here for a list of the fees assessed by the Northern District of Mississippi. Electronic access to individual case docket sheets and filed documents is available through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) program. Litigants receive one free copy of documents filed electronically in their cases through a link in the e-mailed Notice of Electronic Filing; additional copies are available to attorneys and to the general public for viewing or downloading at the current PACER cost of ten cents per page with a maximum cost per document calculated to be the equivalent of a 30-page document ($3.00). Transcripts of court proceedings and docket sheets are not subject to the fee limit. There is no charge to view court opinions and court calendars. As directed by Congress, the judiciary's electronic public access program is funded entirely through user fees set by the Judicial Conference of the United States.
Why can't I get into CMECF?
If you've forgotten your username and/or password please click here to request this information.
If not, be advised that CM/ECF has only been tested with Firefox versions 1.5 - 4 and Internet Explorer 6 - 8. Many users have reported success using other versions of these browsers, as well. Unfortunately, Safari is not supported at this time. Mac users may use the Mac version of Firefox to access CM/ECF.
If you are using a supported browser try deleting all your internet cookies and your internet cache and try again. Here are some detailed instructions on how to do this for many different browsers.
How much does it cost to file an Answer?
There is no charge for filing an answer in the U.S. District Court.
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 CM/ECF 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.
How much does it cost to file a Civil Action?
Please see the Fee Schedule for this information.
Is CM/ECF currently available?
Yes. The CM/ECF system for bankruptcy courts began implementation nationally in early 2001. The district court CM/ECF system began to roll out nationally in May 2002. Implementation of the CM/ECF system for appellate courts began in 2005. Over 41 million cases and 500 million documents are on CM/ECF 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.