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Frequently Asked Questions
Are there procedural rules relating to electronic filing?
Rule 5(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 5005(a) of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, Rule 25(a) of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, and Rule 49(d) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure authorize individual courts by local rule to permit or require papers to be filed by electronic means. Most courts that offer electronic filing have issued an authorizing local rule; most have supplemented the local rule with a general order and/or procedures that set forth the relevant procedures governing electronic filing in that court. Individual court rules and procedures are generally available on their Web sites. Rules 5(b) and 77 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules 25 and 26 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Rules 45 and 49 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and Rules 7005, 9014 and 9022 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure also authorize service of documents by electronic means if parties consent. The amendments do not apply to service of process. For more information, click here. Individual court rules and procedures are generally available on their web sites.
Amendments to the Federal Appellate, Bankruptcy, Civil, and Criminal Rules of Procedure address issues relating to privacy and public access to electronic case files. The Rules require that filers redact certain "personal identifier" information, such as Social Security or taxpayer-identification numbers, dates of birth, names of minor children, financial account numbers, and in criminal cases, home addresses, from their filings. Fed. R. App. P. 25(a)(5); Fed. R. Civ. P. 5.2; Fed. R. Crim. P. 49.1; Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9037. At login to CM/ECF, a message reminds attorneys of their responsibility to redact this private information from the documents they file. The most recent version of this reminder also requires attorneys to acknowledge that they have read the notice and complied with the redaction rules. Filers cannot complete the login process without checking the acknowledgement in this recent version.