CM/ECF FAQs

  • When trying to view a PDF via ECF, I get the error message 'Out of Memory'.

    Adobe X was used to create the document sometimes resulting with this error in ECF. Best Practice before uploading any PDFs to ECF is: Open PDF in Adobe and save the file by printing to "Adobe PDF" as the printer creating a "flat file" and removing metadata. Access Adobe X scanned documents with the Out of Memory error, by unchecking "Include Headers..." when running the Docket Sheet.

  • Can I look up cases for the whole District of New Jersey in your division?

    Our computer records cover the entire district. Microfiche records for parties in cases opened between 1920 through May 1990 are available in each division for the entire district. From 1981 through May 1990 the microfiche are divided into case type (civil, criminal, Magistrate Cases, and miscellaneous).

  • Personal-Identity and Metadata Redaction Techniques for E-Filing.

    When you e-file a PDF document, you may be providing more information in that document than you can see via your PDF reader software. Some redaction techniques used when e-filing are ineffective, in that the text intended to be hidden or deleted can be read via a variety of techniques. And, because information about the document, called 'metadata', is also stored inside the document, it is often viewable as well. Examples of metadata and hidden data include the name and type of file, the name of the author, the location of the file on your file server, the full-sized version of a cropped picture, and prior revisions of the text. E-filers must use extra care to make sure that the PDF documents to be submitted to ECF are fully and completely free of any hidden data which may contain redacted information. The protection of sensitive data can be compromised if improper redaction techniques are used.

    Here are a couple of examples of sensitive-data visibility issues: Highlighting text in black or using a black box over the data in MS Word or Adobe Acrobat will not protect the data from being able to be seen. Changing the text color to white so it disappears against the white screen/paper is similarly ineffective; Previous revisions and deleted text may be able to be seen by manipulating an Adobe Acrobat file. Fortunately, there are effective means of eliminating this metadata from electronic documents. Probably the simplest method is to omit the information from the original document and save the redacted version with new name. For example, 'REDACTED', then convert to PDF. While the court does not endorse any specific method, and the responsibility for redacting personal identifiers rests solely with the parties, commercially-available software can be used to redact, not just hide, the sensitive information. Redax (www.appligent.com) and RapidRedact (www.rapidredact.com) are two examples of commercial products used by some. Adobe Acrobat 8.0 Professional and above and WordPerfect XIV both contain redaction tools. Search the web for references that may be useful to you.

  • I can not access a transcript even though I paid to view it on PACER.

    In order to electronically view a transcript, as an attorney for a party in the case, you need to purchase the transcript, once notified that access has been granted, the attorney must log in using their ECF login & password, click on the link Reports and then the Docket Report link, the attorney will then need to enter their PACER account information. If you are not logged into ECF you will be denied access.

  • If I set up an 'Out of Office' rule in my e-mail account does that affect ECF noticing?

    Yes, if you set up an 'Out of Office' message on your e-mail, please make sure that the e-mail address efiling@njd.uscourts.gov is set up as an exception to the automatic reply rule set up with your 'Out of Office' e-mail notice.

  • How many documents can I attach to one entry?

    There is no defined limit, but depending on each document size and the amount of documents, the system could 'time out'. The attorney will receive a blank screen near the end of completing his/her entry or an error message. It is recommended to keep the number of attachments in the area of 30-40 documents (depending on size). The attorney may need to make more than one entry as necessary to post all documents to the docket.

  • I do not see a link referred to in guides or by the helpdesk, such as 'Maintain Your Account' or 'Maintain Your Email'.

    If a link does not appear in your ECF session you are probably logged into your PACER account.

  • How do I get Electronic Noticing on cases where I am not the attorney of record?

    You may specify cases you would like to receive noticing on by logging into ECF, click on the Utilities link on the blue bar and then click on Maintain Your Account or Maintain Your Email. You can find instructions on our web site on how to navigate the screens under the CM/ECF link and then User Guide & Instructions.

  • How do I add other email addresses for Electronic Noticing?

    You may add or change email information by logging into ECF, click on the Utilities link on the blue bar and then click on Maintain Your Account or Maintain Your Email. You can find instructions on our web site on how to navigate the screens under the CM/ECF link and then User Guide & Instructions.

  • I was erroneously charged during efiling. How do I receive a credit?

    A refund of fees paid via Pay.gov shall be made in writing by application and filed electronically with the Clerk of Court. The application must contain the following information: Date of request, Full and Correct Name, Current Address, Reason for refund, Case Number, Date of Transaction, Receipt number or Pay.gov tracking ID number. Office of the Clerk, US District Court, New Jersey, 402 East State Street RM 2020, Trenton, NJ 08608, Attn: FINANCE DEPT. Upon filing, the Clerk's Office will review the application and, if appropriate, issue a Clerk's Order approving refund. The Finance Dept. will issue a refund against the credit card or ACH transaction through Pay.gov. More details at http://www.njd.uscourts.gov/sites/njd/files/RefundFeesPaidElecAty.pdf

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