CM/ECF FAQs

  • When a user files a pleading with the court, does the system automatically serve the other parties or does the user have to do something extra to serve the others? And, do the other parties get notification of a filing or do they get the actual document?

    When a document is filed in CM/ECF, a Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) is automatically generated and e-mailed to the registered parties in the case. The NEF includes the text of the docket entry, the unique electronic document stamp, a list of the case participants receiving e-mail notification of the filing, and hyperlink to the document(s) filed. Most recipients will receive one free look at the document.

  • If I forward an email notification I received to another individual will that individual be charged for viewing the document?

    The document within an email notification is accessed by a hyperlink. This hyperlink takes you to a site which will allow the first viewing to be free. The first individual to view the linked document will not be charged. If you forward the email notification without viewing the document, the recipient of the email will be able to view the document for free. Anytime after the first viewing, a charge will be incurred to view the document. The document should be saved to a local hard drive during the first viewing.

  • Why am I receiving the message 'you do not have permission to view this document'?

    Electronic access to Social Security Administration case documents is limited to parties in the case. In addition, documents from criminal cases filed prior to November 1, 2004 are only available electronically to the parties in the case. So when attempting to view either of these document types, the CM/ECF system will display the message 'you do not have permission to view this document.' If you are an attorney of record or another party in the case, you must enter your ECF login ID before trying to access these documents. All others interested in these documents should contact the clerk's office for information about viewing copies. Criminal documents filed after November 1, 2004 are available electronically through PACER.

  • What should we do when an attorney leaves the firm?

    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 notification information in Maintain Your Account. 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 (instructions to do so can be found here). Law firms may also wish to consider the best method of handling e-mail addressed to the firm for the departed attorney. Summarily removing the attorney from the firm's e-mail system with no further action, may result in notifications being missed. Firms may wish to consider whether their own e-mail systems should forward such e-mails to the attorney at his/her new address, or to another attorney within the firm.

  • Why am I getting an invalid login message?

    Look for a few of these common problems: Make sure the proper login and password are being used for the proper database (PACER login for querying; CM/ECF login for filing); Verify that the recommended browser is being used Internet Explorer 7 and 8 or Firefox 3.5. In either case, the browser must be JavaScript-enabled. If you do not remember your password, use the 'Reset Password' link on the ECF login page, before you lock your account from too many log in attempts.

  • Why do I get a second login screen after I've already logged into ECF?

    This login prompt is requesting your PACER login and password, which is required whenever you request a report or document from a case. In order to bypass this login prompt in the future, click the box that says 'Make this my default login' after entering the PACER login and password. Your CM/ECF login and password will still need to be entered each time the ECF site is visited.

  • Can any member of the public use CM/ECF to file documents with the court?

    Access to the filing portion of CM/ECF is available to authorized users only. Authorization and training of users is provided by the Court. Authorization is given only to attorneys admitted to practice for the New Jersey Federal Court.

  • Can the general public view CM/ECF cases and the documents in those cases?

    Yes, the public can access case data in CM/ECF unless it has been sealed or otherwise restricted by the court. The public access component of CM/ECF will require a user to enter a PACER login and password. Because the PACER login and CM/ECF filing login will be different, a filing attorney will need both. Established PACER users will automatically have access to these sites; a new account does not need to be created.

  • How do I change my address or email information in the CM/ECF system?

    You may change your address or 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.

  • Does each attorney need a separate password for PACER?

    No, you can use your firm's password for PACER. However, each attorney does need a separate CM/ECF login and password.

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