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CM/ECF FAQs

How do attorneys receive a CM/ECF login and password?

In order to file electronically, an attorney must be admitted to practice before the Court.  Upon admission, the Clerk's office will email the attorney the CM/ECF login and password to validate the accuracy of the email address.

 

Can a pro se party register for CM/ECF?

Only attorneys admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas can register for CM/ECF.

 

Does a login and password from another federal court, e.g., U.S. Bankruptcy Court, transfer to the district court?

Attorney users must be registered for CM/ECF in each federal court in which they practice.

 

What should a user do if the CM/ECF login or password is misplaced?

The Clerk's office can reset a user's CM/ECF password and e-mail the login and the new password to the attorney's primary e-mail address.  Please contact the CM/ECF Help Desk at 501-604-5351 or 866-449-2550 for assistance.

 

Is there a fee for filing electronically?

There is no fee to file a document electronically.  Additionally, CM/ECF registered attorneys will receive an e-mail Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) with a hyperlink to the filed document.  The attorney can view and/or download the document one time free of charge.  PACER fees will apply to any document viewed more than one time.

 

Is electronic filing mandatory for attorneys?

A person represented by an attorney must file electronically unless allowed by the Court for good cause and as set forth in Local Rule 5.1.  (See Fed. R. Civ. P. 5(d)(3)(A) and Fed. R. Crim. P. 49(b)(3)(A).)

 

Does the Court offer training for attorneys and staff for CM/ECF?

The Clerk's office provides training to attorneys and their staff for CM/ECF.  The class is approximately two hours long.  There is no charge for the class, and it is approved for continuing legal education hours.  For more information regarding class schedules, please call the CM/ECF Help Desk at 501-604-5351 or 866-449-2550.

 

When is the CM/ECF system available to users?

The system is available for users seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day.  However, time sensitive documents that are filed on the last day of any given deadline must be filed by 5:00 p.m., unless otherwised ordered by the Court.

 

How should an attorney's signature appear on a document that is filed electronically?

An attorney's name on a signature block along with the CM/ECF user name and password serves as the signature.  The signature block should be as follows:

Pat Attorney
Bar number 12345
Attorney for (Plaintiff/Defendant)
ABC Law Firm
1600 West Capitol Avenue
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
Telephone (501) 604-5300
E-mail:  pat_attorney@law.com

 

How should documents be formatted for submission in CM/ECF?

All documents must be saved in portable document format (pdf) to be filed in CM/ECF.  Documents should be scanned in 600 dpi, and there is a file size limit of 35 megabytes per attachment.

 

How does an attorney initiate an action without having the case number?

All case initiating documents, e.g., complaint, petition for removal from state court, indictment, information, etc.) in civil and criminal cases must be filed conventionally, in paper, with the Clerk's office.  Subsequent documents may be filed electronically.

 

Can sealed documents be filed electronically?

All documents submitted for filing under seal must be filed conventionally, in paper, with the Clerk's office.

 

If a document is filed electronically, must a paper copy be mailed to opposing counsel and to the Court?

Whenever a document is filed electronically, CM/ECF will generate a Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) to the filing party, to any other party who is a registered user and to the assigned judge.  If the recipient is a registered filing user, the system-generated NEF shall be deemed to constitute service of the document by electronic means pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 5 (b)(2)(E) and Fed. R. Crim. P. 49(b).  The Court does not require a paper copy of documents filed electronically.

 

What should an attorney do once an error is made in an electronic filing?

When a filing error is made, the attorney should contact the Clerk's office via the CM/ECF Help Desk at 501-604-5351 or 866-449-2550 or clerksoffice@ared.uscourts.gov.

 

Can an attorney view documents in CM/ECF?

Attorneys must have a Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) account to view documents on the electronic docket.  Please visit the PACER web site to obtain registration information (www.pacer.gov).  The electronic case documents are available through CM/ECF with a PACER login.