Electronic Filing (CM/ECF)
Attorneys and other filers can submit files to the court electronically using the federal courts’ Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) system.
What is CM/ECF?
Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) is the federal Judiciary's system that allows case documents, such as pleadings, motions, and petitions, to be filed with the court online. CM/ECF is most often used by attorneys in cases, U.S. Trustees, and bankruptcy trustees. Some courts permit bankruptcy claimants and pro se litigants to file using CM/ECF.
How can I access CM/ECF?
Filing a document in CM/ECF requires a PACER account and special access issued by an individual court. Learn how to register for an account.
How do I access case files and court opinions?
Any appellate, district, and bankruptcy case files and docket information may be viewed electronically using PACER.
Copies of court opinions are available at no charge on the Government Printing Office's FDSys website.
How can I learn to use CM/ECF?
Each court offers training on how to use CM/ECF. Contact your local court for more information on specific training that the court offers. Learning aids are available on pacer.gov.
Privacy Rules for Electronic Case Files
What is NextGen CM/ECF?
The judiciary is transitioning to the next generation of CM/ECF—often referred to as NextGen CM/ECF. Currently, all appellate courts are using the new system, and district and bankruptcy courts are making the transition, court by court, over the next several years.
NextGen CM/ECF features single sign-on functionality that gives users access to both PACER and electronic filing from a single account.
Contact a federal court directly to find out when they are transitioning to NextGen CM/ECF.
The Future CM/ECF
The Judiciary has received three reports from 18F, a technology consultancy within the General Services Administration, that recommend and discuss the replacement of the current CM/ECF with a new, modern case management and filing system. 18F recommended that the project incorporate agile development, user-centered design, integrated cybersecurity, and modern technology architecture.
- CM/ECF Experiment & Iterate Supplemental Report (pdf), released March 2022
- CM/ECF Experiment & Iterate Report (pdf), released October 2021
- CM/ECF Path Analysis Report (pdf)