|Daniel J. Lehmann
Public information officer
June 2, 2005
Electronic Filing Mandatory For Attorneys After September 30
CHICAGO–Attorneys must start using electronic filing in most matters before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois after Sept. 30, 2005.
Chief Judge Charles P. Kocoras signed a general order on June 1 mandating electronic filing, following its authorization by the judges of the court during their regular executive meeting in May.
The District Court launched an updated record keeping system, Case Management/Electronic Case Filing or CM/ECF, last January and started accepting electronic case filing in March.
Training classes on how to file electronically will continue Monday-Friday at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the E.M. Dirksen U.S. Courthouse through the mandatory filing deadline. Tutorials are also available on the District Court’s web site, www.ilnd.uscourts.gov. Click on the CM/ECF icon on the home page, and then under “Training” open a portable document format or PDF version of the “Attorney User Guide for CM/ECF Filing,” or launch one of several training videos.
To date, attorney participation has been voluntary, and some 600 people have been trained to use the electronic filing system. Space at each training session is limited, so attorneys may wish to take the class as soon as possible before electronic filing becomes mandatory. Contact Larry Appelson at 312-435-5358 to schedule training.
Training at the Rockford courthouse is provided on an as-needed basis. Contact Julia Mitchell at 815-987-4354 for more information.
Exceptions to electronic filing include such matters as sealed and Social Security cases, and pro se litigants may still file using paper. Further, litigants must provide the District Court with one paper copy of materials submitted electronically within one business day of the electronic filing. Details on the general order, plus changes to rules on document form, proof of service and service by electronic means, are viewable on the District Court’s web site.
CM/ECF was created to accept documents in PDF. It retains the way a document looks, so the pages, fonts and other formatting are preserved. Attorneys will continue to create documents using word processing software, and then save the documents in PDF format. They will then log onto the court’s CM/ECF system, using a court-issued login and password. By following a series of simple prompts to provide information about the case, party and document to be filed, the PDF document is then attached and submitted for filing. An electronic receipt will be e-mailed from the court confirming the submission.
The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts designed the system and is phasing in its use in district and bankruptcy courts across the nation. The program will permit the federal court system to move away from processing and storing tons of paper.