CASE MANAGEMENT/ELECTRONIC CASE FILES (CM/ECF)
Implementation of the federal judiciary's Case Management and Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) system continues in district and bankruptcy courts across the country. CM/ECF not only replaces the courts' aging electronic docketing and case management systems, but also provides courts the option to have case file documents in electronic format, and to accept filings over the Internet.
CM/ECF systems are now in use in 64 district courts, 80 bankruptcy courts, the Court of International Trade and the Court of Federal Claims. Most of these courts are accepting electronic filings. Almost 18 million cases are on CM/ECF systems. And over 150,000 attorneys and others have filed documents over the Internet. Under current plans, the number of CM/ECF courts will increase steadily each month into 2005. Each court goes through an implementation process that takes about 10 months.
Attorneys practicing in courts offering the electronic filing capability are able to file documents directly with the court over the Internet. The CM/ECF system uses standard computer hardware, an Internet connection and a browser, and accepts documents in Portable Document Format (PDF). The system is easy to use – filers prepare a document using conventional word processing software, then save it as a PDF file. After logging onto the court's web site with a court-issued password, the filer enters basic information relating to the case and document being filed, attaches the document, and submits it to the court. A notice verifying court receipt of the filing is generated automatically. Other parties in the case then automatically receive e-mail notification of the filing.
A complete list of Federal Courts currently operational or implementing CM (Case Management) EF (electronic filing) follows: