CM/ECF: Technical Information and Troubleshooting


Table of Contents


Scanning and PDF Documents

File Size Limits and Guidelines

Signatures: Printing PDF Documents with Signature Stamps

Scan/E-File at the Public Terminal in the Clerk's Office

Helpful Tips




Filing Errors

Technical Failures: Court’s System vs Efiler’s System

Password Security

Contacting The Court

Before You Call

Contact Information




Scanning and PDF Documents


File Size Limits and Guidelines


Filing large documents in CM/ECF is time-consuming.  Any attachment to a pleading should be filed as an attachment through CM/ECF. Scanned attachments to pleadings can be very large.  If you must file a large document, consider the following:


·         Check File Size: Check the size of the scanned document before uploading it to CM/ECF.  To check the file size, locate the file in Windows Explorer, right click on the file, and choose Properties. The Document Properties screen appears. On the Description tab, verify that the File Size is less than 20.0 MB (20 Megabytes).

·         Remember File Size Requirements: No PDF can exceed 20 MB. This will accommodate most word-processed documents. However, if a document is scanned, it may exceed the 20 MB limit.  (Hint: Use 300dpi for scanning documents. Refer to our Helpful Tips document for more guidelines.)  If a document does exceed the PDF size limit, the document must be split into smaller PDF files, each less than 20 MB. These additional parts may be filed as attachments to the main document.

·         Consider System Limitations When Uploading the File(s): Although the Court has no maximum limit for the total file size of a docket entry, the total file size may be limited by the upload speed of your internet connection. As the total file size increases, the time it takes to upload the files also increases.


·         Important: If your system “times out” while you are uploading PDFs into CM/ECF, you will need to break up your filing into more than one docket entry. You should use Additional Attachment(s) to Document Exceeding File Size Limit (Civil or Criminal) to file attachments beyond the file size limit

·         Any single filing transaction must be completed within one hour. The clock starts when you complete the transaction commit screen, and click the ‘Next’ button. Since each additional attachment adds to the processing time, you are limited in how many documents you can attach to your main document.

·         If a filing transaction "times out," you will get an error message:


An error has occurred while processing your request. Please click the back button of your browser and resubmit your request. Depending on the browser you are using, hitting the back button and resubmitting via re-selecting the ‘Next’ button may work. If this doesn't work, start the filing process again with a reduced number of attachments.


Another message you may occasionally receive, after hitting the back button, and resubmitting the document by selecting the ‘Next’ button is


Warning: The transaction you submitted has already been accepted and posted by this system. If your original submission contained an error, you must contact the court for further instructions on how to void it. If this submission was inadvertently submitted (clicking on the Next link on the previous page twice), you may find details about your original submission by viewing your transaction log.


This message is telling you that the document has been successfully filed, despite the fact that you did not receive the normal notice at the end of your filing transaction. As usual, you will receive a Notice of Electronic Filing via email to confirm your e-filing transaction.


Signatures: Printing PDF Documents with Signature Stamps


Signature stamps are used by the judges to sign documents in PDF format. In order to print a document with a signature stamp, a print setting must be changed.  The first time you want to print a document with a signature stamp, follow the instructions below:


1.       Choose File . . . Print from the drop down menu.  The Print dialog box appears.

2.       Toward the top right corner of the screen is a field labeled "Comments and Forms."  Click the drop-down arrow for this field and select Document and Stamps.

3.       Click OK.  The document should now print with a visible signature stamp.


Note:  Once you change this setting, all future documents will print with visible signature stamps.


Scan/E-File at the Public Terminal in the Clerk's Office


1.       Scan your document:


a.       Place your document in the scanner (remove all staples/paper clips). 

b.      On the scanner, select the appropriate button: “simplex” for single-sided, “duplex” for double-sided documents.

c.       Your document will be automatically named “scan 1", “scan 2" etc., for each document scanned and will be maintained in “Scanned PDF Documents." You are now ready to e-file your document.


2.       E-file your document:


a.       Click on the CM/ECF icon to open CM/ECF

b.      Type in your Login and Password

c.       From the CM/ECF menu, choose your category and event type and begin following the instructions on the screen

d.      To attach your document (the document you converted to PDF in step 1):


                                                                                       i.            Click on Browse and the Choose File window appears

                                                                                     ii.            Locate your document

                                                                                    iii.            Right click on your document

                                                                                   iv.            Select Open with Acrobat 8

                                                                                     v.            In Adobe Acrobat:


1.       Verify document scanned correctly

2.       Confirm this is the document you want and number of pages

3.       Close document

4.       Close Adobe Acrobat


                                                                                   vi.            Back in the Choose File window:


1.       Click on your document to highlight/select it

2.       Click Open (this will attach the document)


e.      Back in CM/ECF, continue to follow the instructions given on screen to complete the e-filing process.

f.        When the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) appears on the screen (this is the last screen in the e-filing process), click on the printer icon to print a copy for yourself (prints behind the counter--ask clerk at counter for it)


3.       Logout and Close CM/ECF (so no one else can use your login & password)

4.       Delete your saved documents:


a.       Open “Scanned PDF Documents”

b.      Right-click on the document you want to delete

c.       Click Delete

d.      Click Yes


Helpful Tips


·         If you use WordPerfect with Adobe Acrobat to create PDFs, use the File > Publish To PDF option.

·         If you use Microsoft Word with Adobe Acrobat to create PDFs, use the File (or Office Button) > Save As > Adobe PDF option.

·         If you are using a word processor program to convert to PDF, before printing to PDF, perform a “File/Save As” and save the document as a normal WordPerfect or MSWord document.  This cleans up the document and gets rid of any embedded code that might be present, but not visible, before the document is converted to PDF. 

·         Be aware that when a document is converted to PDF, the pages may break at a different line, even if the document has been "cleaned up" and saved prior to the conversion. This may result in the PDF version of the document having more pages than the original version.

·         Minimize the number of font styles used in the document.  Try to avoid TrueType fonts when possible, as some tests have shown that these fonts drastically increase the size of the document.

·         Use black ink, if possible.  Blue ink and pencil do not scan well.  If necessary, make a copy of the document before scanning it, and darken with the copy machine settings.

·         Text documents are much smaller than imaged documents.  This means that a document you convert to PDF using your word processor could be approximately 20% of the size of a scanned version of that same document.

·         Try to title PDF documents off of the CM/ECF Menu, instead of using creative titles.

·         Consider not converting your document to PDF until you have the final version–this helps you to avoid filing the wrong version.

·         Use 300dpi for scanning documents.

·         Set image type to black and white bitmap, text (image only), or line art

·         Do not use OCR or Textbridge.  For filing purposes only an image of the document is required.

·         For large documents, where only the last page has a signature, consider converting the document to PDF using your word processor, and only scanning the signature page. Next, use your PDF creation program (e.g. Adobe Acrobat), to combine the two PDF files.




Filing Errors


Once a pleading or other paper is submitted and becomes part of the case, the CM/ECF System will not permit the efiler to change the pleading or other paper or the docket entry.  Efilers should make every effort to ensure that:


·         they do not file a pleading or paper other than the one intended to be filed,

·         the pleading or paper is filed in the correct case, and

·         the pleading or paper does not contain information that should have been filed under seal.


If a filing error occurs, the Clerk’s Office should be immediately notified.  The notifier should provide the Clerk’s Office with the case number and docket number of the erroneous entry.  


Note:  The efiler may file a motion to strike, but should not refile the document unless directed to do so.


Technical Failures: Court’s System vs Efiler’s System


From the CM/ECF Administrative Guide:


Court’s CM/ECF System. A technical failure exists when the CM/ECF System is unable to accept filings continuously or intermittently over the course of any period of time greater than two (2) hours after 12:00 p.m. that day. (Note: A file-size limitation failure is not considered a technical failure.) Check the Court’s website for postings regarding any scheduled or other CM/ECF System outages or downtimes.  Should a filing be made untimely as the result of a technical failure of the Court’s CM/ECF System, the efiler may seek appropriate relief from the assigned judge.


Efiler’s System. Problems on the efiler’s end, such as phone line problems, problems with the efiler’s Internet Service Provider (ISP), or hardware or software problems, will not constitute a technical failure under these procedures or excuse an untimely filing. Upon a showing of good cause, the assigned judge may grant appropriate relief for an untimely filing.  Efilers may, during regular business hours, scan and efile their document from the public scanning terminal located in the Clerk’s Office.


Password Security


Efilers agree to protect the security of their passwords and immediately notify the clerk if they learn that their password has been compromised. If a password is believed to be compromised, the registrant must immediately contact the court and change the Password using the CM/ECF System’s Utilities feature.


Note: The View Transaction Log feature, selected from the Utilities menu, allows you to review all transactions that CM/ECF has processed with your login and password.


Contacting The Court


Before You Call


Before you call for assistance, please do the following:


·         Review your data quality checklist.

·         Clear your cache in your browser (i.e. delete temporary files, history, cookies, saved passwords etc.).

·         Check the specific event instructions provided on our website

·         Contact PACER


Contact Information


The Court can be contacted at the numbers or email below with questions or problems.


·         Phone: (918) 699-4844 or toll-free 866-213-1957 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (CST).

·         Email: