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CM/ECF FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Getting and Managing an Eastern District of North Carolina Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) Account:

Case Opening:

Docketing:

Viewing the Docket Sheet:

Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF):

Ex Parte Filings:

Sealed Filings:

Getting and Managing an Eastern District of North Carolina Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) Account:

How do I get an Eastern District of North Carolina login and password?

For non-government attorneys who have had Case Management/Electronic Case Filing training:

If you have had training and been issued a login and password from any other federal district or bankruptcy court, you may be grand-fathered into the Eastern District of North Carolina. Click here to apply.

Complete the form, making sure to include the name of the other court in which you have been trained.

Mail this form to:
U.S. District Court
P. O. Box 25670
Raleigh, N.C. 27611
Attention: Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Coordinator

After review and approval of your application, you will be given the choice of picking up your login and password at the clerk's office or having it sent to you via e-mail.

For government attorneys who have had Case Management/Electronic Case Filing training:

If you have had training and been issued a login and password from any other federal district or bankruptcy court, you may be grand-fathered into the Eastern District of North Carolina. Click here to apply.

Complete the form, making sure to include the name of the other court in which you have been trained.

Mail this form to:
U.S. District Court
P. O. Box 25670
Raleigh, N.C. 27611
Attention: Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Coordinator

After review and approval of your application, you will be given the choice of picking up your login and password at the clerk's office or having it sent to you via e-mail.

For any attorneys who have not had Case Management/Electronic Case Filing training:

If you have not been trained on the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system you will need to register for one of the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing classes listed on our web. Click here to register.

  1. Select a class to register for.
  2. Fill in all necessary information.
  3. Select enroll.
  4. Make sure to check your e-mail for your confirmation.
  5. Seats in each class are limited.

Once you have completed the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing class, you will be issued a login and password.

If I have a login and password from another federal district court, do I still need a login and password in the Eastern District of North Carolina?

Yes. Each court's Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system is independent. For specific details on being issued an Eastern District of North Carolina login and password, please see Frequently Asked Question Number One.

Can out-of-district attorneys not admitted to the Eastern District of North Carolina bar get a login and password?

Yes. Please review Eastern District of North Carolina Local Rules 83.1 and 57.1.

Then:

For non-government attorneys who have had Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system training:

If you have had training and been issued a login and password from any other federal district or bankruptcy court, you may be grand-fathered into the Eastern District of North Carolina. To apply in this manner, complete the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Registration form.

Make sure to include the name of the other court in which you have been trained.

Mail this form to:
U.S. District Court
P. O. Box 25670
Raleigh, N.C. 27611
Attention: Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Coordinator

After review and approval of your application, you will be given the choice of picking up your login and password at the clerk's office or having it sent you via e-mail.

For government attorneys who have had Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Training:

If you have had training and been issued a login and password from any other federal district or bankruptcy court, you may be grand-fathered into the Eastern District of North Carolina. Click here to apply.

Complete the form, making sure to include the name of the other court in which you have been trained.

Mail this form to:
U.S. District Court
P. O. Box 25670
Raleigh, N.C. 27611
Attention: Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Coordinator

After review and approval of your application, you will be given the choice of picking up your login and password at the clerk's office or having it sent to you via e-mail.

For any attorneys who have not had Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Training:

If you have not been trained on the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system you will need to register for one of the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing classes listed on our web. Click here to register.

  1. Select a class to register for.
  2. Fill in all necessary information.
  3. Select enroll.
  4. Make sure to check your e-mail for your confirmation.
  5. Seats in each class are limited.

Once you have completed the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing class, you will be issued a login and password.

How do I add or substitute an e-mail address in my account?

  1. Log onto the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system.
  2. Click on 'Utilities' on the Blue Bar.
  3. Click on 'Maintain Your Account'.
  4. Click on 'E-mail Information'.

To ADD another person to your account, click on 'Add New E-mail Address'.

  • Make sure that your cursor is to the very left in the e-mail address box and enter the e-mail address.
  • Enter all of the pertinent information in the filter boxes on the right.
  • Click on 'Return to Person Information Screen'.
  • Click 'Submit'.
  • Continue clicking 'Submit' each time you are given the option UNTIL you get the message 'Update Successful.' IF you do not get this message or if you leave the program before you get this message, your changes WILL NOT BE SAVED.

To CHANGE an existing e-mail address, go through Steps 1-4 noted above. Then:

  • Put your cursor in the e-mail address field and delete the current address.
  • Make sure that your cursor is to the very left of the text entry field and then enter the new e-mail address.
  • Enter all of the pertinent information in the filter boxes to the right.
  • Click on 'Return to Person Information Screen'.
  • Click 'Submit'.
  • Continue clicking 'Submit' each time you are given the option UNTIL you get the message 'Update Successful.' IF you do not get this message or if you leave the program before you get this message, your changes WILL NOT BE SAVED.

Can I modify my address information in my account or do I need to get the clerk's office to modify my information?

When you log into the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system and access the 'Maintain Your Account' screen, if the data entry fields are white, you should make any needed updates yourself. If the data entry fields are yellow, the fields have been locked. In the case of locked fields, please send any updated information to the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Coordinator at:

U.S. District Court
P. O. Box 25670
Raleigh, N.C. 27611
Attention: Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Coordinator

How long is my password valid?

The initial password is good for 30 days. You WILL need to change your password within this time. Once you change your password, it is good until such time as you may need or want to change it again.

DO NOT CHANGE THE LOGIN.

Can I change my login and password?

No and yes.

DO NOT CHANGE YOUR LOGIN.

To change your password:

  1. Go to 'Utilities' on the Blue Bar.
  2. Go to 'Maintain Your Account'.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the screen.
  4. Click on 'More User Information'.
  5. Delete the information in the 'Password' field.
  6. Enter the new password. (The new password can be up to eight characters, alpha and/or numeric.)
  7. Click on 'Return to Person Information'. (You will return to the main screen.)
  8. Click on 'Submit'.
  9. Continue clicking each of the 'Submit' links until you get the message 'Update Successful'.
  10. If you do not get this message, your updates were not successfully saved. You will need to try again.

Depending on how much activity you have had in the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system and the Eastern District of North Carolina, you may only have to click on the 'Submit' link twice. You may encounter an intermediate screen that lists all cases in which you have been involved. If so, ACCEPT this information by clicking on 'Submit' and continue clicking 'Submit' until you get the message 'Update Successful'. If you do not get this message, your changes were not saved and you will need to try again.

What if I have forgotten my login and password or they no longer work?

First, make sure that you are using the login and password for the Eastern District of North Carolina District Court. Many users have logins and passwords from multiple district and bankruptcy courts. If this is not the problem, contact the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Coordinator at 919.645.1700. Be prepared to give your full name and bar number. Since passwords are encrypted once they are set, the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Coordinator will have to reset your password. It will be sent to you by e-mail.

Case Opening:

Am I required to open a civil case electronically?

Yes. Pursuant to this Court's Standing Order 06-PLR-2. The exceptions are sealed and qui tam cases as stated in Section H of the Eastern District of North Carolina's Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Policy Manual.

When filing a new case how do I know which division to select?

You can click on the map link located on the left-hand column of the court's website or review Eastern District of North Carolina Local Rule 40.1(b) and (c).

On the party screen, what is the category called 'Party Text' and when do I use it?

This field is for any additional information regarding a party (e.g., 'in his official capacity', 'A Delaware Corporation' or 'Commissioner of Social Security'). This field might also be used when a party is a minor. The party initials would go in the regular party name field and the wording 'A Minor' would go in the 'Party Text' field.

Please leave the field labeled 'Title' blank.

How do I file a complaint if I am also filing a motion to proceed in forma pauperis?

  1. Select the option 'Atty Open CV Case'.
  2. Enter all of the information just like you were actually paying the filing fee.
  3. When you are presented with the 'Fee Status' options, select 'pend' (IFP pending).
  4. Complete the opening of the Case in the normal way.
    • Enter all party names and define their roles.
    • Get the Case number assignment.
  5. The first document you will file will be the 'Motion for Leave to File In Forma Pauperis'.
    • You will enter your proposed complaint, cover sheet, and any summonses as attachments to the Motion for Leave to File In Forma Pauperis.
    • Enter each of these attachments separately, making sure to clearly and concisely categorize or name each one individually.
    • If you have five (5) or more attachments, the first attachment in the list should be an index of all subsequent attachments. For further details on attachments, please refer to the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Policy Manual at Section L, Attachments to Filings and Exhibits.
  6. If the court allows the motion, the case manager will electronically file the proposed complaint and issue any proposed summonses.

How do I pay the filing fee?

There are several options.

  1. You may pay the filing fee on-line, during the process of filing your initiating document. To do so:
    • Click on 'Paid' when you are presented with the question about fee status while opening your case.
    • When you get to the screen that asks for your receipt number click on the link for 'Pay.Gov'.
    • Complete all screens in the 'Pay.Gov' site.
    • Answer 'Yes' when asked if you want a receipt.
    • You will be returned to the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system.
    • Enter your receipt number and continue filing your opening document.
  2. You may pay the filing fee in person at the clerk's office in Raleigh, Wilmington, Greenville or New Bern with cash, check, money-order, and/or a credit or debit card.
  3. You may pay the filing fee via U.S. Mail with a check or money-order.

NOTE:
Regardless of the method you use to pay your filing fee, you MUST have a receipt number in order to complete the filing of your initiating document. If you pay by any method other than 'Pay.Gov' make sure to complete the payment process and have your receipt number ready before you log into the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system to begin filing your initiating document. Otherwise, you may be timed out of the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system while waiting for a receipt number and lose everything that you have entered.

What if I accidentally pay the filing fee twice?

You will need to file a motion with the court seeking the return of the excess payment.

  1. File your motion in the case wherein you paid the excess fee.
  2. In your motion specify:
    • The date of the transaction in the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system.
    • The exact dollar amount you believe you are owed.
  3. Attach a proposed order to your motion.

How do I submit a proposed summons?

A proposed summons should be submitted as an attachment to your complaint or other initiating document. The case manager will review the summons, sign it, and enter the issued summons in the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system. You may then print the issued summons for service. If you want a 'wet' signature on your summons, mail the clerk's office a postage-paid envelope with a request for an ink signature on the summons or call the clerks office to make arrangements for an in-person pick up.

For further details on attachments, please refer to the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Policy Manual at Section L, Attachments to Filings and Exhibits.

Do I need to file a financial disclosure if I am not a corporation?

Yes. See Eastern District of North Carolina Local Rule 7.3.

How is an attorney added to a case?

  1. If counsel is the signer and filer of a document, then counsel may be able to add himself or herself while filing the document. There are certain events that will allow the filer to enter an appearance simultaneously. Otherwise, the filer must file a separate Notice of Appearance in order to appear on the docket sheet and receive Notices of Electronic Filing.
  2. If counsel is a signer but not the filer of a document (i.e., co-counsel), then counsel must file a separate Notice of Appearance using his or her own login and password.

Do I need to attach a completed Civil Cover Sheet when filing a new case?

Yes. Remember to sign the cover sheet, convert it to a new PDF, and file it as an attachment to the initiating document.

Docketing:

When scanning my documents to PDF, how should the resolution be set?

300 DPI, Black and White.

What is the size limitation for documents?

Generally, 5.0 megabytes. Anything larger should be broken down into smaller components and individually and concisely named. For example, if you have a complaint that is 6 megabytes when created, you will need to divide the document into two PDF documents. You could name the first PDF 'Complaint, pages 1-50' and the second PDF 'Complaint, pages 51-75.' When filing the complaint, you would pull in 'Complaint, pages 1-50' as the main document and then make 'Complaint, pages. 50-75' an attachment to the main document.

Continue dividing as necessary to enter all documents. When dealing with multiple attachments, please review Section L, Attachments to Filings and Exhibits, of the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Policy Manual.

NOTE:
If you have five (5) or more attachments to a main document, the first attachment MUST be an index of all of the remaining attachments.

What is the size limitation for a docket entry?

If you have a main document with attachments such that the overall docket entry (main document plus attachments) is equal to or exceeds 20 megabytes, you may need to break the filing down further. Filers are encouraged to file the main document and as many attachments as possible up to an overall file size of just under 20 megabytes. Filers should then file the remaining attachments using the event 'Notice of Filing' found under the 'Other Filings' category. The 'Notice of Filing' must state that it contains supplemental materials related to the main document. Filers will link the 'Notice of Filing' to the main document to which it relates.

What is the best way to file a document that has exhibits or attachments?

Section L, Attachments to Filings and Exhibits, of the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Policy Manual provides detailed instruction. In general, the following instructions apply.

  1. Create an individual PDF for the main document and each exhibit or attachment.
  2. Select the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing event for the main document and complete the process for browsing, verifying and pulling in the main document.
  3. Using the secondary 'Browse' field, individually browse, verify, and describe or categorize each separate attachment or exhibit.

    DO NOT file multiple exhibits or attachments in one PDF. For example:

    Do file:
    Main Document: Motion for Summary Judgment
    Attachment 1: Exhibit 1 - Photo of Defendant
    Attachment 2: Exhibit 2 - Photo of Plaintiff
    Attachment 3: Exhibit 3 - Photo of Car

    Do not file:
    Main Document: Motion for Summary Judgment
    Attachment 1: Exhibits 1-3 - Photos
  4. If you have five (5) or more attachments to the main document, the first attachment MUST be an index of all of the attachments or exhibits.
  5. Filing each attachment individually allows the creation of a separate hyper-link directly to each individual document.
  6. Do not use abbreviations when describing or categorizing attachments.

I have received a Notice of Deficiency that says that I didn't 'flatten' my document. What does that mean?

Basically it means that the filer has not saved the document as a completely new PDF. This usually happens when a filer is using a PDF fillable form and forgets to go through the steps of 'printing to PDF' and then saving the new document. A document that has not been 'flattened' can be edited by an unauthorized person in the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system.

To 'flatten' a document:

  1. Open the PDF fillable form in your browser.
  2. Enter the necessary data.
  3. Select File > Print > Print as Adobe PDF > OK.
    The document is not actually printing, it is being converted.
  4. Specify the location to save the printed PDF with PDF > Save.
  5. The printed PDF will open and it will be 'flattened' because it is no longer fillable.

How do I submit proposed orders to the court?

When attaching proposed orders, filers must reference the 'Preferences' link on the Eastern District of North Carolina web page. Chambers specific instructions may be noted regarding proposed orders.

If no chambers specific instructions are noted, any proposed order should be made an attachment to the relevant motion. Make sure to categorize and describe the 'proposed order'.

If you forgot to attach a proposed order when you filed a public motion, you may use the independent 'Proposed Order' event found under 'Other Pleadings'. Make sure to link your proposed order to the relevant motion(s) or document(s).

If you forgot to attach a proposed order when you filed a 'Proposed Sealed Motion' you may use the event 'Proposed Sealed Document' found under the specialized category 'SEALED AND EX PARTE EVENTS.' Make sure to link your proposed sealed order to the relevant motion(s) or document(s).

If you forgot to attach a proposed ex parte order when you filed an 'Ex Parte Motion' you may use the event 'Ex Parte Document' found in the specialized category 'SEALED AND EX PARTE EVENTS' to enter your proposed order. Make sure to link the new filing to the relevant motion.

How do I select multiple filers when I docket?

If the 'Select All Plaintiffs' or 'Select All Defendants' option is not what you need, select the first filer, hold down the 'Ctrl key' and continue selecting the additional filers.

Can I file a combination document that contains multiple motions, responsive pleadings or briefs?

  1. You can only combine like documents. You can have a document with multiple motions, a document with multiple briefs or a document with multiple responsive pleadings. You should not combine a motion with a brief or an answer with a motion.
  2. When a document has multiple motions, it is especially important to select multiple reliefs when filing. For instance, with a combined motion to dismiss and motion to strike, you must select both reliefs 'to dismiss' and 'to strike'. You do this by holding down the 'Ctrl key' during selection so that you may select more than one relief. You cannot select only the motion 'to dismiss' and then type in the text box 'and motion to strike'. It is imperative that all relief categories are specifically selected. The Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system will then track each relief as a separate request for action. This helps the court ensure that all matters are properly addressed.
  3. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in a request for relief that is not tracked on the pending motion reports used in case management.
  4. Any memorandum in support of a motion or multi-relief motion, should be filed separately from the motion(s). Make sure to link any memorandum to the relevant motion(s).
  5. The single exception to instruction four involves Ex Parte motions. Please review the Ex Parte Frequently Asked Questions for details.

Do I still need a certificate of service if opposing counsel is being served through the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF)?

Yes, a certificate of service is required for all pleadings.

How do I know who is being served electronically through the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system?

In the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system, on the Blue Bar, go to:

  1. Utilities.
  2. Mailing Information.
  3. Mailing Information for a Case.
  4. Enter the Case number and follow the prompts.
  5. The system will show who is being noticed electronically and who still needs to be served by other means.

Can criminal defense counsel file a proposed plea agreement in the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system?

No.

Only the United States Attorney can file a proposed plea agreement. Once a defendant has signed the proposed plea agreement, the document should be returned to the U.S. Attorney's Office for filing.

Viewing the Docket Sheet:

When I look at the docket sheet, why is there sometimes no document attached to a docket entry?

Some entries simply record clerk's office procedural functions and there is no actual underlying document. Also, text or oral orders may be entered in place of a PDF document.

Why can I view a docket entry on the docket sheet but not the document that is attached?

The attached document may be sealed and be viewable only by the parties in the case, the document may be a court work product that is not open to the public or the document in question may be restricted such that it is viewable only at the public access terminals physically located in the Clerk's Office.

I am an attorney in a case but my name is not appearing as counsel of record on the docket sheet. Why is that?

You may have not completed all of the attorney/party associations when you filed your first document in the case. To correct this, file a Notice of Appearance if you have not already done so. Make sure to pay attention to the attorney/party association information. If you have already filed a Notice of Appearance, call the HELP DESK at 1.866.855.8894.

How do I view a transcript that has been docketed?

The Judicial Conference approved a policy regarding the availability of transcripts of court proceedings filed with the clerk of court in electronic format. A transcript provided to a court by a court reporter or transcriber will be available at the office of the clerk of court for inspection only, for a period of 90 days (unless extended by the court) after it is delivered to the clerk. During the 90-day period:

  • a copy of the transcript may be obtained from the court reporter or transcriber at the rate established by the Judicial Conference;
  • the transcript will be available within the court for internal use; and
  • an attorney who obtains the transcript from the court reporter or transcriber may obtain remote electronic access to the transcript through the court's Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system for purposes of creating hyperlinks to the transcript in court filings and for other purposes.

During the 90-day period (which may be extended by the court), access to the transcript in the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system is restricted to court staff, public terminal users, attorneys of record or parties who have purchased the transcript from the court reporter/transcriber, and other persons as directed by the court (e.g., appellate attorneys). Also, during this time, parties may redact personal identifiers. After the 90-day period has ended, the filed transcript will be available for inspection and copying in the clerk's office and for download from the court's Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system through the judiciary's PACER system.

IF you have purchased the transcript or otherwise been granted electronic access to the transcript within the 90-day period noted above, you will access the document by:

  1. Logging into Eastern District of North Carolina Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system instead of PACER.
  2. Log in just as though you are preparing to file a document.
  3. Click on 'Query'.
  4. Enter the relevant case number.
  5. Click 'Run Query'.
  6. Scroll to find the transcript.
  7. Click on the document number to view the transcript.

Why can I not view some public documents in PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records)?

Criminal documents filed prior to November 2005 are not available through Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER).

Civil documents filed prior to September 1998 are not available through Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER).

Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF):

Why am I having trouble getting my 'free look' at a filing or why do I not get Notices of Electronic Filing in my cases?

  1. Your 'free look' may have expired. Free looks are good for 15 days. After that, the link is broken and you will have to access the document(s) through Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) and pay the regular fee.

    You will NOT get multiple 'free looks'. You should print or save the document to your personal computer before closing the one 'free look'.
  2. Make sure that any generic security settings on your computer are not unnecessarily restricting your access.
  3. Make sure that you do not have pop-up blockers turned on.
  4. If you get the message that the document is not available, check the address line of the browser you are using and make sure that the address starts with 'ecf.nced.uscourts.gov.' To do this, hold your curser over the document number and the browser address should appear at the bottom of the page. Remove any extra characters to get to the correct address.
  5. For civil cases, if the case is a social security case, an immigration case or the document in question is a sealed document, only the primary e-mail address recipient for each attorney of record will be able to access the free look. For criminal sealed documents, except for sealed Presentence Investigation Reports, no one in the case will have access to the document or get a free look. All service must be done by other means.
  6. For social security cases, immigration cases, civil sealed documents and criminal Presentence Investigation Reports, the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system login and password must be the first login identification to be entered at the login screen and then a valid Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) identification if a permanent PACER account has not been selected. If not entered in this manner, the free look will not be recognized.

    To enter a permanent Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) account:
    • Log into the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system.
    • Go to 'Utilities'.
    • Select 'Change Your PACER Login'.
    • Log into your PACER account.
    • Select 'Make this my Default PACER login'.
  7. If you forgot to associate yourself with your client party when you filed your initial document in the case, go ahead and file a 'Notice of Attorney Appearance' and make sure to check all of the relevant party/attorney associations. This should generate a Notice of Electronic Filing and the associated free look for all subsequent filings.
  8. Clear your cache by going to your tool bar. Select 'Tools' and then 'Internet Options.' You then want to 'Clear History' and 'Delete Cookies.' Close your browser and try accessing again.
  9. Make sure that you have an e-mail address for a live account entered.
  10. Your e-mail address may be incorrect or you may have left a blank space to the very left of the e-mail address field in the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system. Try deleting your e-mail address and then adding it back to your account. To do so:
    • Go to 'Utilities' on the Blue Bar.
    • Go to 'Maintain Your Account'.
    • Go to 'E-mail Information'.
    • Delete your primary e-mail address.
    • Move your cursor to the far left of the vacated field.
    • Reenter your e-mail address and reset the filters on the right.
    • Click on 'Return to Person Information Screen'.
    • Click on 'Submit'.
    • Continue clicking on each successive 'Submit' until you get the message 'Update Successful'.
    • IF you do not get the 'Update Successful' message, your changes were NOT saved. You will need to try again.

Is there a time limit for viewing the document through the Notice of Electronic Filing?

The link for the 'free look' is good for 15 days only. After that time, you will need to go to Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) in order to view the document. You will have to pay the viewing fee.

How do I stop getting Notices of Electronic Filing in a case?

If there is a notice of substitution of counsel filed and the substitution states that the original attorney is no longer involved in the case, then the clerk's office will turn off the Notice of Electronic Filing function for the original attorney.

When an attorney withdraws from a case by order of the court, the clerk's office will turn off the Notice of Electronic for the withdrawn attorney.

Otherwise, the clerk's office will NOT automatically terminate any attorney's electronic notices even if the case is closed and all appeal times have run. Any attorney wishing to have the Notices of Electronic Filing turned off MUST file a request affirmatively stating that he or she consents to no further communication from the court regarding the case. Counsel is discouraged from terminating Notices of Electronic Filing solely because his or her party is dismissed, as there can be future communication from the court affecting the terminated party.

Ex Parte Filings:

What is the Eastern District of North Carolina definition of EX PARTE?

In the Eastern District of North Carolina, ex parte does not mean sealed. Ex parte simply means that the filing is not served on any other counsel in the Case. The docket entry is public and the document is public, with two exceptions. Motions for Expert, Investigative or Other Services and Motions for Issuance of Subpoenas are not available to the public.

Orders on ex parte motions are served only on the filer of the originating motion. The docket entry for the order and the order itself are public to anyone viewing the public docket sheet. The two exceptions are for orders on any motions for Expert, Investigative or Other Services or for Issuance of Subpoenas.

Further details as to ex parte pleadings may be found in Section T, Restricted Access Documents, of the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Policy Manual.

Can I file Ex Parte pleadings in the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system?

Yes.

All ex parte filings made in the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system ABSOLUTELY MUST be made using one of the specialized events found under the category 'SEALED AND EX PARTE EVENTS.' Failure to utilize these specific events will result in filings that do not have the necessary security features. These filings will be served on other counsel in the case and in regards to the motions for issuance of subpoenas or for expert, investigative or other services, will be public.

Further details as to ex parte pleadings may be found in Section T, Restricted Access Documents, of the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Policy Manual.

How do I file an Ex Parte document in the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system?

The steps for filing an Ex Parte document are:

  1. In the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system, under 'Civil' or 'Criminal' on the Blue Bar, select the specialized category of events labeled 'Sealed and Ex Parte Pleadings.'

    By using this specialized set of events, the document WILL BE served only on the Court and the filer. Failure to use this specialized set of events WILL result in a document that will be served on all other counsel in the Case.
  2. Select the appropriate 'Ex Parte' event for the document you are filing.
  3. Complete the filing of this document, making attachments as needed.

    If a Memorandum in Support is needed with an Ex Parte motion, MAKE THE MEMO IN SUPPORT AN ATTACHMENT TO THE EX PARTE MOTION. This is an exception to the preferred practice of filing any memorandum in support separate from its related motion.

Further details as to Ex Parte pleadings may be found in Section T, Restricted Access Documents, of the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Policy Manual.

Sealed Filings:

Where can I find the rules and policy governing the filing of sealed documents and cases in the Eastern District of North Carolina?

Information regarding the filing of sealed documents and cases may be found in Local Civil Rule 79.2, Local Criminal Rule 55.2 and Sections H and T, Restricted Access Documents, of the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Policy Manual.

You may also call the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Help Desk at 1.866.855.8894.

Can I file sealed documents in a non-sealed case in the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system?

Yes. Unless a case is sealed in its entirety, all sealed or proposed sealed pleadings must be filed by the attorney using the specialized events found under the 'Sealed and Ex Parte Events' category found in both the civil and criminal menus on the Blue Bar.

All sealed or proposed sealed filings in the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system ABSOLUTELY MUST be made using one of the specialized events found under the category 'SEALED AND EX PARTE EVENTS.' Failure to utilize these specific events will result in pleadings that do not have the necessary security features. These pleadings will become public.

Further details as to Sealed pleadings may be found in Section T, Restricted Access Documents, of the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Policy Manual.

How do I file a sealed document in a non-sealed case in the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system?

First, remember that any sealed item must be filed pursuant to court order.

The steps for filing a sealed document are:

  1. In the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system, under 'Civil' or 'Criminal' on the Blue Bar, select the specialized category of events labeled 'Sealed and Ex Parte Pleadings'.

    By using this specialized set of events, the document WILL BE temporarily sealed pending review by the Court.

    Failure to use this specialized set of events WILL result in a public document!
  2. Select the appropriate 'Proposed Sealed' event for the document you are filing.

    Complete the filing of this document, making attachments as needed.

    Remember to file a 'Proposed Sealed Memo in Support' separately if needed.
  3. Then, under 'Civil' or 'Criminal' on the Blue Bar, select the category 'Motions and Related Filings'.
  4. File the PUBLIC motion to seal or seal document.

    Make any necessary attachments.
  5. Make sure to link the 'Motion to Seal' to the relevant 'Proposed Sealed Document(s)'.

Further details as to Sealed pleadings may be found in Section T, Restricted Access Documents, of the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Policy Manual.

How do I file a document in a case that is completely sealed?

Any documents to be entered in a completely sealed case must be presented to the Clerk's Office in hard copy. The clerk will then scan the document and file it in the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system.

There is no electronic notification or service of documents for pleadings of any kind in a sealed case.

How do I file documents for In Camera review?

Review the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Policy Manual at Section T, Restricted Access Documents.

How do I serve a sealed document?

CIVIL:
For all electronic filers who have made an appearance in a civil case, sealed or proposed sealed documents will be served by way of a Notice of Electronic Filing on the primary e-mail address for each attorney of record in the case.

Secondary e-mail recipients for each attorney of record will get a Notice of Electronic Filing; however, secondary recipients will not be able to view the document.

Pro Se parties and other non-electronic filers will have to be served by other means.

CRIMINAL:
In criminal cases, there will be no electronic service of any sealed or proposed sealed document(s), with the exception of Presentence Investigation Reports. All service must be made by other means. All attorneys of record and their secondaries will receive a Notice of Electronic Filing; however, there will be no free look.

Who can see sealed documents through the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF)?

CIVIL:
In civil cases, sealed or proposed sealed documents will be served electronically on the primary e-mail address for each attorney of record in the case.

Secondary e-mail recipients for each attorney will get a Notice of Electronic Filing; however, secondary recipients will not be able to view the document.

CRIMINAL:
In criminal cases, there will be no electronic service of any sealed or proposed sealed document(s), with the exception of Presentence Investigation Reports. All service must be made by other means. All attorneys of record and their secondaries will receive a Notice of Electronic Filing; however, there will be no free look.

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