US District Court • Southern District of New York

Guidelines for Electronic Case Filing

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Frequently Asked Questions about Electronic Case Filing

These Frequently Asked Questions are intended as an introduction to Electronic Case Filing (ECF). Users should review the Court's Electronic Case Filing Rules & Instructions for the official rules regarding ECF.

Click on a frequently asked question to find an answer.

What is ECF? What is PACER? In brief, how do I file a document electronically? Who can file documents on ECF? Can a pro se party view and file documents electronically? How do I open a new civil or miscellaneous case? Must I serve a copy of the assigned judges Individual Rules with the complaint? How do I file the Summons and Affidavit of Service for the Complaint? How do I serve other documents in the case? How do I serve a party who has not registered with the SDNY ECF system? How does an attorney appear in a case? Am I required to notify the Court when my contact information changes? Will I receive electronic notification of activity in my case? Can I specify additional e-mail addresses to receive notification of activity in my case? How do I sign an electronically filed document? How do I submit a letter? Are sealed documents filed electronically? How do I file a Notice of Appeal in a civil case? How will I know if I have successfully filed a document electronically? What if I file the wrong document or file in the wrong case? Does filing electronically affect the filing deadline? Should I submit courtesy copies? Is it best to scan paper documents or convert them from word processor format to PDF-A? Is there a limit to the size of a document that can be filed on the SDNY ECF system? What Internet browser should I use to file electronically on the SDNY ECF system? What if a technical failure prevents me from filing electronically? How do I sign up for free news and service alerts concerning ECF? Is training in Electronic Case Filing available? Where can I learn more about Electronic Case Filing in the Southern District of New York? How do I contact the ECF Help Desk?