Open Records Closed Records Sealed Records
Court records are separated by case activity status and/or document type. In the Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse, records are located in three different rooms, Open Records Room, Closed Records Room and the Records Management Unit/Sealed Documents. In the White Plains Courthouse, all records may be requested from the Office of the Clerk. Also, 24-hour electronic access to certain court records is available through the PACER service.
Court records may be requested for viewing and copying between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Case files or any document within the case file may not leave the room at any time. Copies of documents may be requested in person during the aforementioned hours or submitted in writing via postal mail (e-mail is not accepted at this time). Written requests should be mailed to the attention of the Records Management Unit and include a case title, case number, specific document description, as well as the requestor’s telephone number.
The court charges a statutory copy fee in addition to the fee for the court record. Please refer to the schedule of fees that is also available in the Clerk’s Office and on this web site. Once the research and copy work has been completed, a records clerk will notify the requestor of the total charge.
The Clerk’s Office maintains case files which have been closed and each year it archives case files that meet the criteria set forth for archival into the Federal Records Center. Submit a written request to retrieve a case file that has been archived or visit either the Closed Records Room or the White Plains Clerk’s Office to complete a request form. The records clerk will provide the location number that designates where the case file is located in the Federal Records Center. After the record has arrived, a clerk will notify you. Please be sure to include a telephone number in your written request. Documents may not leave the Closed Records Room or the White Plains Clerk’s Office.
Sealed Records Filing Instructions
Electronic Filing of Sealed Records
Effective February 3, 2020, attorneys seeking to file under seal in a publicly filed civil or miscellaneous case before a judge whose Individual Practices permit electronic filing under seal shall electronically file the proposed sealed document through the ECF system. A filing under seal must be preceded by either a motion or letter motion to seal, or an order of the Court permitting filing under seal.
Where the Individual Practices of the judge to whom the filing is directed do not expressly permit electronic filing under seal, the proposed sealed document must be submitted in the traditional manner, on paper (see instructions below).
Electronic filing under seal is not permitted by pro se parties without express permission of the Court. This includes pro se parties who have been granted general permission to electronically file documents on ECF.
Electronic filing under seal is not permitted in cases sealed in their entirety. It is only available to parties seeking to file individually sealed documents in publicly filed civil and miscellaneous cases.
New civil or miscellaneous actions that include case initiating documents sought to be filed under seal may not be filed electronically.
Any party unable to comply with a judge’s requirement for electronic filing under seal through the ECF system, or who has reason to believe that a document should not be electronically filed, must seek permission of the Court to file in the traditional manner, on paper.
Filing parties must conform to the procedures for electronic filing under seal found in the court’s ECF Rules & Instructions.
Non- Electronic Filing Procedures
(Must Be Submitted in Court Supplied Sealing Envelope Only)
For a case to be filed under seal, or an initiating document to be filed under seal, a proposed sealing order, the sealing application, the case initiating document(s) and a sealing envelope must be brought to the Orders and Judgments Unit for review. After the review is completed, the Orders and Judgment Clerk will provide counsel with instructions and tell the attorney which judge will review the sealed application.
For a document to be filed under seal, a protective order must be signed or a request by letter must be granted by a judge. A copy of the order or letter must be presented when filing the document. The only exceptions are if the entire action has been placed under seal or a judge has signed the sealing envelope and submits it directly to the sealed records clerk.
All documents filed must contain original signatures. All sealed documents must be in a court supplied sealing envelope, available in the Records Management Department, Room 370. All envelopes must be submitted in person. No envelopes will be accepted by mail. Please place all documents in one envelope.
For ECF cases where electronic filing is not permitted, all documents must be submitted in both hard copy form and on a CD Rom in PDF-A format. Each document and exhibit must be saved as an independent file, with no one file to exceed 10.0 MB. There will be no exceptions. Exhibits should not be filed in hard copy absent a court order, but the exhibits must be included on the CD Rom. All documents must be submitted on one CD Rom, unless you exceed the disk capacity. The exhibits are to be retained at the attorney’s office for safekeeping.
The following information must be included on the front of the sealing envelope: Attorney’s contact information, case caption, case number, date of protective order, name of judge who signed the order and the contents listed by number in the lower left hand corner. Place all contents in the envelope but do not seal it, as the contents must be verified. A copy of the completed envelope may be presented for a “received” stamp.
If using a messenger service, please be certain the envelope and documents are in proper order. It is our experience that when a sealed filing is rejected the service does not always explicitly convey the reason.
In Manhattan, sealed records are accepted each business day between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., excluding holidays. If you arrive after 5:00 p.m. you may use the electronic time clock to stamp the date and time in the upper left hand corner of the envelope. The clock is located next to the night deposit box by the Worth Street entrance. Do not put the documents in the night deposit box. Present the envelope the following business day to receive the previous day’s file date.
In White Plains, sealed records are accepted each business day between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., excluding holidays.