US District Court
Western District of Oklahoma

Chief Judge - Vicki Miles-LaGrange

Court Clerk - Robert D Dennis

200 NW 4th Street

Oklahoma City OK 73102

(405) 609-5000

United States District Court for the
Western District of Oklahoma

Chief Judge - Vicki Miles-LaGrange

Court Clerk - Carmelita Reeder Shinn

200 NW 4th Street

Oklahoma City OK 73102

(405) 609-5000

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CM/ECF Frequently Asked Questions

What is CM/ECF?

Case Management/Electronic Case Files is an electronic filing system that streamlines the process of creating, filing and noticing legal documents by permitting attorneys to file documents electronically with the Court using the Internet. It has the potential to provide substantial savings to attorneys, their clients and the Court while improving access to Court records. Benefits include:

  • 24 hour access to file or view documents
  • immediate creation of docket entries
  • immediate access to updated docket sheets and to the documents themselves
  • potential elimination of paper files that can be misplaced or lost
  • potential savings in copying, courier and noticing costs
  • ability to store and search documents electronically
  • multiple users can view the same file simultaneously

What do I need to file electronically?

How does electronic filing work?

To file electronically, attorneys create their documents on their computers just as they normally do. Instead of printing the document on paper, it is saved in a portable document format (pdf). Attorneys then access the electronic filing system through their Internet provider over the World Wide Web. After logging in, attorneys select the appropriate case, party, and pleading. The document is then sent over the Internet to the Court’s computer which immediately sends a receipt back to the attorney verifying that the document has been received. The receipt can be printed or saved to disk for future reference. This process creates a docket entry and makes both the updated docket sheet as well as the document itself instantly electronically available. The system also sends email notification of the filing to the attorneys in the case.

How do I get started?

In order to file electronically, an attorney must be admitted to practice before the Court and must register to file electronically. The ECF Registration Form can be obtained from the Clerk’s Office or over the Internet from the Court’s website.

What is PACER?

The PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) system enables users to obtain, view and print case records from Federal Appellate, District and Bankruptcy courts via the Internet. Registration for ECF is separate from and in addition to registering for PACER. To register for PACER, visit their website at www.pacer.psc.uscourts.gov.

I am having problems with PACER, what do I do?

If you are having trouble with PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records), call the PACER center at 1-800-676-6856 or visit their website at www.pacer.psc.uscourts.gov .

Who can file pleadings electronically?

Attorneys admitted to practice before the Court and others authorized to file electronically can register for CM/ECF. Pro se litigants must file their documents conventionally (in paper form) at the Court Clerk’s Office.

Are there any special training requirements in order to register and file in the ECF system?

No. There are no training requirements, but we strongly encourage counsel to review all of the training materials found on the court’s website at http://www.okwd.uscourts.gov/ecftrain.htm. If you have any questions or need further assistance with ECF training contact Anne Ross at 609- 5031.

How do I file a proposed order?

See Policies and Procedures Manual regarding submitting orders and other proposals. After an Order has been signed, court staff will file the Order.

Where do I get Adobe Acrobat?

Several companies offer pdf readers and writers. This court uses Adobe Acrobat. The website is www.adobe.com.

My document is more than 5 MB. Should I just file it conventionally?

If your document is larger than 5 MB, you need to break it into parts. Be careful to properly label each part (i.e., Exhibit 3, Part 1 Depo of John Smith, Pages 1-20; Exhibit 3, Part 2 Depo of John Smith, Pages 21-40.) If a single page is more than 5 MB it must be filed conventionally.

How can I determine the size of my document before I begin?

Open the pdf document you are filing. If you are using Adobe Acrobat, use "Ctrl + D" for a document summary. Other programs may allow you to view the document properties through the drop-down menus at the top of the screen.

What documents must be filed conventionally?

Refer to the Policies and Procedures Manual section that addresses conventional filing of documents. A list of exceptions is included in the Manual. If your document meets one of the exceptions, you will file a "notice of conventional filing" electronically and then submit the paper document to the court clerk.

What should I do if I can’t find the type of motion on the drop down list?

An example of this kind of motion might be "Motion to be Allowed to Participate in a Settlement Conference by Telephone." This type of motion cannot be found in the drop down menu. Use "Order" because this is really a motion for an order to be allowed to do something. At the text screen, include the title of your motion.

Can I file a motion and brief in the same document?

Yes. File your document as a motion. When you get to the docket text screen, text in "and brief." You many also file these documents separately and link them together.

Can I file a response to a motion and a cross motion in the same document?

No. You need to separate the response from the cross motion and enter each one separately. If your exhibits are the same for both documents, we suggest creating an appendix that relates to both the response and cross motion.

Can I file two motions in one document?

Yes. You need to select all motions that you are requesting a ruling on in the document. For example, if you have a motion to compel and motion for sanctions then you will select both"compel" and "sanctions" from the motion list when filing the document.

How do I select only certain parties from the pick list?

If you represent certain parties or are filing a document on behalf of certain parties, use the "Ctrl" key to select multiple parties. Hold the "Ctrl" key down and use your mouse to make your selections.

I have received an NEF but cannot view the document.

Each time you visit a web site information is stored on your computer. This stored information will interfere with the sending and viewing documents. To correct this problem, clean out your temporary files (or cache).

I can’t view a document in certain cases - why not?

Remote access to Social Security and Immigration cases is limited to attorneys of record in the case. If you are an attorney in the case, please note that you can access documents in these cases only through use of your ECF filer ID and password. When you receive an NEF you may receive a message that states you do not have rights to view the document. Use your ECF login and password if prompted and you will be able to view the document.

What do I do if I forgot my password?

Call the Helpdesk at 609-5555 or toll free at 1-888-609-6593.

 

Helpful Hints for Electronic Filing:

  1. Read the Policies and Procedures Manual BEFORE you begin.
  2. You can find the Policies and Procedures Manual on our website
    www.okwd.uscourts.gov It contains many hyperlinks and is very helpful.
  3. To prevent screen display problems in CM/ECF, it is a good idea to frequently clear your temporary files (or cache).
  4. Don’t wait until the last minute. Until you are thoroughly comfortable with the new system, consider filing your document the day before it is actually due.
  5. Filing fees must be paid by credit card, check, money order or cash in accordance with the Policies and Procedures Manual.
  6. Personal data identifiers must not be included on any document filed with the court, including exhibits. See General Order 03-5 filed July 28, 2003 and the E-Government Act of 2002.
  7. Medical records and employment history should not be included in any filing unless ordered by the assigned judge. These documents may be filed if properly redacted. With leave of Court, unredacted documents may be filed under seal. See the Policies and Procedures Manual.
  8. Determine the size of your document before you begin. Any document larger than 5 MB must be split into parts to be filed. Please properly label each part.
  9. If your document is due today, it MUST be filed by 6:00 p.m. central time.
  10. The title of the document that you are filing should be as close as possible to the menu selection on ECF. Use the Search feature from the blue menu bar to find the appropriate menu choice for your filing.
  11. If you are filing an "Application" or "Request", use "Motion."
  12. In the event the menu does not include the type of motion you are filing, use motion for"Order" because you are asking the Court for an order.
  13. If you combine your motion and brief, select "Motion" from the menu and type "with brief in support" in the text screen.
  14. You cannot combine a response to a motion and another motion (ie. "Response to Motion to Compel and Motion for Extension of Time to Answer Discovery Requests" or"Response to Motion for Summary Judgment and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment.") You must use 2 entries. This is a confusing issue. The rules don’t allow you to give us the document twice. If they are so intertwined that separating them would be difficult, try preparing separate abbreviated motions, a combined brief, and a combined appendix.
  15. When the system prompts you to select the filer, be careful and select only the party or parties represented by the filer. Be careful not to select "Parent Company" as the filer. Instead, select the correct party plaintiff or defendant DO NOT select all defendants or all plaintiffs unless such a selection is appropriate.
  16. Exhibits must be labeled with numbers only. No letters can be used. If you have parts to the exhibit, label it "Exhibit 1, Part 1" "Exhibit 1, Part 2".
  17. Descriptions of attachments should be specific, accurate and simply stated. For example,"Exhibit 1, Affidavit of Jane Smith."
  18. Read the document entry for accuracy before you continue to the final text screen. Make corrections or start over. Call us if you notice an error in the docket text of an entry with multiple attachments to see if we might be able to correct it for you.
  19. The 18 day rule for responding to pleadings did not change. If someone files something on the day it is due, it must be filed by 6:00 p.m. Therefore, the response is due 18 days from that date. If someone files something that doesn’t have a due date or files before the due date, the response is due 18 days from the date that it is filed.
  20. If you are filing a return of service of a summons, use the event "Summons Returned Executed." This will automatically calculate the answer date and place that date on the judge’s calendar. Be sure and use "Summons Returned Executed - USA" for summons served on any federal government defendant. This will calculate 60 days for the answer instead of 20.
  21. For any other return, use the event "Return of Service - NON SUMMONS." This includes Marshal’s returns for non-complaint service.
  22. Don’t forget to give the Court Clerk’s office a paper copy, bound at the side, of any document that you e-filed that is over 40 pages total. This includes indices and exhibits. You have 1 business day from the file date to deliver the copy to the Clerk.
  23. Emails transmitting proposed orders or other proposals to the Judge’s chambers should be properly titled in the subject line: "Proposed Order in [case number]". Emails to chambers must be in a Word Perfect compatible format NOT PDF. See the Policies and Procedures Manual.
  24. If you file a document under seal, enclose the document in an envelope and clearly label the envelope. Unredacted documents filed under seal shall be marked on the envelope"Document filed under seal pursuant to the E-Government Act." If you file a document under seal you must also e-file a notice of conventional filing.
  25. If you cannot locate anything on the list that remotely matches the title or relief requested, call the help desk at 405-609-5555 or 888-609-OKWD(6593). We might have a suggestion

 

If you have any questions, call us at 609-5555 or toll free (888) 609-6593.