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FAQs: cmecf


    System requirements are minimal and inexpensive. All that is needed are:
      • a personal computer (PC clone / Apple Macintosh),
      • an Internet connection
      • a modern browser
      • Adobe Acrobat Reader and PDF writing software
      • a scanner (optional) for imaging documents which do not exist in electronic format


    Attorneys must be admitted to practice in the Northern District of Ohio in order to file electronically.

    NextGen CM/ECF registration for e-filing and notification is required in the Northern District of Ohio unless otherwise ordered by the Court. Register online at The user’s login and password required to submit documents to the electronic filing system serve as the user’s signature on all electronic documents filed with the Court.  They also serve as a signature for purposes of Fed. R. Civ. P. 11, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Local Rules of this Court, and any other purpose for which a signature is required in connection with proceedings before the Court. 

    Please refer to the Attorney Info page for admission requirements.


    The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio is a NextGen CM/ECF court. In order to request for filing privileges, you must have an upgraded individual PACER account. If you do not have an upgraded individual PACER Account, click HERE for procedures.


    PACER Service Center
    P.O. Box 780549
    San Antonio, TX 78278
    (800) 676-6856
    (210) 301-6440



    Fees for Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER)

    1. Except as provided below, for electronic access to any case document, docket sheet, or case-specific report via PACER: $0.10 per page, not to exceed the fee for thirty pages.
    2. For electronic access to transcripts and non-case specific reports via PACER (such as reports obtained from the PACER Case Locator or docket activity reports): $0.10 per page.
    3. For electronic access to an audio file of a court hearing via PACER: $2.40 per audio file.

    Fees for Courthouse Electronic Access

    1. For printing copies of any record or document accessed electronically at a public terminal in a courthouse: $0.10 per page.
    2. Automatic Fee Exemptions:
    • No fee is owed for electronic access to court data or audio files via PACER until an account holder accrues charges of more than $30.00 in a quarterly billing cycle.
    • Parties in a case (including pro se litigants) and attorneys of record receive one free electronic copy, via the notice of electronic filing or notice of docket activity, of all documents filed electronically, if receipt is required by law or directed by the filer.
    • No fee is charged for access to judicial opinions.
    • No fee is charged for viewing case information or documents at courthouse public access terminals
      Further information regarding fees can be accessed at

    The CM/ECF system provides:
      • 24 hour access to file or view documents
      • immediate creation of docket entries
      • immediate access to updated docket sheets and to the documents themselves
      • upon the filing of any new document, e-mail notices are automatically sent to the other parties in the case
      • potential elimination of paper files that can be misplaced or lost
      • potential savings in copying, courier and noticing costs


    There are a variety of training options for those interested in learning more about CM/ECF. Tips sheets and training materials are available online on the Court's web site. In conjunction with local bar associations, the Court frequently presents CLE training programs related to electronic filing. In addition, the Clerk's Office regularly offers demonstrations and hands on training at its court houses. The Clerk's Office is also willing, on a limited basis, to send trainers to provide demonstrations or hands on training at law firms. Call the Clerk's Office for more details or to make arrangements for training:
      • Akron: 330-252-6015
      • Cleveland: 216-357-7007
      • Toledo: 419-213-5500
      • Youngstown: 330-884-7419


    While the electronic filing system has proven to be highly reliable and relatively easy to use, the Clerk's Office has established a Help Desk (1-800-355-8498) to assist if problems occur. The Help Desk is staffed weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. (eastern standard time), and is available at all other times to record voice mail messages.


    Electronic filing extends the time in which attorneys can file beyond the clerk's office's typical intake hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The system is available for filing and retrieving documents 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, with minor exceptions for normal system maintenance. Be aware, however, that help desk assistance is only available form the Clerk's Office during normal business hours: from 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and those seeking to make after hours filings do so at their own risk.


    Attorneys create documents on their own computers just as they do now. However, instead of printing the documents on paper and delivering them to the Court, the attorneys save the documents in a portable document format (Adobe Acrobat PDF) that allows other system users to view the documents in their original format, regardless of the type of computer or word processing system that was used to create the documents or is being used to view them.


    Attorneys access the Court's electronic filing system over the Internet. After establishing their identity by entering their upgraded PACER username and password, attorneys enter the case number in which their document is to be filed, the name of the party for whom the document is being filed and the type of document being submitted (answer, answer with cross-claim, etc.). The document is then transmitted to the Court's computer. Once the document is received by the Court, the electronic filing system:
      • Sends a notice of electronic filing (NEF) to the sender verifying that the document has been received.
      • Updates the docket sheet.
      • Makes the updated docket sheet and the document itself immediately available to anyone with access to the system.
      • Sends a NEF to all parties who have agreed to receive electronic notice.