Frequently Asked Questions

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ’s)

If you have an ECF question and can’t find it (or its answer) here, please contact the ECF Helpdesk.

Categories

 

Account Maintenance

Attachments

Browser

Filing

Hardware

Initiating Documents

Notice of Electronic Filing

PACER

PDF’s

Registration

Account Maintenance

Q – How often must I change my ECF password?

A-  The ECF system does not require you to change your password.  However, it is recommended that the password be changed periodically for security purposes. 

Q - What are the ECF password requirements?

A – Passwords must be at least eight characters long and include both uppercase and lowercase alphabetic characters and at least one digit or special character (for example, 0-9, @, #, $, &, *, +). 

Q – How do I change my password?

A – Passwords can be changed in ECF via the Maintain Your Account section found in the Utilities menu. See the User Manual for details.

Q – How do I enter additional email addresses so that they also receive Notices of Electronic Filing (NEF’s)?

A – Email configuration is performed in ECF via the Email information portion of the Maintain Your Account section (Utilities, Maintain Your Account, Email information). See the User Manual for details.

Attachments

Q - When I file, I often have several attachments, i.e. promissory notes, mortgages, etc. Would I make each exhibit an attachment or would I go by the number of total pages and break them up in equal segments?

A - Each exhibit must be filed as a separate attachment even if each exhibit is only one page in length and no attachment can exceed 10 MB in size.

Q – What if I have a voluminous number of attachments?

A – When there are 30 or fewer attachments to a pleading, the attachments must be filed electronically via ECF.  If necessary, the Additional Attachments filing option may be used which can be found on the Civil and Criminal menus under Other Documents.

Q – If I’m filing paper documents, do I need to create a separate PDF placeholder for each paper document?

A – No, you may list each document (or exhibit) on a single PDF placeholder.

Q - Is there a ppi limit on scanned documents?

A – No, but there is 10 megabyte (MB) limit on file size. We recommend a scanner resolution of 300 ppi (pixels per inch) or higher to keep the PDF file size as small as possible.

Browser

Q – I use Internet Explorer version 6.0 as my web browser. Will ECF work for me?

A – The current version of ECF allows for the supported use of the browsers Internet Explorer 8 and 9, Firefox and Safari.

Filing

Q - Regarding cases filed BEFORE Jan 1, 2003 - Is it OPTIONAL for filings to be made electronically?

A – Documents should be filed electronically in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Governing the Filing and Service by Electronic Means (Appendix IV of the Local Rules) in all cases regardless of the case filing date.

Q - When filing a reply to response to a motion, the screen that asks the user to check the box next to the related event does not show the response I am replying to. What do I do?

A – You must select the underlying motion when filing a reply, not a response or a reply. In fact, responses and replies will not appear as an option to link to.

Q – How do I file a certificate of service?

A – A certificate service should be filed as the last page of the main document.

Q – How do I file a document that requires more than one signature, such as a stipulation of dismissal?

A – The Administrative Procedures Governing the Filing and Service by Electronic Means states that the document must list the names of the other signatories by means of a “/s/” typed name of signatory for each signatory.  The document must be electronically converted to PDF and not scanned.   By submitting such a document, the filing attorney is certifying that each of the signatories has expressly agreed to the form and substance of the document and given the filing attorney their authority to file the document electronically.

Q – Should all affidavits be scanned with the original signatures?

A – No, affidavits, like most every document filed in ECF, should be electronically converted and filed with “/s/” convention. The original document shall be kept on file by counsel in accordance with the Administrative Procedures.

Q – I’m filing a certificate of service. How do I find out who is getting electronic notification and who will need traditional paper notification?

A – Mailing information for a case may be obtained via the Utilities menu in the ECF system (Utilities, Mailings, Mailing Info for a Case).

Q – How do I know where to find the item I am trying to file on the list of available menu items to begin the process?

A – There is a Search function available from the blue menu bar in CM/ECF. 

Hardware

Q – Do I have to have a document scanner to use ECF?

A – No. While a scanner may be useful in certain circumstances, it is not required equipment for using the ECF system.

Initiating Documents

Q –Since I can’t file them electronically directly into ECF, where do I send new case opening documents?

A – Email initiating documents in Bangor cases to newcases.bangor@med.uscourts.gov . The address for Portland cases is newcases.portland@med.uscourts.gov

Q – How do I file a Notice of Removal?

A – The Notice of Removal, Civil Cover Sheet, and all pleadings from the State Court shall be filed via e-mail in PDF format to one of the e-mail address listed in the answer above. Note, the pleadings from State Court may be scanned, but must be scanned individually rather than as a single PDF document.

Q – What’s the process for obtaining a signed and sealed civil summons?

A - PDF Summonses are available on the Court’s website. These forms shall be filled out and emailed to the Clerk’s Office at the new cases address listed above. The Clerk’s Office will electronically sign and seal the summonses and then file them in ECF, and you will then receive notice via a Notice of Electronic Filing.  The summonses must be printed and served in accordance with Civil Rule of Procedure  4.

Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF)

Q – Does ‘one free look’ apply to attachments?

A – Yes, counsel of record and their secondary e-mail address recipients get one free look at all documents filed in CM/ECF, with the exception of transcripts.

Portable Document Format (PDF)

Q – Will ECF accept PDF documents with added security settings that prohibit changes to be made to the document?

A – No, ECF will not accept PDF documents with added security settings of any type.

PACER

Q – Now that I have an ECF login and password, should I ever use my (or my firm's) PACER login and password again?

A - Your PACER login and password are still required to view anything via the PACER system.  Your court-provided ECF login and password will only allow you to FILE documents electronically in the District of Maine.

Registration

Q - I am admitted in both Maine and Massachusetts and am uncertain whether I need two separate ECF passwords or only one. Could you please advise me?

A - You will need a separate ECF login and password for each court in which you practice as ECF registration is court specific.

 

 

Questions? If you have comments or questions, please contact the individual listed below:

Michele Mitchell
U.S. District Court
202 Harlow Street
Bangor, Maine 04401
(207) 945-0575 ext. 6426