Frequently Asked Questions

Select a frequently asked question category on the left or search for a FAQ using the "Search this Site" box above.


  • Where can I find the form for Notice, Consent, and Reference of a Civil Action to a Magistrate Judge

    The instructions and form is located under forms and instructions - ecf instructions.

  • How can I display my previously entered information for the online attorney admissions application?

    Click on attorney admissions and click on "update my previously entered information".  Enter your first name, last name, barcode and zip code. Press Submit.

  • Can I use Chrome or Opera for ecf or pacer?

    Chrome and Opera does not work with ecf or pacer. Please use the recommended browsers.

    Firefox 15.x
    Internet Explorer 8 and 9.x
    Safari 5.1

  • Does the AOL browser work with ECF?

    No, try using Internet Explorer 8 or 9 or Mozilla Firefox 15.x.

  • I received a NEF for an entry but when I click on the pdf, I receive this message "Document Under Seal". Why cannot I see the pdf?

    You cannot see the pdf because it is sealed. Sealed pdfs are only viewable to the court.

  • I represent multiple parties in a case. How do I select them from the Pick Filer list?
    If all of the parties are listed together you can left click(pc) or command key (mac) to select the name of the first person, continue to hold the left mouse down, then scroll and select all other parties. You can also left click(pc) or command key(mac) to select the name of the first person, hold the shift key and left click(pc) or command key(mac) to select the name of the last person. This will select all parties between the two (2) names.
    If the parties are not listed together you can left click(pc) or command key(mac) to select the name of the first person, hold the control key, and continue to left click(pc) or command key (mac) to select the other party names. Once all parties have been selected, you can release the control key.
  • I have logged into CM/ECF but I do not have any events to select for filing. What’s wrong?
    Look at the blue menu bar.
    If you see Civil, Criminal, Query, Reports, Utilities, Search and Logout, click on either the Civil or Criminal tab for a list of filing events.
    If you see Query, Reports, Utilities and Logout, you have used your PACER login and password, which only allows a user to view documents and reports. Click Logout and enter the filing login and password. The options on the menu bar should change.
  • Who can serve my summons and complaint?

    Anyone over the age of 18 years who is not a party to the lawsuit can serve the summons and complaint.  Professional process servers, typically listed in the telephone book, may be hired to serve the summons and complaint.  Fees and costs vary with each server.  A cost-savings alternative is to have a trusted family member or friend who is over 18 years old serve your summons and complaint.  If you do not use a professional process server, you should carefully read Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to determine the method by which service must be made. Rule 4 also permits service to be made under New York Law. If your application to waive the filing fee was granted and you have in forma pauperis status, you also have the option of having the United States Marshal Service serve your summons and complaint free of charge.  Please note that even if you have been granted in forma pauperis status, you need not use the Marshal Service for serving your summons and complaint.  If is frequently quicker to arrange for the service on your own.

  • My papers are due today, but I can't get to the courthouse until after 5:00pm, what can I do?

    If you cannot submit your papers during the Court’s normal business hours, you may place them in the District Court’s Night Deposit Box located near Security in the lobby of the Courthouse.  You must have the papers date and time stamped at the machine near Security.  So long as the papers are stamped on or before 11:59pm, they will be deemed submitted on that date.  If the papers are stamped at 12:00am (midnight) or later, they will be deemed submitted the next day.

  • Can I file my papers electronically?

    Pro se litigants may not file electronically without the judge’s prior approval.  If you would like to electronically file your papers, you must make a written application to the judge and include information regarding your ability to use a computer and what computer access you have.