ECF Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual (Attorney)

 
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Cover Page (Attorney)

Introduction

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana implemented an Electronic Case Filing/Case Management System on 10/17/2004.  The Court’s system, CM/ECF, permits limited users and attorneys to file documents with the Court via the Internet using the ECF (Electronic Case Filing) portion of the system.  This Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual governs electronic filing in all cases and proceedings in the Southern District of Indiana Bankruptcy Courts.  Attorneys, limited users, parties, and pro se litigants may view bankruptcy cases and adversary proceedings, as well as documents filed electronically, by utilizing PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) via the internet.

This Manual is not intended to provide comprehensive guidance on the mechanics of electronic filing.  Interested parties should consult the Local Rules and the Court’s Procedures Manual, both available on the Internet at www.insb.uscourts.gov.


History of Changes

05/30/2013 - Added information re:  alternative method for filing, amending, and withdrawing claims effective 6/3/13.

03/27/2018 - Updated language for NextGen (04/16/2018).

Authorization for Electronic Filing

Local Rule B-5005-4 authorizes electronic filing in conjunction with Fed.R.Bankr.P. 5005(a(2).  The following policies and procedures govern electronic filing in the Bankruptcy Courts of this District unless a Bankruptcy Judge determines that these policies and procedures should be modified due to circumstances in a particular case.


History of Changes

07/01/2013 - Added direct link to Local Rule 5005-4.

Definitions

The following definitions shall apply to this Electronic Case Filing Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual:

2.1     “Cases” means all bankruptcy cases and adversary proceedings.

2.2     “Document” means pleadings, motions, exhibits, declarations, affidavits, memoranda, papers, orders, notices, and any other filing by or with the Court.

2.3     “ECF” means the Electronic Case Filing portion of the Court’s CM/ECF System, which may be accessed by e-filers for the purpose of filing documents electronically in cases pending before the Court.  [See section under Registration.]

2.4     “E-filer” means an attorney or limited user authorized to file documents electronically through CM/ECF or a person filing, amending, or withdrawing a proof of claim electronically using a program other than CM/ECF made available by the Court.

2.5     “Electronic filing” means the submission of electronic documents through CM/ECF or an alternative electronic program made available by the Court.

2.6     “Electronic signature” means the e-filer’s name preceded by /s/ in the space where the e-filer’s wet signature otherwise would appear.  [See section under Electronic Signature and Signature Block.]  Debtors are not authorized to file electronically.  The e-filer may use this "electronic signature" format for debtors if the e-filer has possession of the documents with the debtors' wet signatures.  [See section "Cases and Documents Subject to Electronic Filing" for more information on use of the "electronic signature" format.]

2.7     “Limited user” means a creditor, or party in interest other than a debtor, given limited rights to file electronically.  Limited Users are only permitted to file certain documents electronically.  Any other document should be filed on paper, or filed on behalf of the Limited User by an attorney who has full electronic filing rights.  [See the Court’s Procedures Manual for a listing of limited documents.]  

2.8     “Notice of Electronic Filing” means the e-mail notice that is automatically generated by the Electronic CaseFiling System at the time a document is filed by an e-filer or an order is entered by the Court.  The Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) will set forth the date and time of filing or issuance, the type of document, the text of the docket entry, the name of the parties receiving the notice, and an electronic link (hyperlink) to the document, which allows recipients to retrieve the document electronically.

2.9     “PACER” (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) means the Public Access portion of the Court’s CM/ECF System, which may be accessed by anyone with a PACER user ID and password for the purpose of viewing case dockets and electronically filed documents in cases pending before the Court.  PACER also serves as the portal to access CM/ECF for e-filing.

2.10   “PDF” means a document that exists in Portable Document Format.  A document file created with a word processor, or a paper document which has been scanned, must first be converted to a portable document format before it can be electronically filed with the Court.  Converted files contain the extension “.pdf.”

2.11   “Traditional service” or “traditionally serve” means service in accordance with Fed.R.Bankr.P. 7004.

2.12   “Wet signature” means the original signature on a document which results from signing with pen.  When required, a wet signature must be obtained before the document is filed.

2.13   “Manual” means this document - the Electronic Case Filing Policies and Procedures Manual.


History of Changes

11/09/2011 - Added language in 2.6 and 2.12 to clarify that 'wet' signatures must be obtained prior to filing.

05/30/2013 - Added language in 2.4 and 2.5 re:  alternative electronic program for filing, amending, or withdrawing claims.

08/20/2013 - Added language in  2.7 re:  scope of documents a Limited User can file electronically.

04/11/2014 - Changed 2.7 to read "...permitted to file certain documents.." instead of "...permitted to file a list of documents..." for clarity.

03/28/2018 - Added language in 2.9 to clarify that PACER now serves as the portal to access CM/ECF for e-filing.  Updated language for NextGen (04/16/2018).

Application of Rules and Orders

Unless modified by Order of the Court, all Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and Local Rules shall continue to apply to cases maintained in the Court’s Case Management/Electronic Case Filing System (CM/ECF).

Cases and Documents Subject to Electronic Case Filing

Generally

Pursuant to Local Rule B-5005-1, all attorneys must file all documents electronically, and those entities who file more than 10 documents per year must either become limited users in CM/ECF, which allows electronic filing of only a specific set of documents, and/or become ePOC/eWOC users, which allows an alternative method for electronically filing, amending, or withdrawing only proofs of claims.    All others shall file cases, pleadings and documents on paper, except that the creditor matrix for any case must be submitted on a diskette, CD, or other electronic media acceptable to the Clerk.

Attorneys, limited users, parties, and pro se litigants may view dockets and electronically filed documents via the Internet through the use of the Court’s PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) System. 

Documents Signed by Debtors

Documents signed by debtors shall be filed electronically by the debtors’ attorney.  Debtors are not authorized to file electronically, and therefore are not authorized to use the electronic signature format.  Documents filed by debtors’ counsel may only use the electronic signature format for pleadings executed by debtors if counsel has the debtors’ wet signatures on originals prior to filing.  [See “Electronic signature” in the Definitions section.]

Joint or Agreed Pleadings

If the document is a joint or agreed filing with counsel for an opposing party, the e-filer may use the electronic signature format for opposing counsel only if:

a) the filer has received consent of that counsel to use an electronic signature, and

b) the opposing counsel is also authorized to file electronically.

If both conditions are satisfied, then the e-filer need only retain proof of consent from the opposing party and is not required to obtain or retain a wet signature.  If the other party to the joint or agreed filing is not an attorney or is an attorney but is not authorized to file electronically, then the e-filer must have a wet signature on the original document.  (Note:  Reaffirmation Agreements are subject to this requirement.)  The e-filer may then use the electronic signature format for the opposing counsel or party but such use constitutes a representation that the e-filer has possession of the original document with the required wet signatures prior to filing.


History of Changes

11/09/2011 - Added sections "Documents Signed by Debtor" and "Joint Pleadings."

12/21/2011 - Added sentence referencing Reaffirmation Agreements under "Joint Pleadings."

04/03/2013 - Added 'agreed' to 'joint filing' and 'Joint Pleadings' to make it 'joint or agreed filing' and 'Joint or Agreed Pleadings.'

08/20/2013 - Added to the 1st paragraph under 'Generally' that limited users can only file a specific set of documents electronically or can use ePOC/eWOC.

02/06/2015 - Replaced reference to General Order 09-0003 and 09-00011 with reference to Local Rule B-5005-1.

Tools Needed for Electronic Filing

In order to file documents electronically and/or receive electronic notification of case activity via the Electronic Case Filing System, one must have the following:

  • An ECF user ID and password assigned by the Clerk (in order to access the Court’s Electronic Case Filing System);

  • A computer running a Windows or a Macintosh operating system;

  • Software used to create PDF documents from a word processing application, such as Adobe Acrobat Professional®;

  • A PDF viewer, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader® (free download available at www.adobe.com);

  • A PDF-compatible word processor like Macintosh or Windows-based versions of WordPerfect® or Microsoft Word®;

  • An Internet browser such as Internet Explorer® 11, Mozilla Firefox 53, or Safari 10.1.  Note: CM/ECF is NOT compatible with Chrome nor with Internet Explorer 10.0 or lower. The use of these browsers or others not listed above (e.g. Opera or Edge) may result in intermittent errors when filing documents and in receiving court e-mail notifications from within CM/ECF.

  • Internet access and an e-mail address;

  • Access to a scanner (may be necessary for paper exhibits which must be scanned into PDF).

E-filers are strongly encouraged to maintain an anti-virus program to protect not only their system but also CM/ECF.


History of Changes

03/17/2014 - Revised as to compatible Internet browsers.

10/09/2017 - Revised as to compatible Internet browers.

Electronic Signature and Signature Block

For documents filed electronically through CM/ECF, use of the e-filer’s user ID and password when filing documents electronically, combined with the use of the required signature format, serves as the e-filer’s signature for purposes of Fed.R.Bankr.P. 9011, the Local Rules of this Court, and any other purpose for which a signature is required in connection with proceedings before the Court.  All documents filed electronically (except proofs of claim filed using a Court program other than CM/ECF) shall include a signature block consisting of the e-filer’s electronic signature (/s/ typewritten name where the e-filer’s wet signature would otherwise appear); the e-filer’s typewritten name below the electronic signature; address; telephone number; facsimile number and e-mail address. This required format appears below.

/s/ (Typewritten Name of E-Filer)
Name of E-Filer
Address
City, State, ZIP Code
Phone: (xxx) xxx-xxxx
Fax: (xxx) xxx-xxxx
E-mail: xxx@xxx.xxx

The “/s/ (typewritten name)” format is also acceptable as a substitute for the wet signature of a party, such as the debtor, on an electronically filed document provided that the e-filer retains the document with wet signature according to the section below, Retention of Documents with Original Signatures.

A scanned, wet signature of the e-filer is also acceptable on an electronically filed document.  However, if for any reason the e-filer is filing a document non-electronically, then the document tendered to the Clerk must have a wet signature.

No e-filer or other person may knowingly permit or cause to permit an e-filer's user ID and password to be used by anyone other than an authorized agent of the person assigned the user ID and password.  All documents filed with the e-filer's user ID and password will be presumed for all purposes, including Fed.R.Bankr.P. 9011, to have been filed by the person assigned the user ID and password. Furthermore, when a person places his/her electronic signature on a document but then uses another e-filer's user ID and password to file the document, that filing will be treated by the Court for all purposes, including Fed.R.Bankr.P. 9011, as a document 'signed' by both the person whose name is on the document and the e-filer whose user ID and password were used.

If the document is a joint or agreed filing, refer to "Joint or Agreed Pleadings" in Cases and Documents Subject to Electronic Case Filing.

NOTE:  On Official Forms, such as a Proof of Claim, signature blocks are not required.  An e-filer may use either a wet signature or the “/s/ (typewritten name).”


History of Changes

11/09/2011 - Provided a link for "Joint Pleadings."

12/21/2011 - Removed reference to Reaffirmation Agreements in the "Note" at the bottom of the page.

04/04/2012 - Underlined all occurrences of /s/ (typewritten name) to reflect the correct way of doing an electronic signature.

04/03/2013 - Added 'agreed' to 'joint' to make it 'joint or agreed filing' and 'Joint or Agreed Pleadings.'

05/30/2013 - Added language re: documents filed through CM/ECF and proofs of claim filed, amended, or withdrawn through a Court program other than CM/ECF.

11/12/2013 - Fourth paragraph totally revamped re: unauthorized usage of an ID/password and when a document is considered "signed."

04/11/2014 - Clarified what happens when a person places his/her signature on a document but uses another e-filer's ID and password.

Registration

Initial Registration

Attorneys are required to file documents electronically per Local Rule B-5005-1. Attorneys must be admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, either via standard admission or pro hac vice admission, and must be in good standing.

An e-filer registration request is now submitted to PACER at www.pacer.gov.  ECF training and a registration form with original signature will be required to complete the registration process.

Maintaining or Changing Registration

All e-filers are responsible for maintaining the accuracy of their account information, including mailing and e-mail addresses.  Changes to account information are requested through PACER and processed by the Court. 

Attorneys who leave their current practices should contact the Court prior to submitting any changes through PACER if a large number of cases will remain with the current law firm.  As a safety precaution, attorneys should also change their passwords if they change law firms.  

Note:  Any change in user ID or password will not remove an attorney from a case or proceeding.  The appropriate pleading, such as a motion to withdraw, must be filed before an attorney will be removed from the case or proceeding and its distribution list.


History of Changes

02/01/2012 - Condensed the last two paragraphs into one to explain the difference between PACER and ECF.

07/12/2013 - Entire document revamped due to the new e-Registration on-line training program.

04/11/2014 - Removed references to General Orders since the local rules referenced as replacements are, in fact, in place.

03/28/2018 - Removed and updated language in Initial Registration section to state the CM/ECF registration is no longer sent to the court but to PACER.  Maintaining or Change Registration section was updated to state that CM/ECF account changes are conducted through PACER.  Updated language for NextGen (04/16/2018).

Termination or Suspension of Electronic Filing Rights

The Court may terminate an e-filer’s rights to continue participating in electronic filing under the following circumstances:

        • If the e-filer is an attorney who dies, retires, resigns, is suspended or disbarred from practice by the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, then the Clerk shall terminate or restrict access to CM/ECF and any alternative electronic program made available by the Court.  (This change in access will not result in the removal of the attorney from any case or proceeding in which that attorney previously appeared.)
        • If the Court determines that an attorney (a) has changed firms and has failed to alert the Clerk, or (b) that multiple attempts at electronic delivery of notices to the e-mail address provided by the attorney at his or her CM/ECF account have failed, or (c) if the Court obtains other evidence that an attorney has failed to maintain accurate contact information for electronic filing and notice purposes, the Clerk shall immediately terminate access to CM/ECF for the user name and ID assigned the attorney at the original firm and any alternative electronic program made available by the Court. (This change in access will not result in the removal of the attorney from any case or proceeding in which that attorney previously appeared.)

        • If any Judge determines, based on a review of the user’s actions, that an e-filer has demonstrated the inability to use the system properly, then the Judge may (a) direct the e-filer to obtain additional training; or (b) direct the Clerk to suspend the e-filer’s access, either permanently or pending the completion of additional training.  Inability to use the system properly shall be determined by any of the following:  (a) an above average number of notices of deficient filing; (b) repeated failure to respond to notices of deficient filing; (c) repeated failure to select correct events designed to collect statistical data; (d) unauthorized use of another e-filer's user ID and password; (e) failure to protect user ID and password from unauthorized use by others; (f) repeated failure to remit fees electronically; (g) any other persistent conduct that produces errors or inaccuracies requiring Court resources to rectify.  The Judge may rely on the Clerk for information establishing an e-filer’s inability to use the system properly.  (This change in access will not result in the removal of an attorney from any case or proceeding in which that attorney previously appeared.) 

        • If the e-filer is an attorney and it is determined that the attorney is not admitted to practice in the Southern District of Indiana, including pro hac vice admission, OR that the attorney misrepresented material facts about either (a) the ability to be admitted to this District; or (b) prior training on CM/ECF, then a Judge may direct that access to electronic filing be terminated or suspended after notice has been given to the e-filer.  (This change in access will not result in the removal of the attorney from any case or proceeding in which that attorney previously appeared.)

        • After the Court determines that an e-filer has used another e-filer’s user ID and password without authorization, then a Judge may direct that access to electronic filing be terminated or suspended after notice has been given to the e-filer.  (This change in access will not result in the removal of an attorney from any case or proceeding in which that attorney previously appeared.)

        Suspension or termination of rights under this section does not affect an attorney’s admission to practice in this District.  Suspension or termination does not excuse the e-filer from compliance with the requirement that all documents be filed electronically; thus, it does not give the e-filer the right to file documents non-electronically.


        History of Changes

        09/12/2011 - Added the word 'dies' to the phrase in the bullet point that states 'retires, resigns, is suspended or disbarred.'

        05/30/2013 - Changed title from 'CM/ECF User Rights' to 'Electronic Filing Rights' and added language re:  alternative electronic program for filing, amending, and withdrawing claims.

        11/12/2013 - Third bullet point, (d) and (e) revised re: unauthorized use of ID and password and protecting ID/password.  Fifth bullet point revised to include "without authorization" concerning the usage of another person's ID/password.

        09/25/2017 - Added parts (b) and (c) to second bullet point; terminate atty rights if electonic delivery unsuccessful or if court obtain other evidence that atty has failed to maintain contact information.

        System Availability

        The Court's system is designed to provide service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Occasionally, the CM/ECF System may be unavailable for brief, scheduled maintenance.  Notice of scheduled maintenance will be posted on the Court's website in advance.  E-filers are encouraged to file documents in advance of filing deadlines and during normal business hours. Questions regarding the Electronic Case Filing System and the registration process should be referred to the Clerk's Office at (317) 229-3800.  Technical difficulties should be referred to the Court's Help Desk via e-mail to cmecf_tier2@insb.uscourts.gov. The Help Desk is staffed on business workdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

        If the CM/ECF System becomes unavailable for any reason and that unavailability is likely to last beyond normal business hours, the Chief Judge or designee will issue a general order extending deadlines that expire on the day the system outage began.  Any general order will invoke Fed.R.Bankr.P. 9006(a)(3), concerning the inaccessibility of the Clerk’s office, and deadlines will be extended to the first business day that system access is restored.  Usually, this day will be the next business day.  (Even if CM/ECF access is unavailable when the general order is issued, the Court retains the ability to send an e-mail blast to e-filing customers and will do so.)

        System availability should not be confused with an e-filer’s inability to file because of problems specific to the e-filer’s computer or the e-filer’s lack of access to a computer (perhaps because of bad weather).  For these situations, consult the section entitled Problems with E-Filing.


        History of Changes

        04/11/2014 - Added a 2nd paragraph re:  the system becoming unavailable for longer than a business day which would result in the issuance of a general order to extend deadlines.  Added a 3rd paragraph re:  system availability vs. e-filer's inability to file.

        08/31/2015 - Added 'or designee' after Chief Judge.

        Filing Documents Electronically

        Electronic transmission of a document containing a proper electronic signature or a scanned image of a wet signature and submitted in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Local Rules of this Court shall constitute the filing thereof.

        A Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF), acknowledging that the document has been filed, will immediately appear on the e-filer's screen after the document has been submitted.  E-filers are strongly encouraged to print or electronically save a copy of the NEF.  E-filers can also verify the filing of documents by viewing the Court's electronic docket sheet with PACER.

        Documents filed electronically must be submitted in PDF (Portable Document Format).  Filing documents electronically does not alter filing deadlines.  All electronic transmissions of documents must be completed (i.e. received completely by the Clerk‘s Office) prior to midnight, Eastern Time, to be considered timely filed that day.  Although e-filers can file documents electronically 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, e-filers are encouraged to file all documents during the normal working hours of the Clerk’s Office (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) when technical support is available.  [See also Format for Electronic Filings.]

        E-filers shall be responsible for selecting the appropriate event from the list of docketing events in CM/ECF.  If the e-filer has made a mistake (for example, attached an incorrect PDF document or chosen an incorrect filing event), the Clerk may issue a Notice of Deficient Filing ("NDF") which will require the e-filer to re-submit the document.  Once a document is submitted and becomes part of the case docket, corrections to the docket can only be made by the Clerk of Court.


        History of Changes

        11/09/2011 - Added "or a scanned image of a wet signature" to the first paragraph.

        02/01/2012 - Removed information in paragraph two concerning when a document may be stricken or when a case may be dismissed; removed the entire paragraph about PDFs being legible and on what type of paper; not relevant to this document. Added a link to "Format for Electronic Filings."

        04/11/2014 - Last paragraph revised to include what happens if an e-filer makes a mistake when filing electronically.

        Filing Claims Electronically

        Proofs of claim can be filed electronically using CM/ECF or by any alternative electronic program made available by the Court.

        The following sections of the Manual apply to filers using the Court's alternative program for filing claims electronically:

        • Definitions

        • Application of Rules and Order

        • Electronic Signature and Signature Block

        • Termination or Suspension of Electronic Filing Rights

        • System Availability

        • Redacting Personal Identifiers


        History of Changes

        5/30/13 - New document created.

        Format for Electronic Filings

        Electronically filed documents must meet the requirements of Fed.R.Bankr.P. 9004 (General Requirements of Form); Fed.R.Bankr.P. 9009 (Forms); Fed.R.Bankr.P. 9013 (Motions:  Form and Service); Fed.R.Bankr.P. 7003 (Commencement of Adversary Proceeding); and Local Rule B-5005-1 (Filing of Papers), as if they had been submitted on paper.  Documents filed electronically are also subject to any page limitations set forth by Court Order or Local Rule as applicable.

        To facilitate document retrieval for users who are accessing the system, documents may not exceed an electronic file size of 35.0 megabytes (MB).  What is Too Big?  To electronically file a document or attachment that exceeds 35.0 MB, the document must first be broken down into two or more smaller files.  For example, if Exhibit A is a 36.0 MB PDF, it should be divided into two equal parts prior to electronic filing.  What about memoranda or briefs in support of a motion?

        Any document filed should fit on an 8.5 x 11 inch page (if printed), single-sided, so as to not adversely impact the noticing process of the Bankruptcy Noticing Center.  All pleadings and other filings (including motions, briefs, and proposed orders) must be in PDF format.  The e-filer is responsible for reviewing all PDF documents for legibility before submission.


        History of Changes

        02/01/2011 - Added a pop-up to "What is too big?"  Made the paragraph concerning 'memoranda and briefs in support of a motion' into a pop-up.  Revised last paragraph for clarity.

        07/01/2013 - Added direct links to Local Rule 5005-1 and 9013-1 in 'What about memoranda or briefs in support of a motion?'

        02/06/2014 - Increase PDF file size from 5 MB to 10 MB.

        04/11/2014 - Removed reference to a dial-up connection since the 5.0 MB requirement applies all users.

        06/06/2017 - Change PDF size from 10MB to 35MB.

        What is Too Big?

        ECF will reject any individual PDF larger than 35.0 megabytes (35,000 KB).  Note that your combined file size is unlimited if submitting multiple filings, but you may run into problems transferring huge amounts of data.

        Word processing documents converted/published to PDFs rarely exceed 35.0 MB.  Scanned documets (as opposed to converted/published documents) can be problematic since scanning creates a MUCH larger file size for the same number of pages.  There is no way to tell exactly how many pages you can get into a file under 35.0 MB when scanning, but here are some expamples:

        100 pages converted/published to PDF may be only 1.5 MB.
        100 pages scanned to PDF at a high resolution may be 18.0 MB!
        100 pages scanned to PDF at a low resolution may be only 3.0 MB.

        When testing here at the Court, we were able to scan approximately 80-100 pages into a 3.0 MB PDF using the lowest resolution.

        You must consult your scanner's documentation or the manufacturer's website/helpdesk for assistance in using your scanner.  The Clerk's Office has no information concerning your scanner.


        History of Changes

        02/06/2014 - Increase PDF file size from 5 MB to 10 MB.

        04/11/2014 - Very minor revision to PDF references.

        06/06/2017 - Change PDF filed size from 10MB to 35MB.

        What about memoranda or briefs in support of a motion?

        Memoranda or briefs in support of a motion should not be filed as attachments.  These memoranda or briefs in support are to be filed as entirely separate documents pursuant to the appropriate rule.  Additionally, no motion shall be embodied in a response or in a reply brief/memorandum unless othewise ordered by the Court.  Local Rule B-9013-1, which requires separate motions, also applies to electronic pleadings.


        History of Changes

        07/01/2013 - Added direct link to Local Rule 9013-1.

        Attaching Exhibits to Documents

        Except as the presiding Judge in a case may otherwise direct, attachments to documents (including, but not limited to, leases, notes, etc.), which may not exist in electronic form, shall be electronically imaged (scanned) and filed as a PDF document.  Many docket events provide e-filers an opportunity to attach exhibits as part of the filing process.  Consult specific docket event information in the Procedures Manual.

        All documents with attachments, capable of electronic imaging and filing, shall be filed electronically together under one entry number.  E-filers shall submit as exhibits or attachments only those excerpts of the referenced documents that are germane to the matter under consideration by the Court.  Excerpted material must be clearly and prominently identified as such.  E-filers who file excerpts of documents as exhibits or attachments under this rule do so without prejudice to their right to timely file additional excerpts or to file the complete document.  Responding parties may timely file in electronic format additional excerpts that they believe to be germane to the matter under consideration by the Court.

        Orders

        ·     Electronic Submission

        Except as the presiding Judge in a case may otherwise direct, an attorney submitting a proposed order to the Clerk of Court shall do so electronically (by uploading the order) via ECF.  [See the Procedures Manual for guidance on uploading orders.]  [See Appendix C for Order format.]

        ·     Non-Electronic Submission

        Parties who are not required or authorized to be e-filers shall provide one copy of the proposed order on paper [See Appendix C for Order format.]

        ·     Signed Orders

        All orders shall be signed electronically.  Any docketed order or other court-issued document has the same force and effect as if the Judge or the Clerk had signed a paper copy. 

        ·     Distribution

        Parties are responsible for ensuring that any order (even if distributed by the Clerk) is sent to the proper entities.  Service of an order can be determined by looking at the Bankruptcy Noticing Center (BNC) Certificate of Service, which appears on the docket approximately three days after filing.


        History of Changes

        02/01/2011 - Revised the "Signed Orders" paragraph for clarity.

        11/18/2011 - Updated link for Order Upload in 'Procedures Manual.'

        Service of Electronically Filed Documents

        By participating in the Electronic Case Filing System, attorney e-filers consent to the electronic service of documents and agree to make e-mail addresses available for service.  Upon the filing of a document, an e-mail message will be automatically generated by the Electronic Case Filing System and sent via electronic mail to the e-mail addresses of all attorneys who have appeared in the case.  The Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) will contain a document hyperlink which will provide recipients with one “free look” at the electronically filed document.  Recipients are encouraged to print and/or save a copy of the document during the “free look” to avoid incurring PACER charges for future viewings of the document.  It is the responsibility of the e-filer to traditionally serve all parties who do not receive electronic service (the identity of these parties will be indicated at the bottom of the NEF receipt generated by the ECF System).  In addition to receiving e-mail notifications of filing activity, attorneys are strongly encouraged to sign onto the PACER System at regular intervals to check the dockets in their cases.

        A certificate of service must be included with all documents filed electronically as to which service is required.  Such certificate shall indicate that service was accomplished pursuant to the Court's electronic filing procedures.  Although documents filed electronically are served on all attorney e-filers, parties served electronically should still be listed on the Certificate of Service.  [See Sealed Cases and Documents for special instructions on service.]  A form Certificate of Service is available at Appendix B.


        History of Changes

        02/01/2012 - Clarified what must be listed on a Certificate of Service.   Removed reference to sealed documents and service of a summons.  Added a link to "Sealed Cases and Documents" in Attorney and Court User manuals.

        04/11/2014 - Clarified the difference between service of electronically filed documents on attorneys as opposed to limited users and made those paragraphs specific for attorneys and limited users.  Revised the wording for who should be listed on the Certificate of Service.

        Docket

        Upon the electronic filing of a document, a docket entry will be automatically created by the CM/ECF System using the information provided by the e-filer.  The Clerk of Court, where necessary and appropriate, will modify the docket entry description to comply with quality control standards.

        Retention of Documents with Original Signatures

        Documents with original signatures of persons other than the e-filer must be retained by the e-filer for a period of two years after the closing of the case by the Clerk unless the Court orders a different period.  This retention period does not affect or replace any other retention periods required by other applicable laws or rules.  Upon request by the Court, the United States Trustee, or the case trustee, the e-filer must provide documents with original signatures of persons other than the e-filer for review or proof of consent as to joint or agreed pleadings with another attorney authorized to file electronically.

        Parties permitted or required to file documents non-electronically must file the original with wet signatures and also provide a copy.  The original will be returned to the filer (if the filing occurred in person or a return mail envelope was provided), and must be retained by the filer for the same duration as a document filed electronically.  If the filing party submits a document by mail and fails to provide a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope, the party is presumed to have retained an original. All submitted documents not returned to the filer will be retained by the Court for 30 days and then discarded.


        History of Changes

        02/01/2012 - Removed the sentence referencing "Joint Pleadings" from the first paragraph.

        04/04/2012 - Retention of documents with original signatures changed from 'three years' to 'two years.'

        04/03/2013 - Added 'agreed' to 'joint pleading' to make it 'joint or agreed pleadings.'

        Redacting Personal Identifiers

        E-filers must ensure that the documents they file do not contain personal identifiers. [See Fed.R.Bankr.P. 9037 for a list of such identifiers.]  If a document containing personal identifiers is filed inadvertently, the e-filer must file an amended, redacted document and a Motion to Remove Document or Motion for Protective Order, whichever is applicable.  [See CM/ECF Procedures Manual.]


        History of Changes

        04/11/2014 - Added the cite for a listing of personal identifiers and admonished e-filers to redact.

        Problems with E-Filing

        E-filers are encouraged to file documents electronically during normal business hours so that assistance can be obtained if a problem is encountered.  Generally, if a technical failure occurs (that is not a system outage affecting all e-filers but affects only the individual e-filer) and a document cannot be filed electronically in a case despite the best efforts of the filing party, the e-filer should print (if possible) a copy of the error message received, if any.  If no error message is received, the e-filer should indicate so in the “Declaration that Party Was Unable to File in a Timely Manner Due to Technical Difficulties” [the “Declaration”] and file this document with the Court as soon as practically possible.  A model form is provided as Appendix A.

        If the technical problems affect the filing of a new case and timing is critical, the e-filer should contact the Clerk's Office and seek permission to file the new case on paper.  In this situation, the Declaration is not required.

        If an e-filer is likely to miss a filing deadline as a result of a technical failure and not because of a system outage, the e-filer must contact the Clerk’s Office by sending an e-mail to cmecf_tier2@insb.uscourts.gov to inform the Clerk’s staff of the difficulty.  If problems persist but the deadline has not yet passed, the e-filer may submit non-electronically the required document, accompanied by the Declaration, which would have the wet signature of the e-filer.  If electronic filing has become possible after the missed deadline but before the document has been filed on paper, then the e-filer should submit the Declaration and the untimely filed document electronically.  The document and Declaration must be filed by the close of the next business day, following the original filing deadline that was missed.  If in the meantime the Court has entered the order which the e-filer sought to oppose, the e-filer will have to file a motion for relief from judgment or order.

        E-filers should presume that CM/ECF is available, and deadline are running, even if one or more of the Clerk's Office locations or the Courthouses are closed to the public on a normal business day, because of inclement weather or for some other reason.  If deadlines are being extended, the Chief Judge will issue a general order to that effect or the Court will otherwise officially indicate that the Clerk's Office has been deemed inaccessible pursuant to Fed.R.Bankr.P 9006(a)(3).  [See the section System Availability.]


        History of Changes

        05/04/2011 - Time to file, when unable to file electronically, was changed to:  "by close of next business day" instead of "no later than 12:00 p.m. of the first day on which the Court is open for business."

        04/11/2014 - Overall, Includes clearer instructions on what to do with system outages v. technical problems.

        Non-Electronic Filings

        Refer to Problems with E-Filing for guidance on how to proceed if the filer is unable to file electronically.  If that section does not apply, an attorney seeking to file a case non-electronically should contact and receive permission from the Clerk.  An attorney seeking to file a document in a case non-electronically should file a Motion for Authority and receive permission from the Judge before doing so.  This situation may arise as to documents that cannot be reduced to an electronic format.  Documents not filed electronically must contain wet signatures.


        History of Changes

        04/11/2014 - Clarified when to file a case non-electronically vs. a document non-electronically.

        Filing a Miscellaneous Case

        Currently, the opening document in all miscellaneous cases must be filed in paper and cannot be filed electronically. Document must contain wet signatures. The Clerk's Office should be contacted for further instructions prior to filing a miscellaneous case.

        Once the case has been opened and given a case number, all documents thereafter must be filed electronically with an electronic signature.  If a miscellaneous case is to be sealed, refer to Sealed Cases and Documents.


        History of Changes

        01/22/2014 - New document created.

        Sealed Cases and Documents

        1.      General Information
          1. A sealed case, including the docket and all documents, may only be viewed by certain court users and by the party who filed the sealed case.  Access may be given to other users as needed; but once a user is given access, he/she will have access to the entire docket and all documents.  The party who filed the case and any other party given access must then file subsequent documents electronically.  All other filing parties must file all documents non-electronically with wet signatures, and the Clerk will scan and docket the documents.
          2.  A sealed document filed in a non-sealed case may only be viewed by certain court users and by the party who filed the document.  Access may be given to other users as needed.  The docket entry for the sealed document will be available on the public docket.
        2.      Filing a BANKRUPTCY CASE under Seal
          1. Option A:  Sealing an Entire Bankruptcy Case before the Filing of the Bankruptcy Petition:
            1. File a Motion to Seal a Case non-electronically with wet signatures.  The bankruptcy petition must be submitted with this motion.  The Chief Judge or designee is alerted to the filing and will consider and rule upon the motion.
            2. If the motion is granted, the Clerk opens a new case in ECF.  If the motion is denied, the requesting attorney must file the case electronically. The Motion to Seal and Order are scanned by the Clerk and added to the docket.
          2. Option B:  Sealing an Entire Case after the Bankruptcy Petition has been filed:
            1. File a Motion to Seal a Case electronically.  That motion will be ruled upon by the Judge assigned to the case upon its filing.
            2. If the motion is granted, the bankruptcy petition and any previously filed document are sealed immediately upon issuance of the order sealing the case.  If a sealed case is later unsealed by Order of the Court, the docket and all of the documents previously filed in the case will also be unsealed.
        3.      Filing a MISCELLANEOUS CASE under Seal
          1. File a Motion to Seal a Case non-electronically with wet signatures.  The opening document (or miscellaneous case) must be submitted with this motion.  The Chief Judge or designee is alerted to the filing and will consider and rule upon the motion.
          2.  If the motion is granted, the Clerk opens a new miscellaneous case in ECF.  The Motion to Seal and Order are scanned by the Clerk and added to the docket. 
        4.      Filing and Serving a Document in a BANKRUPTCY CASE or MISCELLANEOUS CASE which is under Seal

        Any attorney, other than the attorney who filed the sealed case or anyone given access to the sealed case, wishing to file a document in a case that has previously been sealed must do so non-electronically by submitting paper documents to the Clerk.  This document must be served as required by Fed.R.Bankr.P. 7004.

        1.      Filing and Serving a Sealed Document in a BANKRUPTCY CASE or MISCELLANEOUS CASE which is NOT under Seal

        Before submitting a sealed document, a Motion to Seal Document must be filed electronically and served as required by Fed.R.Bankr.P. 7004.  The Motion to Seal Document must include a description of the document to be sealed and a date on which the document may be unsealed.  If approved, the sealed documents must be filed electronically using the Sealed Document event.


        History of Changes

        01/22/2013 - Revisions made to #3, Filing and Serving a Dealed Document in a Case which is NOT under Seal.

        01/27/2014 - Procedures under development.

        02/26/2014 - New procedures for Sealed Cases and/or Documents.

        04/02/2014 - Language about adding "Sealed" as the name of the new bankruptcy case under seal or miscellaneous case under seal was removed.   Names of these cases under seal are entered as usual and the event will change them to "Sealed" automatically.

        Ex Parte Documents

        All ex parte filings must be submitted using an appropriate ex parte filing event.  Docket text and PDF documents associated with an electronic filing created using an ex parte filing event are not posted on the Court’s public docket and cannot be accessed via the Court’s PACER System.

        When a filing is submitted electronically using an ex parte filing event, a Notice of Electronic Filing is distributed, via e-mail only, to counsel for the filing party. If the Motion remains ex parte at the time of the Court's ruling, any Order issued referencing the ex parte Motion will generate and distribute an NEF only to counsel for the applicable party.


        History of Changes

        02/01/2012 - Removed reference from the first paragraph that documents must be filed electronically; not relevant since attorneys must file electronically.

        Fees Payable to the Clerk of the Court

        On-Line Credit Card Payments:  E-filers shall pay the appropriate filing fee using the on-line Credit Card Transaction module, which will allow the e-filer to pay after each transaction or make one payment at the end of all transactions.  All required fees must be paid online via https://pay.gov at the time of the transaction or by the end of the day.  Non-payment will result in the e-filer being locked out of the ECF System.  This lockout may extend to all of the e-filer’s accounts. 

        In the event of non-payment, an e-mail will be sent to the e-filer listing the payments due; and the “Internet Payment” option becomes the only ECF menu item available.  Upon receipt of all payments due, the lockout will be automatically terminated.  For additional information about credit card payments in CM/ECF, refer to the Internet Credit Card Payment Manual.

        Refunds/Fees Not Due:  To assert that a fee should not be charged, the attorney must send an e-mail to nofee@insb.uscourts.gov before paying the fee.  To request a refund after the fee has been filed, the attorney must file a Motion for Refund.  Refer to the Refund Policy located under Fees and Unclaimed Funds on the Court's website.


        History of Changes

        09/30/2013 - Link for pay.gov added.

        04/14/2014 - Added reference to review the Refund Policy located under Fees and Unclaimed Funds.

        Contact Information

        Additional information about electronic filing may be obtained by visiting the Court’s website at www.insb.uscourts.gov or by contacting the Clerk’s Office at (317) 229-3800.

        Appendix A

        UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
        SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA

         

        (Put caption of case or adversary proceeding here)

         

        DECLARATION THAT PARTY WAS UNABLE TO FILE IN A TIMELY
        MANNER DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES

        Please take notice that (plaintiff/defendant, name of party) was unable to file his/her (title of document) in a timely manner due to technical difficulties. The deadline for filing the document was (filing deadline date).  The reason(s) that I was unable to file the document in a timely manner and the good faith efforts I made prior to the filing deadline to both file in a timely manner and to inform the Court and the other parties that I could not do so are set forth below.

        [Statement of reasons and good faith efforts to file and to inform (including dates and times)]

        I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.

         

        /s/ (Typewritten Name of E-Filer)*
        (Name of E-Filer)
        (Address)
        (City, State, ZIP Code)
        (Phone: (xxx) xxx-xxxx)
        (Fax: (xxx) xxx-xxxx)
        (E-mail: xxx@xxx.xxx)

         

        *(Note:  Signature format acceptable if filed electronically; if not electronically, a wet signature is required.)


        History of Changes

        11/15/2011 - Formatting changes made to document.

        Appendix B

        CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

        I hereby certify that on (date), a copy of the foregoing (name of document) was filed electronically.  Notice of this filing will be sent to the following parties through the Court’s Electronic Case Filing System.  Parties may access this filing through the Court’s system.

        (List parties receiving service electronically with e-mail address)

        (Name of receiving party)

        (E-mail address)

        I further certify that on (date), a copy of the foregoing (name of document) was mailed by first-class U.S. Mail, postage prepaid and properly addressed, to the following:

        (List parties receiving traditional service with postal address)

        (Name of receiving party)

        (Postal address)

        (City, state, ZIP code)

         

        /s/ (Typewritten Name of E-Filer)
        (Name of  E-Filer)*

         

        *(Note:  If Certificate is filed separately from main document, entire signature block of e-filer must be present.)


        History of Changes

        11/15/2011 - Formatting changes made to document.

        02/01/2012 - Made this document available in the Limited User's Manual.

        Appendix C

        (Include a 4” margin before caption for Judge’s electronic signature.)

         

         

         

         

        UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
        SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA

         

        In re:                                                                                                 

                                                                             

                                        (xxxxx), Debtor(s).                                  CASE NO.  (xxxxx)

                                                                             

                                                                             

         

         

        ORDER ON (xxxxx)

         

        {insert B O D Y  of  O R D E R here}

         

         

         

        ###

        (Note:  Three pound signs must be present for Order signing program to work properly.)

         

         

        (Note:  Do NOT provide a distribution list.  Orders should not contain “Submitted by” language or word processing document identifiers.)


        History of Changes

        11/15/2011 - Formatting changes made to document.

        02/01/2012 - Made this document available in the Limited User's Manual.