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 email@example.com 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.