You are here

Motion to Consolidate Cases

Official Procedure Last Change January 27, 2012

Motion to Consolidate Cases

How to file: 

Location of event:   Bankruptcy > Motions, Applications & Briefs > Consolidate, Motion to

General Information

If you are seeking to maintain separate estates, do not use this event. Instead, review the procedure for the Motion for Joint Administration event.

  • A Motion to Consolidate is a request to combine the assets and liabilities of two or more debtors, which is in contrast to a Motion for Joint Administration which merely seeks to procedurally administer two or more cases together.
  • Caption. When the Court orders the consolidation of two or more cases pursuant to Fed.R.Bankr.P.1015, the caption for all documents, pleadings and claims filed in the consolidated cases shall include only the name of the lead case and case number unless otherwise ordered by the Court.  The caption must also include the case name and number of any member cases that are individual (i.e. non-business) debtors.  View sample caption
  • Pleadings.  All documents, pleadings, and claims will be docketed on a single docket upon entry of the order for consolidation. The docket will be maintained in the lead case only. Once an order has been entered, the member case(s) will no longer be accessible for filings. Motions that are specifically related to a particular member case should be filed in the lead case and should specify to which the member debtor it relates in the docket text. By consolidating the cases into one lead case, the burden of filing duplicate pleadings in multiple cases has been reduced and allows for a more efficient bankruptcy process for the Court, attorneys, debtors and creditors.
  • Claims. After cases have been consolidated, as indicated above all claims should be filed in the Lead Case. Any claims filed prior to entry of the consolidation order will be treated the same as the claims that are filed after the consolidation but will remain on the claims register of the case where the claim was originally filed.
  • Creditors. Creditors will be combined and maintained in one list on the lead case.  A comprehensive list can only be created or viewed from the lead case. Users may view creditors from a member case but the list will only contain creditors filed prior to the consolidation.
  • Do not file a motion seeking a change in judge - the Clerk's Office will assign a new judge if needed.

Filing requirements

  • Filing party is required to file Motion to Consolidate in the Lead Case and all member cases.
  • A proposed order must be uploaded into all member cases only.

Note: The order should clearly state the caption to be displayed on all future pleadings and that all docketing will take place in the lead case only. Download a proposed order template

  • Motion must:
    • identify all case names and numbers of cases to be consolidated
    • indicate lead case
    • be signed by the filing party
  • A Certificate of Service must be included certifying that the Motion was served on the debtors or debtor's attorney, trustee,  US Trustee and all parties of interest.

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Log into CM/ECF.

2. Select Bankruptcy > Motions, Applications & Briefs.

3. Enter case number (in the format xx-xxxxx) and click Next.

4. Select Consolidate, Motion to from the event list and click Next.

5. Select appropriate radio button to indicate whether or not the Motion you are filing is amended.

6. Check box if jointly filing with another attorney. Click Next.

7. If you indicated that you are filing jointly with other attorney(s), select additional attorney(s) and click Next.

Note: You cannot add attorneys. Only attorneys who have previously entered an appearance will be available for selection.

8. Select the party filer. If the party is not listed, or cannot be selected, view instructions on adding a new party. Click Next.

Note: The "Attorney/Party Association” screen may appear. If your party selection was correct, check the box to create an association and click Next.

9. Browse to attach the document to be filed (pdf file). Click Next.

10.  Enter all case numbers to be consolidated, including the current case number. Click Next(Example: 10-1 and 10-2; or 10-1, 10-2 and 10-25)

11. If you indicated in step 5 that you are filing an amended motion, all pending motions on the docket are displayed. Select the motion that is being amended and click Next.

12. Select prefix text, if applicable, and click Next.

Note: The prefix text option is not available if you indicated in Step 5 that the Motion you are filing is amended.

13. Verify final docket text. If correct, click Next to submit.

Note: The Notice of Electronic Filing displays giving you the document number. Copies of this notice are immediately e-mailed to all participants who receive electronic notification in the case.

14. Upload proposed order.