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Technology-Based Business Interruptions/Inability to Access Data ('Ransomware')

Official Procedure Last Change December 12, 2022

Technology-Based Business Interruptions/Inability to Access Data ('Ransomware')

How to file:

Consult with the Clerk's Office before attempting to file a miscellaneous proceeding. If a miscellaneous proceeding is needed, it cannot be filed electronically. The document will need to be mailed or hand delivered to the Clerk's office. The miscellaneous case will then be opened by the Clerk's office.

General Information

If an attorney or trustee suffers a 'ransomware' attack that inhibits their ability to process work or access data, the following procedure should be followed:

1.  Deliver the initial affidavit regarding details of business interruption (e.g., ransomware attack or other inability to access data) with wet signature to the Clerk's Office. No filing fee is required. Any attorney can utilize this procedure. The affidavit must include the following information:

  • The document must be titled Affidavit Concerning Business Interruption.
  • Date of interruption or if unknown, discovery thereof.
  • Anticipated date of system recovery.
  • If known, list of cases within which deadlines set to expire before anticipated date of system recovery. If unknown, statement that cases/deadline unknown due to interruption.
  • Request of no more than 14 days to have filing deadlines tolled in open cases. Tolling does not apply to scheduled hearings.

2.  The Clerk's Office will then open a Miscellaneous Proceeding, attaching the initial affidavit. A Notice of Electronic Filing, with case number, is sent to the attorney.

3.  Upon receipt of the Notice of Electronic Filing confirming that the Miscellaneous Proceeding has been opened, file a Motion for Authority to extend deadlines. The Motion can be filed at the Clerk's Office if CM/ECF is inaccessible. If filed via ECF, the docket text should read:

     "Motion for Authority to Extend Deadlines due to Technology-Based Business Interruption/Inability to Access Data filed by ..."

4.  The Chief Judge will then enter an order (which should be prepared by either the filing party or Chambers) tolling deadlines in the attorney’s open cases for 14 days in the future (and retroactively, if applicable). The order should further instruct the attorney to file a second affidavit upon system restoration/data recovery.

5.  The Clerk’s Office will close the initial Miscellaneous Proceeding upon review of the attorney’s second affidavit reporting that access issues have been resolved, or the passing of the toll date without a second affidavit.