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FAQs: ECF Related

Frequently Asked Questions are provided as a reference.  To view questions more specific to your needs, click on the applicable tab. The default landing page lists all questions.

  • Can the firm still continue to use one PACER account for viewing documents?

    Yes. You can still have one PACER account for support staff and non-e-filing attorneys to view documents. Only those attorneys who e-file need to have their own individual PACER account. Those who e-file can view documents with the firms shared account or with their new individual PACER account.

  • How can I determine who was served a document?

    To determine who was served with a filed document, you must look two places:

    1. To determine who was served electronically via ECF, go to the Docket Report while logged into ECF (not PACER) as follows:

    • Click on Reports on the ECF Main Menu Bar.
    • Click on Docket Report.
    • Enter the case number and click “Links to Notice of Electronic Filing” if it is not already checked. Click Run Report.
    • Find the document of interest and click on the silver ball to the left of the document number, then click Display Receipt.
    • The Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) appears. Scroll to the bottom and find the heading Notice will be electronically mailed to: for a list of parties served via ECF.

    2. To determine who was served by the filer or the Bankruptcy Noticing Center (whether by mail, fax, e-mail, or EDI), look at the filed certificate of service. For documents served by parties, a separate docket entry entitled BNC Certificate of Mailing linked to the original document. A BNC Certificate of Notice will be a separate docket entry linked to the order, judgment, notice, etc. and is generally docketed within two business days of the filing of original document. The list of those served accompanies a copy of the document, and delineates all who were served, and how.

  • How can I find the correct event (menu item) to file a document in ECF?

    It is very important to use the correct event (menu item) in ECF. Not only does it ensure that the item appears on the docket correctly, it often helps the court manage the case by setting or terminating a deadline or case flag, stopping a discharge from automatically being entered, setting a hearing, linking correctly to a response, objection or notice, complying with statistical reporting requirements, etc.

    To locate the correct event, a Search option is available on the menu bar. Users can search for menu items and events by a word or word fragment. Clicking on the desired option begins the filing process.

    Alternatively, when you are in a category with many events such as Motions/Applications/Objections to Exemption, entering a key word in the text box above the list will result in the full list being replaced by a list of just those events with the key word. Clicking on an event in the "Available Events" list will cause the event appear in the "Selected Events" list. After choosing one event, if you are docketing a multiple part motion, use the event search to find your next event, then hold down [Ctrl] and click on the entry; this entry will now also appear in the "Selected Events" list. Once the desired events are in the "Selected Events" list, click Next to proceed with filing.

    If you are still not sure of the correct event, please contact the court at (319) 286-2200 or (712) 233-3939. Do not guess!

  • How can I link to a Related Document in ECF?

    When linking to a related document, you are prompted to "select the category to which your event relates". If you are unsure of the category, simply click the first item on the list, hold the [Shift] key, and click the last item on the list. This will select all categories and thus bring up all docket entries in the case.

  • How do I store my credit card information in PACER to pay filing fees in CM/ECF?
  • I am trying to log in to PACER and I get a PACER User Inactive error message:

    This means your PACER account has not yet been activated. Contact PACER to have it activated. If you did not enter a credit card number when you registered, activation information will arrive in the mail from PACER in 7-10 days after registration.

    Note:  You can still e-file if your PACER account has not been activated, you just cannot view documents.  Click the Continue button to proceed.

  • I clicked on "Continue Filing" in the payment window. How do I get back to the payment screen?

    Go to Utilities, then Internet Payment Due.

  • I don't want to get a PACER account because I don't want to get charged for something.

    There is no fee to register for PACER in order to be able to e-file in NextGen CM/ECF.  There is only a fee from PACER for viewing documents. You can check the PACER website for their fees.  You can pay your NextGen CM/ECF filing fees through PACER if you choose to do so.

  • I e-filed a document that has a fee and when I go to pay, I am prompted to log into PACER again. Why?

    When you are prompted to pay a filing fee in CM/ECF it will direct you to log in to PACER again which is an additional step from how you did it in Legacy CM/ECF. You can still enter a credit card and select Pay Now or select Pay Later, but when you do so you will be required to log in to PACER again.

  • I forgot my PACER login or password.

    From the PACER logn page select Forgot my Password or Forgot My Username. If you forgot your username, you will need your PACER account number or you will need to contact PACER directly at (800) 676-6856.

    Important: The court is live on NextGen so your PACER login is your CM/ECF login, as long as you linked the accounts. The court will no longer be able to reset logins and passwords once the accounts are linked.  You will have to contact PACER to recover logins or reset passwords.

  • I have linked my CM/ECF account and PACER account but no menus are displaying such as Bankruptcy or Adversary.

    Make sure you followed the steps for linking your PACER and CM/ECF accounts.  See How to Link a New or Upgraded PACER account to a NextGen CM/ECFaccount.

    If you have linked your accounts correctly, try the following:

    - Clearing you cache (i.e., internet cookies, browsing history).

    - Log out and log back in.

    - Refresh you screen.

  • Is there a report that can help reconcile credit card charges made in CM/ECF?

    ECF has a report that can be used to reconcile credit card charges.  On the menu bar in ECF, click on Utilities>Internet Payment History. Type in the desired date range. The report will list all payment sthat have been made for filing fees either using the credit card module of ECF. 

  • My credit card for PACER was not authorized, now what do I do?

    You need to contact PACER to activate it if you cannot wait the 7-10 days for activation to come in the mail.

    Although your PACER account is not activated you can still create the link with your CM/ECF account and be able to e-file.  You just will not be able to view documents using PACER until your account has been activated by PACER. If you have a firm account for viewing documents, you can use that in the meantime.

  • My PACER account is linked to my CM/ECF account; however, when I click on Query I get an error message that says there is an Issue with my PACER account.

    This means your PACER account has not yet been activated.  Contact PACER to have it activated or, if you did not enter a credt card number when you registered, you can wait until activation comes in the mail from PACER in 7-10 days from registering.

    Note:  You can still e-file if your PACER account has not been activated, you just cannot view documents.

  • Since each attorney will have their own PACER account, do they need to use their own credit card for PACER fees or can they use the firm credit card?

    Attorneys can enter whichever credit card they want when they register for PACER. They do not have to use their own credit card.

  • We have one PACER account that all attorneys in the firm share. Does each attorney need his/her own individual PACER Account for NextGen?

    You can keep that one PACER account for case research only.  However, each attorney with an e-filing account with the court needs his or her own individual PACER account. 

    Go to to register for your own PACER account. 

    See Registering for a PACER Account for instructions.

    Did you upgrade your PACER account on the PACER website? If you are not sure, log in to your PACER account and select Manage My Account and see what type of account you have. 

    If the Account Type is Legacy PACER Account, click on the Upgrade link and complete the upgrade process. If the Account Type says Upgraded, then you are ready for NextGen.