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Electronic Filing for Attorneys

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Admission to Practice

Effective January 1, 2024, to practice in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Iowa, you must be a member of the Federal Bar for the Northern District of Iowa or file a Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice.

For information on attorney admissions, visit Iowa Northern District Court Attorney Admission Information

Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice  (Instructions)

Electronic Case Filing (ECF) - Information

Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) is the Federal Judiciary's electronic case filing system that allows trained users to file new bankrutpcy cases, adversary proceedings, motions and other documents right from their computer. The system uses standard computer hardware, an Internet conncection and browser, plus software to format a document for electronic filing.

  • Enables authorized users to electronically file bankruptcy petitions and other documents (motions, objections, etc.) using a standard web browser.
  • 24-hour availability for filing bankruptcy cases, adversary proceedings, and documents.
  • Provides immediate confirmation to the filer, and notice to other parties in a case, that a document was filed.
  • Per Local Bankruptcy Rule 5005-4, electronic filing is mandatory for attorneys, trustees, and any creditor who has filed more than 10 documents with the court in any calendar year.
  • Most documents must be in text-based .PDF format, requiring the user to have software to convert documents from a word processor format to portable document format (PDF).  Scanned PDFs are allowed for documents that were not created by the filer, for example trust deeds.
  • There are no additional fees to use ECF, but existing filing fees apply and must be paid electronically via credit card or ACH.  Failure to timely pay fees could result in being locked out of electronic filing.  You may bring up the payment screen at any time by clicking on Utilities - Internet Payments Due.  Credit card or ACH information may be stored in your PACER account and accessed to pay filing fees.
  • If you make an error or are unsure how to proceed, please contact the court.  Proceeding on your own may put you at cross-purposes with the clerk's office or cause you to incur an additional filing fee.

CM/ECF - Link to Live

Click here to use ECF (you must be a registered user).

CM/ECF Registration

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Iowa has upgraded their CM/ECF system to the Next Generation of CM/ECF (NextGen). NextGen allows you to maintain a single login and password for PACER access and e-filing in all NextGen federal courts in which you have permission to file.

Additional information regarding NextGen can be found at

  • If you do not have a PACER account, you must first apply for one. 
    • Go to,
    • Click on Manage Your Account,
    • Click on Register for an Account. 
    • Click on Attorney Filers and
    • Click on the Register for a PACER Account.
  • If you have a PACER account, go to
    • Click on Manage My Account Login,
    • Click the Log in to Manage my Account,
    • Enter your PACER login and password and Click Login,
    • Click the Maintenance tab, and
    • Click on Attorney Admissions/E-File Registration.

Click here for Job Aid to Register to File as a Bankruptcy Attorney.

Click here for Instructions for Attorneys Admitted Pro Hac Vice Registering to E-File.

NOTE:  Attorneys who are not admitted to appear in the Northern District of Iowa Bankruptcy Court should register as a Non-Attorney filer.  Click here for information on registering as a Non-Attorney (to obtain limited filing access and noticing). 

CM/ECF Training

You can practice in the ECF Training Database.  You will need to obtain access to PACER's train database. From the site, request access to IANB's Train database. The process is similar to requesting access to our Live site.  You will also need to call the court at (319) 286-2200 to let us know you have requested access to the train database. Your call will prompt us to review your request.

Click here to view step-by-step written ECF docketing procedures used for filing a various documents.

If you are still uncertain how to proceed, contact the Clerk's Office at (319) 286-2200 or (712) 233-3939.

Attorney ECF Docketing Guide

For step-by-step docketing guidance, see the Attorney ECF Docketing Guide

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