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Standard Electronic Filing Procedure - Part 2

4. Party Information Screen

The party information screen will be displayed. The left side of the screen shows parties and case participants. To display all case participants, click Expand All. Click Collapse All, and only the parties will show.
 
You will now be prompted to select the filer. Using the right side of the screen, click on the filing party and then click Next.
 
For certain documents you may be prompted to select the party on whose behalf you are filing and then the party against whom you are filing.
 
If this is the first time you are filing on behalf of a party, a screen labelled Motions will appear. 

If you are representing the party, make sure the box in front of the party’s name and the check box for Notice are checked. By doing so, there is no need to file a separate Notice of Appearance. (If you are the lead attorney, you may also check the Lead attorney check box).

If you are filing a document jointly with another party such as a joint motion for extension of time, be sure all of the boxes are unchecked so you do not unintentionally enter your appearance on behalf of an opposing party.

5. Should Documents Be Sealed?

Sealed documents may be filed in unsealed cases. While docketing, you may be prompted to select either Sealed or Unsealed.
Because your filing may include more than one document, one of the following situations will apply:
  • No document needs to be sealed
  • All documents should be sealed
  • Some documents should be sealed; some documents should be unsealed
If no document needs to be sealed, click the Unsealed radio button, and then click Next.
 
If one or more documents should be sealed, follow the instructions below.

a. Prepare Document(s)

Prepare your sealed document. In the caption, on the right side, either directly above or below the case number, one of the following should appear in all capital letters and in bold: “SEALED” or “FILED UNDER SEAL.” If the document is an exhibit which does not bear the case caption, one of these phrases should appear prominently on the upper right side of the document.
 
While it is acceptable to put red seals on documents, keep in mind seals can mean things other than the fact that a document is being filed under seal. Therefore, a seal in and of itself is not sufficient to flag a document as sealed.
 
If you would like to seal all the documents for this filing, follow the instructions under All Documents should be Sealed. Otherwise, if you would like some documents to be sealed and some to be unsealed, follow the instructions under Main Document Should be Unsealed; One or More Attachments Should be Sealed.

b. All Documents Should Be Sealed

Select the same event you would use if the document(s) did not need to be sealed. However, when prompted to indicate whether the document should be sealed or unsealed, click the Sealed radio button, then click Next. Unless there is already a Protective Order or an Order to Seal which allows this specific document to be sealed, you will be required to file a Motion to Seal this document. The Motion to Seal must be filed immediately after filing the sealed document.
 
The document(s) will be temporarily placed under seal until a ruling is made on the request to seal.
 
Example – you are filing a response in opposition to a motion. Select the event Response in Opposition to Motion. If you want to seal the response and attachments (if any), select “Sealed” when prompted. Whenever Sealed is selected, a screen will appear asking if there is a Protective Order or an Order to Seal that allows for filing this specific document under seal. If there is not one filed, then it will inform you that you must file a Motion to Seal the document after completing that entry.

c. Main Document Should Be Unsealed; One or More Attachments Should Be Sealed

In this example, assume you are filing a reply to a response to a motion. You have decided the reply does not need to be sealed, but Exhibit A should be sealed. Your filing will occur in two parts.
 
First:
  1. File the unsealed document (the main document) by selecting the same event you would use if none of the documents needed to be sealed.
  2. In place of the sealed document (i.e., Exhibit A), complete the Notice of Filing Exhibit or Attachment Under Seal sample of this document) as a placeholder for the sealed document(s). Attach it as an attachment to the main document.
  3. When prompted to indicate whether the document should be sealed or unsealed, click the Unsealed radio button, then click Next.
 
Example – select the event Reply to Response to Motion. Attach the reply. Instead of attaching the sealed exhibit, complete and attach the Notice of Filing Exhibit or Attachment Under Seal. When prompted, click the “Unsealed” radio button.
 
Second:
  1. After filing the unsealed document(s) and the placeholder(s) as explained above, file the sealed document(s) by using the event Notice of Filing Exhibit or Attachment Under Seal. (Click Civil on the top menu bar, then click Notices, then select Notice of Filing Exhibit or Attachment Under Seal).
  2. Attach the sealed document(s). The document will be automatically sealed. Electronic access to sealed documents is limited to specific court users that have sealed access.
  3. Unless there is already a Protective Order or an Order to Seal which allows this specific document to be sealed, you must also file a Motion to Seal this specific document. The Motion to Seal must be filed immediately after filing the sealed document.

Example – select the event Notice of Filing Exhibit or Attachment Under Seal. Attach Exhibit A (your sealed document). The document will be automatically sealed, so you will not be prompted to select “Sealed” or “Unsealed”.

d. Procedures Applicable to All Sealed Documents

At the same time, or immediately after filing the sealed document, you must serve a copy of the sealed document on any party required to be served by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Service may be made in paper format or in any other format/means agreed to by the parties. Your filing with the Court must include a Certificate of Service reflecting service by other means.
 
Any document you are filing under seal must be accompanied by a courtesy copy for chambers. Documents filed under seal cannot be served through CM/ECF because parties do not have access to sealed documents.

e. Redacted Documents

Similar to a sealed document, if you are filing a redacted document and an unredacted version of a document, prepare both documents. In the caption of the redacted version, on the right side, either directly above or below the case number, one of the following should appear in all capital letters and in bold: “REDACTED” or “REDACTED VERSION.”
 
If a document is to be redacted, (for example, a memorandum containing personal identifiers in only one section):
  1. File the redacted version of the document using the event Redacted Document.
  2. File the unredacted version using the event, Unredacted Document. This document WILL NOT be sealed, but only case participants will have access to it.

Continue to Standard Electronic Filing Procedure - Part 3