FAQs

  • How do I obtain a copy of the Court’s list of unclaimed funds?

    The Northern District of Alabama does not provide a listing of unclaimed funds on our website.  The information can be obtained by searching CM/ECF transactions filed by the trustee entitled “Trustee’s Report of Unclaimed Funds” within each case.

  • Can a website address be used instead of an email address for receiving electronic notifications of filings?
    No. The Court must have a valid email address.
  • When is the Daily Summary email sent to recipients? Time of Day?
    The Daily Summary email is compiled and runs at 12:00 am.
  • Will the Court scan all of the documents in the older case files after going live with CM/ECF?
    No. The paper files will remain as they are now. After July 1, 2004, all files will be electronic.
  • When paying for filings by credit card, what type of credit cards will be accepted?
    VISA, Master Card, American Express, Discover, Diners Club.
  • Can a creditor file a claim conventionally (paper)?
    Being a paperless Court, we encourage filers to register and attend the ECF training provided by the Court. Once you have completed the ECF Registration as a limited filer, a password and ID will be issued entitling you to file the proof of claim electronically with the Court. If you are a limited filer with another Court, the Court requires that you register with the Court through our website (www.alnb.uscourts.gov) to be issued a password and ID. However, for the filer who does not have the capability of filing electronically, the Court will accept the Proof of Claim "conventionally" (paper).
  • Can any member of the public use CM/ECF to file documents with a Court?
    No. Full access to CM/ECF is available to authorized attorneys and trustees. On a limited basis, CM/ECF is available to high volume creditors and other professionals.
  • Can the general public view CM/ECF cases and the documents in those cases?
    Access to view cases and documents in CM/ECF is available to anyone with a PACER login and password. PACER offers convenient electronic access to case file documents, listing of all case parties, reports of case related information, chronologies of events entered in the case record, claim registers, listing of new cases, judgments or case status, and a calendar of events. However, as a result of the policy recently adopted by the Judicial Conference, the public cannot view documents filed in civil social security appeal cases or criminal cases. To defray the costs of PACER and CM/ECF, the Judicial Conference has set a fee of ten cents per page for electronic court data via the Internet, except for calendar information, for which there is no charge. Parties entitled to documents as part of the legal process receive a free electronic copy, although they will be charged for replacement copies, whether in paper or electronic form. Additional information concerning PACER can be found on its website (www.pacer.gov).
  • How is payment of filing fees handled for CM/ECF cases?
    Payment is accepted by credit card. The Court accepts American Express, Mastercard, Visa, Diners Club or Discover.
  • Can an attorney add new attorneys to the database?
    No. Only Court staff with appropriate permissions may add attorneys to the database as system users. However, it is possible for an attorney to add another attorney to a case and to the database during case opening. The new attorney would NOT have filing privileges. In order to obtain those privileges, the attorney must comply with the proper application to the Court to obtain a login and password.
  • Can an attorney authorize someone in the attorney's office (such as a paralegal, secretary, or etc.) to use the attorney's login name and password to file documents in CM/ECF?
    Yes, this is often done in law offices. The Court recommends that such access be very limited and controlled. Anything filed under the attorney's login and password is deemed to have the attorney's signature on it.
  • What about Court generated documents that require certification?
    On request, a copy of the document can be printed with the certification seal in the traditional manner. However, there is a fee of $11.00 per certification, plus $.50 per copy of the document.
  • How do I add a secondary address to receive email notification?
    Once logged in to ECF, select the Utilities menu > Maintain ECF Account option. Select the Email information tab located at the bottom of the screen. The next screen will display all of the current email information and allow modifications to be made. Under the "Send the notices specified below" option, place a check mark in the "to these additional addresses" box, and complete the email address in the text box provided; select the "Return to Account screen" tab at the bottom of this screen, then select the "Submit" button for final submission of changes.
  • What county is chosen when the party resides in a county that is not on the pick list?
    Select "County outside NDAL" or Select "County outside USA".
  • When opening a new petition and discovering that the debtor's name is spelled incorrectly, can the BACK button be used to correct the spelling?
    The BACK button cannot be used to correct the debtor's party record. A corrective entry is required to notify the Court of the needed change.
  • What information should be entered in the "Party Text" field on the create a party screen?
    Party Text should contain additional information about the party and appears on the Docket Report both internally and externally. Example: Debtor, Alabama Land and Title, Party Text: an Alabama Corporation.
  • What does "hwi" and "wwi" indicate when adding alias information?
    hwi: Husband with interest; wwi: Wife with interest.
  • When "Maintaining User Account", are there REQUIRED fields?
    Yes, they are not marked. However, when you submit, the system prompts you for REQUIRED information.
  • Why must attorneys submit the B21 Form-Statement of Social Security Number as a separate event?
    To comply with FRBP Rule 1007(f), the debtor(s) must submit Form B21 stating under penalty of perjury their full social security numbers. This form is for Court use only and cannot be viewed by the public. The Court requires that this form be printed, signed by the debtor(s), scanned as a PDF file, and associated with the "Private" entry "Social Security-Form B21."
  • Are signatures required on claims filed?
    No, the electronic signature "/s/Jane Doe" will constitute the filing signature.
  • Why must attorneys submit the Chapter 13 Plan Summary as a separate event?
    The Chapter 13 Plan Summary must be submitted separately in order for a confirmation hearing date to be listed on the 341 notice. The Court also mails the Chapter 13 Plan Summary to all parties in the case through the Bankruptcy Noticing Center (BNC).
  • I have just been issued a User ID and password from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama, but I cannot log into the system.
    Make sure you are logging into our Live CM/ECF system (https://ecf.alnb.uscourts.gov) and not our Test CM/ECF System. Also, if you are already logged in and the system is asking for your Pacer login, you will need to supply your Pacer ID and password. If you do not have a Pacer ID, you may contact the Pacer Service Center (http://pacer.psc.uscourts.gov).
  • My email address has changed. How do I change it in the system?
    You may make this modification in ECF by going to the Utilities Menu > Maintain Your ECF Account .  Select the "Email Information Button." After making the modifications on that screen, select the "Return to Account Screen" button, then select the "Submit" button. At this point, the modifications will be incorporated into your Person Record.
  • How is the requirement of an original signature (Attorney and/or debtor) handled for CM/ECF cases?
    There are two distinct issues: attorney signatures and debtor signatures. When registering to use the system, attorneys sign an agreement that use of their login name and password (whether by themselves personally or by delegation to another person in their office) constitutes their signature on the documents electronically filed. For documents that must be signed by the debtor (such as petitions, lists, schedules, statements, etc.), originally executed paper copies must be kept by the debtor's attorney for four years after the closing of the case. The electronically filed documents indicate a signature, e.g., /s/Jane Doe. For more information on this topic, see the Administrative Procedures for Filing, Signing, Retaining, and Verfication of Pleadings and Papers in the Case Management/ Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) System.
  • What should an attorney do if the documents they are filing are not listed in the pick list?
    If the document is not in the pick list, use the generic motion/application or notice events.
  • What happens if a document is filed in error?
    Most errors will be immediately transmitted through the real time electronic notices and access to the docket report.  Deletions of entries to the docket or associated pdf documents are very rare, if ever. CM/ECF allows Court personnel to edit errors made in the docket entry. Besides making the appropriate corrections, the Court may ask participants to submit amended pleadings or a corrective entry. Instances that affect calendar entries and noticing will need to be redocketed.
  • How can I ensure that I attached the correct pdf when I am filing a document?
    When you select Browse to locate your file, highlight the filename, right click, and select "open" to open the pdf file. This is your chance to view the document and make sure it is the correct pdf before you attach it.
  • How do I change my password for the ECF system?
    Using your Court assigned ID and Password, Logon to CM/ECF Live Systen at www.ecf.alnb.uscourts.gov. After a successful logon, select the Utilities Menu > Maintain your ECF Account. Once your account window opens, select the More User Information Tab. Change your password in this window, and change ONLY your password. Click on Return to Account Screen, and select Submit for your password to be properly changed.
  • Will there be a notification when ECF is off-line for maintenance?

     

    Yes.  We will place a message on the ECF login screen giving the date and approximate times that the system will be down for maintenance. Also, registered users will receive email notification of scheduled system maintenance.
  • I cannot view a PDF document when using the link in my summary email or when using my PACER account. What could be the problem?
    Try updating to the latest version of Adobe Reader. Try downloading Critical Update for ADODBE.stream (KB870669) from the Windows Update Website.
  • I am having trouble logging in. After I have entered my login and password and select Login, a message appears that either I did not logout the last time I used CM/ECF, or someone else that I share my login with is on the system.
    Some common causes of this problem are: 1)If you close your Internet browser without properly logging out of the system, you will be locked out for a period of thirty minutes. 2)Frequently, the Internet browser memory retains the login information at that site and continues to think you have a session open. This can often be corrected in Internet Explorer by selecting Tools > Internet Options. On the Internet Options dialog box, select the Delete Cookies, Delete Files, and Delete History buttons, and select OK. Try your login again.  If you continue to have problems, contact ecftrain@alnb.uscourts.gov.
     
  • How long will it take to transmit lengthy documents?
    The time it takes to transmit a document primarily depends on the user's Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the size of PDF being transmitted. Generally, the larger the file, the longer it will take to load. File limitations are in place to expedite the transmission. PDF documents should NOT be larger than 1.5 MB (1536 KB).
  • Because access is limited to authorized attorneys, is there any way for pro se filers or attorneys without Internet access to file documents in CM/ECF cases?
    Yes. The system is also capable of accepting paper input from pro se filers and others as necessary. The Court converts all paper filings to electronic format by scanning and adding the scanned image into the CM/ECF system. The Court's Administrative Procedures for Filing, Signing, Retaining and Verficiation of Pleadings and Papers in the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) System requires attorneys to file documents on a disk in pdf format if they are not authorized to file in the CM/ECF System. Public computers and scanners are available in the Court's intake area where pro se debtors can review cases and scan pleadings.
  • What is the procedure for filing a sealed document?

    If you have a document that you wish to be placed under seal, you may file the appropriate motion to seal before the document is actually filed with the court. You would access our CM/ECF system, select Bankruptcy > Motions/Applications > In Camera. You will attach your motion which should explain why you are requesting this document be placed under seal. You will deliver the document you wish to be sealed to the appropriate judge along with a copy of the filed motion. This will need to be marked "Private and Confidential". The motion will be set for hearing. Following the hearing, the judge will enter an order. If the order grants your motion, then the judge will deliver the document to be placed under seal to the Division Supervisor. The Court will then follow the appropriate procedures for sealing the document.

  • I am having difficulty in filing my documents. Can you provide any assistance with this problem?

    Is it a PDF? (Portable Document File) Check the size of your document to make sure it does not exceed our file size limit of 1.5 MB (1536 KB). If it exceeds the limit, then try the following steps: 1)Check your DPI settings on your scanner. The DPI or PPI should be set at a recommended 300 PPI. You can lower the setting and rescan your document(s). 2)Is the page size of your document standard letter size (8.5 x 11.0)? If not, correct the scanner page size settings and then rescan your document(s). 3)If after following these steps, your file size remains larger than 1.5 MB and it contains two or more pages, scan your documents in blocks (example: pages 1-4 are one file, and pages 5-8 are a second file). Your first file will be the main document, and any additional files will be an attachment to your main document when docketed in ECF.

  • When completing the registration form for an attorney, it asked for the location of training. The attorney was already certified in another district. Is the attorney required to attend training to receive an ID and Password?

    No. There is an either/or selection- "I am already certified" or "I have completed training." The attorney should mark the box "I am already certified," and list the District where certification was received.

  • Is the CM/ECF ID and password issued by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama the same as what is issued by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama?

    No, each Court will issue an ID and password to be used only in their Court.

  • When is your next training date?

    Available classes are posted on our website (www.alnb.uscourts.gov) under the CM/ECF tab. Select Registration and Training > ECF-Training Registration for Attorneys. Scroll down the registration form and click on "Select City" for the next available class and the number of seats available. Complete the registration form and select "Register" to secure your seat.

  • When an attorney moves their bankruptcy practice to a new location and pending case responsibilities move, what notification to the Court is required by the attorney?

    The attorney should submit updated mailing address and email address information via CM/ECF. This information is updated in the Live System Data, accessed at the Court website, www.ecf.alnb.uscourts.gov, by selecting Utilities> Maintain My ECF Account, and performing an "update all" when prompted. Once this information has been modified, the Court should receive notification of this change via email or hard copy.

  • Must all users attend a training session?

    Training is not required for limited filers (those filing proof of claims). Training is required for attorneys unless they have been trained and issued an ID and password from another bankruptcy court.