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ECF Forms, Instructions, and Other Information


ECF Basics

Attorney Civil Case Opening Information
Return of Service Quick Reference Guide
Instructions: Amended Complaints, Crossclaims, Counterclaims, and Third-Party Complaints
Instructions: Motions to Intervene and Motions to File Amicus Briefs
Instructions: Notices of Appeal
E-Filing SEALED Documents in NON-SEALED Cases
Highly Sensitive Documents (HSD) Procedures
External Procedures Regarding Password-Protected Sealed Applications
Opening Civil Case with Pseudonymous Motion
Grand Jury (GJ) Protocols for New Cases

Pro Se E-Filing Instructions Via PACER
ECF Tutorial
ECF Filing Pointers
ECF Checklist for Attorneys (PDF)
Privacy and Public Access to Electronic Case Files
Criminal Docketing Events
Civil Docketing Events
Important ECF Bounced Back Policy


On Monday, October 7, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia upgraded its Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system (CM/ECF) to the Next Generation of CM/ECF (NextGen). This upgrade provides users with several benefits including Central Sign-On: the ability for e-filing attorneys to access any NextGen court they practice in using one login and password.

To access the upgraded system, you must take the following steps. Your PACER Account will be your login, therefore you MUST have your own individual PACER Account. E-filing attorneys will not be able to use shared PACER accounts. In preparation for the upcoming upgrade of CM/ECF, please follow steps 1 through 3 below.

Step 1: Get your own individual PACER account, if you do not already have one. Register for a new PACER account by clicking here:

If you already have your own PACER account, then go to Step 2.

Step 2: If you have your own individual PACER account and it was created prior to August 11, 2014 (also known as a Legacy account), you must upgrade your account before you can electronically file in a NextGen court. Please see the below video on upgrading your PACER account (a PDF copy has been included for your convenience).  

Upgrading Your PACER Account - Attorneys with E-Filing Privileges

After watching the above video, click here to manage your account:

Step 3: You must link your upgraded PACER account to your CM/ECF account. See instructions here.  Please note: if you do not remember your CM/ECF login and password, or if you never had a CM/ECF account, please proceed to register for e-filing so that we may link accounts for you. Instruction can be found here:

NextGen Training Guides