CM / ECF

Technical FAQs



What does the attorney provide?

  • Filing documents into CM/ECF electronic filing systems requires the following hardware and software:
  • A personal computer running a standard platform such as Windows or Macintosh. 

  • A PDF-compatible word processor like Macintosh or Windows-based versions of WordPerfect or Word.

  • Internet service.

  • Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7, or Firefox 2.

  • Software to convert documents from a word processor format to portable document format (PDF). Adobe Acrobat PDF Writer is recommended. Acrobat Writer Version 3.X, 4.X and 5.0 adequately meet the CM/ECF filing requirements.

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available for free, is needed for viewing PDF documents.

  • A scanner may be necessary to create electronic images of documents that are not in your word processing system.

Are there special settings for Internet Explorer?

When using CM/ECF through Internet Explorer, incorrect screens can display and privileges "disappear" due to cached information. To resolve Internet Explorer issues, please ensure the following options are set. (These settings can be found in "Internet Options" located under the "Tools" drop down menu.)

General Tab:

  • In the Temporary Internet Files section, click "Settings." Have Internet Explorer check for newer versions of stored pages "Automatically."

Advanced Tab:
In the "Browsing" section:

  • Uncheck "Reuse Windows For Launching Shortcuts"...This enables users to open another IE session in another window, instead of being redirected out of their CM/ECF session.

In the "Security" section:

  • Check "Empty Temporary Internet Folder When Browser Is Closed"...This solves many of the cache issues with CM/ECF in IE.

  • Uncheck "Do Not Save Encrypted Pages To Disk"

Are there any special instructions for AOL users?

When you upgrade to AOL version 9.0, the AOL installation routine may reset your Anti-Spam preferences, which may prevent you from receiving notices of electronic filing and other ECF-related e-mails.


ECF filing users who have upgraded (or plan to upgrade) to AOL 9.0 should verify that all email addresses with the extension "@flmd.uscourts.gov" are listed in or added to your AOL address book, so that ECF-related e-mails are not blocked from reaching your AOL account. Additionally, please check the spam in-box for email from the Court before choosing "delete all."


Does the District Court send attachments in emails via CM/ECF?

A number of government agencies, including the Court, have been receiving e-mails with attachments containing viruses. Some of these e-mails appear to have been sent by government agencies or officials. The CM/ECF system does not send out notices with attachments. It sends out an e-mail notification which, if a document was filed electronically, contains a hyperlink to the document. The Court is doing everything it can to ensure that its systems are protected so that they cannot be used to send viruses to members of the bar. However, we cannot eliminate the possibility that a virus might be circulated with a sender's address which mimics one used by the Court. Please exercise caution whenever you receive an e-mail with an attachment even if it appears to have been sent by the Court or another government agency.


Are there any tips for scanning?

Some guidelines to follow are:

  • CM/ECF will not accept PDF documents larger than 5 MB. Documents larger than 5 MB will need to be divided into smaller documents that are no more than 5 MB in size. 

  • Use 300 dpi (dots per inch) for scanning.

  • Set image type to black and white bitmap, text (image only), or line art.

  • Use black ink if possible. Blue ink and pencil do not scan well. If necessary, make a copy of the document before scanning it, and darken with the copy machine settings.

  • For large documents, where only the last page has a signature, consider converting the document to PDF in your wordprocessor and only scanning the signature page.

  • Request depositions on a CD and convert them to PDF using a word processor.

  • If graphs, images or color photos are used, one page may be close to exceeding the 5 MB size limit.

  • Check the size of a scanned document before uploading it in CM/ECF. The size limit is 5 MB per document. To verify that the size of the document meets the 5 MB limit, right-click on the PDF document and select properties. This will

  • open a window that provides the file size information. If the file size is less than 5 MB, then it can be filed electronically. If it is more than 5 MB, then it will need to be divided into two or more files, with each file being 5 MB or less.

  • Documents created with a word processing program such as WordPerfect or Microsoft Word and correctly converted or published to PDF will generally be smaller than a scanned document. Estimated number of pages in a 5 MB scanned document is 100 to 125 pages. A 5 MB file size is usually about 250 pages from a word processor.