Frequently Asked Questions



How do I avoid filing mistakes that could delay the processing of my documents?

Below are some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Filing of documents in the wrong Divisional Office or District Court.
  • Filing of District Court documents with the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court or the County Court. NOTE: The District Court cannot accept documents to be filed in the Bankruptcy Court or State Courts.
  • Filing of documents without an original signature.
  • Filing of documents without the complete or correct case number or case style.
  • Filing a copy of the document instead of the original.
  • Faxing a document to the Clerk of Court.
  • Filing a document without a complete address and telephone number for the filing party.
    Filing an emergency pleading in the drop box.
  • Filing a pleading with a long or confusing title or no title
  • Filing separate documents attached, stapled, or bound together.
  • Filing a document that has been permanently or semi-permanently bound.
  • Filing documents with exhibit tabs which protrude from the right beyond the normal page width.
  • Filing documents with individually stapled exhibits.
  • Filing documents with loose (unsecured) pages or exhibits.
  • Filing documents with paper size, font size, or margins not in compliance with Local Rule 1.05(a).
  • Filing a Civil Action or Notice of Removal without a JS44 Civil Coversheet.
  • Filing a document without payment of filing fees.

What documents require a filing fee?

  • All initial civil case filings - With the exception of a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, which has a $5 filing fee, all new civil case filings have a $400 filing fee. This filing fee also applies to a Notice of Removal. If you are unable to afford the filing fees, an Affidavit of Indigency and/or Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis must be filed in lieu of payment of filing fees in order to initiate a civil action.
  • Appellate docketing fee - All Notices of Appeal require a $505 filing fee. This filing fee also applies to a Notice of Cross Appeal.
  • Miscellaneous filing fees - If you are filing a motion for which a local case does not exist, i.e., motion to quash a subpoena from another district, you must pay a $46 miscellaneous filing fee.
  • Registration of Judgment - Registration of a foreign or state court judgment also requires the payment of the $46 miscellaneous filing fee
There may be fees for services provided by the Clerk’s Office, such as copy fees, document certification, and attorney admission. A Schedule of Fees is available from this site under Forms & Publications.

Do you accept electronic filings, faxes, or copies?

All documents filed by attorneys in Civil and Criminal cases in this District on or after July 12, 2004, no matter when a case was originally filed, shall be filed electronically. Please see the USDC-MDFL Administrative Procedures for Electronic Filing in Civil and Criminal Cases available from the CM/ECF section of this website for more information. All others may still file original paper pleadings. Facsimiles and copies are not accepted for filing in this Court.

How many copies of a pleading do I need to file?

This court only requires the filing of the original pleading, motion, memorandum or other document. Local Rule 3.03 prohibits the filing of discovery material. Courtesy copies to the assigned judge are acceptable, but not necessary. If you are requesting a time-stamped copy to be returned to you, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for this purpose. Copies may not be returned to you otherwise.

How do I file a sealed document?

A party may not file any document under seal without first having obtained a court order granting a motion to leave to file under seal. Any document you wish to be filed under seal must comply with Local Rules and the Federal Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedures. Documents filed under seal should be clearly marked as to be easily identifiable as a sealed document. Because of the public nature of Intake, documents presented for filing should also be in an envelope and not put in the drop box.