Electronic Case File Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the internet address of the court's electronic filing system?
  • Who do I call if I am having problems logging in to the electronic case filing system, ECF, when I'm trying to file a document with the court?

    Please call the Clerk’s Office in your division during normal business hours of 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

  • Who do I call if I am having problems logging in to PACER so that I can view documents and case information?

    Contact the judiciary's national PACER Service Center toll free at 1-800-676-6856.

    Their friendly, helpful staff will assist you with any issues which are not directly related to cases or procedures in this particular court.  They will gladly assist you with web browser issues and PDF issues.

    The PACER Service Center will also assist you with PACER login/account issues if you are having trouble logging in to PACER when trying to view a document or case information.  But please note:  for issues with your electronic case filing, or ECF, account, which was given to you by the Central District of Illinois, you will need to call the court's  ECF registration personnel at 217-492-4020.

  • Who do I call if I have questions about how to create a PDF document?

    Contact the judiciary's national PACER Service Center toll free at 1-800-676-6856.

    Their friendly, helpful staff will assist you with any issues which are not directly related to cases or procedures in this particular court.  They will gladly assist you with web browser issues and PDF issues.

    The PACER Service Center will also assist you with PACER login/account issues if you are having trouble logging in to PACER when trying to view a document or case information.  But please note:  for issues with your electronic case filing, or ECF, account, which was given to you by the Central District of Illinois, please call the Clerk’s Office in your division during normal business hours of 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

  • Who do I call if I have questions about my web browser?

    Contact the judiciary's national PACER Service Center toll free at 1-800-676-6856.

    Their friendly, helpful staff will assist you with any issues which are not directly related to cases or procedures in this particular court.  They will gladly assist you with web browser issues and PDF issues.

    The PACER Service Center will also assist you with PACER login/account issues if you are having trouble logging in to PACER when trying to view a document or case information.  But please note:  for issues with your electronic case filing, or ECF, account, which was given to you by the Central District of Illinois, please call the Clerk’s Office in your division during normal business hours of 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

  • To what e-mail addresses do I send civil complaints and other case initiating documents?

    First, use Local Rule 40.1 to determine in which division of this court your case should be filed.

    Then attach to an e-mail message, as PDF documents and as separate attachments, the complaint, civil cover sheet, and summonses (if you have the summonses ready at this time).

    Send the e-mail with the separate PDF attachments to the appropriate e-mail address:

         newcases.peoria@ilcd.uscourts.gov
         newcases.urbana@ilcd.uscourts.gov
         newcases.springfield@ilcd.uscourts.gov
         newcases.rockisland@ilcd.uscourts.gov

    NOTE:  The e-mail addresses listed above are to be used only for sending to the court case initiating documents in civil cases.  Do not send any other communication with the court to these addresses!

    It is the responsibility of the party filing a case initiating document by e-mail to call the Clerks Office and provide a credit card number for payment of the filing fee or to pay the filing fee by other means.

    Case initiating documents submitted by e-mail will be deemed filed on the date that the complaint is received by e-mail or the date that the credit card number or other form of payment is provided to the Clerks Office, whichever is later. Case initiating documents and/or payments submitted at or after 5:00 p.m. on a normal business day will be deemed filed on the next normal business day.

  • How do I file a Civil case?

    The United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois now allows attorneys to open civil cases online via our Case Management Electronic Case Filing (CMECF) System.  If you are a registered attorney in our district with a valid user name and password for CMECF, you are able to open a civil case, file the case initiating document(s), and pay the filing fee with a credit card via Pay.gov.

    Step-by-step instructions are available on this web site from the link below.  If you have any questions, please call the Clerk’s Office in your division during normal business hours of 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

    OR

    The Clerks Office will accept case initiating documents (i.e. complaints with civil cover sheets and summons, and notices of removal) sent by e-mail.

    A party submitting a case initiating document by e-mail for electronic filing must submit those documents in .pdf format to the proper divisional mailbox, as follows:
              newcases.peoria@ilcd.uscourts.gov
              newcases.urbana@ilcd.uscourts.gov
              newcases.springfield@ilcd.uscourts.gov
              newcases.rockisland@ilcd.uscourts.gov

    It is the responsibility of the party filing a case initiating document by e-mail to call the Clerks Office and provide a credit card number for payment of the filing fee or to pay the filing fee by other means.

    Case initiating documents submitted by e-mail will be deemed filed on the date that the complaint is received by e-mail or the date that the credit card number or other form of payment is provided to the Clerks Office, whichever is later. Case initiating documents and/or payments submitted at or after 5:00 p.m. on a normal business day will be deemed filed on the next normal business day.

    OR

    The Clerks Office will also accept for filing case initiating documents sent by United States mail or delivered in person to the Clerks Office when accompanied by the filing fee. A case initiating document received in paper form will be scanned and uploaded by the Clerks Office. Unless otherwise provided in these procedures, the paper documents will then be discarded.

    Only case initiating documents may be sent to the e-mail addresses listed above. If any other documents are sent to those e-mail addresses, the Clerks Office will reply to the e-mail, notifying the party that the pleading has not been filed.

    A party may not electronically serve a case initiating document, but instead must effect service according to Fed.R.Civ.P.4.

    Regarding Summonses:
    A party filing a complaint by e-mail may request that a summons issue by making such request in person or by sending the completed summons form by United States mail to the Clerks Office with a self addressed, postage-prepaid envelope. Once a summons has been issued, the Clerks Office will scan it, upload it to the System, and then return the summons to the party.  Click here for a "fillable" summons in PDF format.

    In the alternative, a party filing a complaint by e-mail may simultaneously file by e-mail the summons that are to issue. The summons must be filled out by the submitting party. Once the Clerks Office has issued the summons, it will be e-mailed to the filing party. Issuance of summons by e-mail will be recorded in the docket.

  • Do I need to submit a Civil Cover Sheet with the complaint?

    Yes, you do need to submit a Civil Cover Sheet with your complaint.  E-mail it with the complaint, in PDF format, but as a separate attachmentClick here for a "fillable" Civil Cover Sheet in PDF format.

  • How do I know where to file my case?

    Our Local Rule 40.1 addresses the assignment of cases and places of filing.

  • To what e-mail addresses do I send ex parte documents and/or documents for which I am requesting permission to file under seal?

    Sealed Documents.

    The Court does not approve of filing of documents under seal as a general matter. A party who has a legal basis for filing a document under seal without prior court order must electronically file a motion for leave to file under seal. The motion must include an explanation of how the document meets the legal standards for filing sealed documents. The document in question may not be attached to the motion as an attachment but rather must be electronically filed contemporaneously using the separate docket event “Sealed Document.” In the rare event that the motion itself must be filed under seal, the motion must be electronically filed using the docket event “Sealed Motion.” 

    Please refer to Criminal Local Rule 49.9 or Civil Local Rule 5.10

  • I receive an error message 62 when trying to file a crossclaim and counterclaim simultaneously. How can I file these documents?

    When filing crossclaims, counterclaims, intervenor complaints, et cetera, you cannot select more than one event at the same time.  You will need to create two separate documents, a crossclaim and a counterclaim, and file each document separately.

  • How do I add secondary e-mail addresses for additional notices?
    1. Login to ECF.
    2. Click on the "Utilities" option.
    3. Under the "Your Account" heading click the "Maintain Your Account" link (this will take you to the "Maintain User Account" page).
    4. At the bottom of the page click on the "Email information..." button (this will take you to the "E-mail information for.." page).
    5. Under the "Send the notices specified below" heading make sure the "to these additional address" is checked.
    6. Fill in the text box to the right with the additional email addresses you would like notices sent.
    7. At the bottom of the screen click the "Return to Account screen" button (this will return you to the "Maintain User Account" page).
    8. At the bottom of that screen click the "Submit" button.
    9. If all you did was update the email information you will receive a page informing you that "Case specific fields were not altered."  Click the "Submit" button again.
    10. You should receive a page that contains "The update was successful...".
  • ECF will occasionally fail to display the correct menu options or will begin acting strangely after it has worked fine for some time. What can I do on my own before calling the Help Desk?

    Right-click in the ECF window and select Refresh (Internet Explorer, also known as IE).

    If that does not bring back all options, clear the web browser's cache or temporary internet files.

    In IE:
                        1.  Go to Tools . . . Internet Options.
                        2.  Click Delete Files.
                        3.  Check the box Delete all offline content.
                        4.  Click OK.
                        5.  Click OK again.

    Return to your ECF window and see if performing these steps helped. 

  • How do I change my ECF password?

    You may change your password using the following steps:

    1. Access the Central District of Illinois' ECF site at https://ecf.ilcd.uscourts.gov.
    2. Click on Utilities on the CM/ECF Menu Bar.
    3. Under Your Account, click on Maintain Your Account.
    4. Click on the More User Information button. Your password will come up as ********.
    5. Enter your new password.
    6. Click on the Return to Account screen button.
    7. Click on the Submit button to return to the Account screen.
    8. Click on the Submit button again to complete the transaction.
  • How do I change my ECF notification status so that I receive a daily summary of events rather than a notice every time something is filed?
    1. Access the Central District of Illinois' ECF site at https://ecf.ilcd.uscourts.gov.
    2. Click on Utilities on the CM/ECF Menu Bar.
    3. Under Your Account, click on Maintain Your Account.
    4. Click on E-mail Information button.
    5. Click on the radio button Send a Daily Summary Report.
    6. Click on the Return to Account screen button.
    7. Click on the Submit button to return to the Account screen.
    8. Click on the Submit button again to complete the transaction.