United States District Court

Southern District of Florida

October 5, 2006

 

Contact: Clarence Maddox

Court Administrator • Clerk of Court

(305)523-5001

 

Press Release


UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA

CONVERSION TO ELECTRONIC CASE FILING SYSTEM


At the close of business on Thursday, October 5, 2006, the United States District Court Clerk's Office will begin converting its current case management system to the federal judiciary's standard Case Management and Electronic Case Filing System (CM/ECF). The conversion will be complete on October 12, 2006. From close of business on October 5th through October 12th, the Clerk's Office will process only filings that are of an emergency nature. Emergency filings during the specified period must be submitted in paper form. The Court has entered an order extending by five business days the deadline for filing and serving documents during the conversion period for routine, non-emergency matters.


Implementation of the CM/ECF system is the culmination of two years of work for the District Clerk's Office and ushers in a new era for practitioners and litigants in federal courts in the Southern District of Florida. CM/ECF allows authorized users to file most documents 24 hours per day, seven days per week, in real time. In addition, the filing party as well as other parties to an action, will receive near instantaneous confirmation that a filing has been posted to the system. It is anticipated that electronic filing and noticing will create a seamless process for transmitting documents to intended parties while reducing paper-handling delays, mailing/delivery costs, and other administrative processes.


The Court has approved Administrative Procedures which will serve to guide system users. Chief among the approved procedures is the requirement that all members of the Southern District of Florida Bar electronically file the majority of their documents using CM/ECF. Further, only members of the District’s Bar will be authorized to file documents using CM/ECF. Pro se litigants will continue to file using the traditional paper format. The public may continue to access electronic court records through the Judiciary's Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system. In addition, the public should take note that the Court’s nightbox policy, as provided for in Administrative Order 2003-10, will be abolished effective October 12, 2006.


The Southern District of Florida is one of 94 district court systems that have either fully implemented CM/ECF or are at some stage of doing so. CM/ECF was developed by the judiciary to replace the antiquated technology of the legacy case management systems in use by district courts since the late 1980s.


Beginning on October 12th, Clerk’s Office support will be available as follows:




General Customer Service Hours: The Clerk’s Office in all divisions, except Key West, will be open to the public from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. In addition, customer service will be provided over the telephone, in all divisions, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.


Extended Hours for CM/ECF Walk-up Support: Additional walk-up support for persons authorized to file in CM/ECF will be provided by staff in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach (when the courthouse reopens) from 4:30 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.


Extended Hours for Telephone Support: Telephone support for persons authorized to file in CM/ECF will be provided from 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. The telephone number for the Help Desk is 1-888-318-2260.


Further details are available at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov/cmecf.