United States District Court - Northern District Court of California

Claudia Wilken, Chief Judge

Richard W. Wieking, Clerk of Court

When Paper Documents Are Required

Civil Local Rule 5.2 provides the court's orders for "manual" filings (of paper documents or physical items).

Basically, the only time you should file manually on an e-filing case (instead of e-filing) is in the event that you have an item which cannot be e-filed for some reason, such as those listed below. If you must manually file an item, you must also serve it to opposing counsel and provide a Proof of Service (which you can then e-file).

Additionally, a courtesy copy of each document manually filed must be submitted as an extra copy for chambers. If the matter is assigned to a Magistrate Judge for hearing, a copy must also be sent to the Office of the Clerk where the Magistrate Judge's chamber is located.

Furthermore, pursuant to Civil Local Rule 5.1(e)(7), parties must provide a paper copy of each document that is electronically filed for chambers, marked "Chambers Copy."  Courtesy copies must confirm to the particular requirements of the assigned judge's standing orders.

When e-filing, you should e-file everything you can e-file, then in place of the actual document which you can not e-file, you will e-file a Manual Filing Notification (MFN) instead of the "real" item, but you will e-file it exactly as you would the real thing. You should then use the MFN as a cover page for the manually-filed documents.

Example:

You have to file a Motion to Dismiss with an Exhibit A (a 50-page contract) and an Exhibit B (a 900-page copy of a book). You: (1) PDF the motion from your word processor, (2) scan the 50-page exhibit to PDF (at low resolution) and (3) create a MFN for the book.

When you e-file, select Motion to Dismiss and you will tell the system you have attachments to the Motion. On the attachments page, you will e-file the Exhibit-A PDF file (and call it "Exhibit-A"), then e-file Exhibit-B (and call it "Exhibit-B") but submit the MFN PDF file, instead of the "real" exhibit.

In doing this, the docket will be accurate and complete. The only anomaly will be that instead of a 900-page book in Exhibit-A, PACER users will see the MFN and know they need to come to the court to access the filing.

Please do not e-file the MFN as a "Notice" of any activity. The MFN is meant to be a place-holder (like an index card) for the real filing, not an event unto itself.

Creating a Manual Filing Notification

Click here for an example MFN.

To create a Manual Filing Notification, copy the following text and insert it in your standard pleading template (check off any that apply):

Manual Filing Notification

This filing was not e-filed for the following reason(s):

  1. Unable to Scan Documents
  2. Physical Object (please describe):
  3. Non-Graphic/Text Computer File (audio, video, etc.) on CD or other media
  4. Item Under Seal in Criminal Case
  5. Conformance with the Judicial Conference Privacy Policy (General Order 53)
  6. Other (please describe):