WELCOME TO NEXTGEN CM/ECF
On October 25, 2021, the Northern District of California adopted the NextGen CM/ECF system. Registered e-filers must take steps in order to continue to file electronically in the Northern District after that date.
Prior to the court’s adoption of NextGen, attorneys and pro se e-filers were required to maintain a separate CM/ECF account for each court in which the attorney or party was a registered e-filer, in addition to a PACER account. NextGen CM/ECF simplifies that process by combining CM/ECF and PACER accounts into a single “Central Sign-On” account. E-filers no longer need a separate CM/ECF account for each NextGen court. The Central Sign-On account will permit e-filers to view documents through PACER, as well as electronically file documents in each NextGen court (district, bankruptcy, and appellate) where the attorney or party is a registered e-filer.
Attorneys and pro se parties who are already registered e-filers must follow the instructions below. Pro se parties who file manually only are not required to take any action.
Two steps are required to prepare for NextGen: Step 1 (before the go-live date) and Step 2 (on or after the go-live date). Detailed instructions are on this page. Click here for a Quick Setup Guide (PDF).
Step 1 – Before the NextGen Go-Live Date
Did you obtain your individual PACER account before August 11, 2014?
If you obtained your individual PACER account before August 11, 2014, the account must be upgraded before the NextGen go-live date. Go to https://www.pacer.gov and click on “Manage My Account”. If your account type is Legacy, click Upgrade and follow the required steps. After the NextGen go-live date you must follow step 2 below.
Did you obtain your individual PACER account after August 11, 2014?
If you obtained your individual PACER account after August 11, 2014, no action is required, as your individual PACER account is already upgraded. However, after the NextGen go-live date you must follow step 2 below.
Do you share a PACER account?
You must obtain your own individual PACER account before the NextGen go-live date. Shared PACER accounts will not work with NextGen. Go to www.pacer.gov and click on “Register” to create a new individual account. After the NextGen go-live date you must follow step 2 below.
CJA Panel Attorneys
CJA panel attorneys must (1) have one upgraded individual PACER account before the NextGen go-live date, and (2) add CJA exempt privileges to that account for billing purposes. The upgraded individual PACER account will allow you to toggle back and forth between CJA matters and private practice matters. Follow the instructions in the “CJA Privileges in NextGen” link below. After the NextGen go-live date you must follow step 2 below.
Do you have more than one CM/ECF account?
All of your PACER accounts must be upgraded before the NextGen go-live date (see above). This includes those attorneys who work part-time for a Government entity, such as a Corporation Counsel office, and who currently use two CM/ECF accounts to keep their private practice and Corporation Counsel emails separate. Such attorneys will continue to need two CM/ECF accounts and two corresponding upgraded PACER accounts. After the NextGen go-live date, you must follow step 2 below to link each CM/ECF account to a corresponding upgraded PACER account.
PACER Administrative Accounts (‘PAA’)
PACER offers a PAA to centralize PACER billing for multiple attorneys in a single firm. To register for a PAA, please visit: www.pacer.gov/reg_firm.html. Attorneys with a PAA account still must have an individual account.
Forgot your CM/ECF account information?
Go to ECF Registration Status.
Forgot your PACER account information?
Step 2 – On or After the NextGen Go-Live Date
LINK your CM/ECF account(s) with your upgraded individual PACER account.
On or after the NextGen go-live date you must link your CM/ECF and PACER accounts. Linking is a one-time process that can be completed only after the court is live on NextGen CM/ECF. Failure to link your CM/ECF account(s) with your upgraded individual PACER account will prevent you from filing electronically after the NextGen “go-live” date.
On or after the NextGen go-live date, link your court-issued CM/ECF account and your upgraded PACER account by going to the court’s CM/ECF site and clicking the “Document Filing System” link. You will be automatically redirected to PACER to complete this process. Link your CAND account at: https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov.
- Log in with your individual upgraded PACER user name and password.
- Click Utilities, then click “Link a CM/ECF account to my PACER account.”
- Enter your current CM/ECF credentials in the CM/ECF login and CM/ECF password fields. Click “Submit.” Verify that the CM/ECF account and PACER account listed are accurate. If so, click “Submit.”
- You have successfully linked your account. You will now use only your PACER account to access both PACER and CM/ECF for this court. Press F5 to refresh the screen andview the Civil and Criminal menu items for filing.
Do you practice in multiple Federal Courts?
If you practice in more than one Federal Court you must link each of those CM/ECF accounts with your one upgraded PACER account as each court adopts NextGen over the coming months. See a list of NextGen courts below.
How will I access PACER and NextGen CM/ECF?
After NextGen goes live, you will go to the PACER website and use your Central Sign-On account to view dockets through PACER and also to file electronically in courts using the NextGen CM/ECF system. Not all courts will adopt NextGen at the same time. Until a court does adopt NextGen you will continue to access that court’s legacy CM/ECF system through their local website using the account information issued by that court. See a list of NextGen courts below.
After NextGen goes live, who do I contact for help with my account?
After NextGen goes live all account maintenance requests will be handled by the PACER service center (see contact information below). You will need your PACER account number when contacting PACER.