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Filing the Complaint

Filing the Complaint

Click on Docket Lead Event. image148
Select the appropriate lead event from the list. For a new civil case the most common events are Complaint and Complaint – Social Security. image150
The filter field can be used to narrow your selections. Begin typing the first few letters and CM/ECF will narrow the selections to include only those that match your entry. image152
Click on Complaint, which will move it to the Selected Events box. Click Next to continue. image154
NOTE: CM/ECF allows multiple events to be selected on this screen. Make sure that only the event you intended to select appears in the selected events window prior to clicking the Next button.
A screen will appear displaying the civil case number. Click Next to continue. NOTE: The case number field is automatically populated with the case number of the just-opened case. image156

Selecting a Filer:

Choose a filer from the Select the Filer screen which lists all parties entered in the case. Click on the filing party to highlight it. image158
NOTE: If you notice that a party is missing or you are unable to locate the filer you represent, you may click New Filer to add a new participant to this list. Refer to the Adding Parties section of the User Manual for instructions on adding a new participant.
If there is more than one filer, press and hold the control key while clicking on each party you wish to add. This will highlight multiple parties. Click Next to continue. image161
The next screen creates an association between the attorney and the parties selected as filers on the previous screen. The screen only appears the first time an attorney files on behalf of a party. If you had previously added yourself as an attorney for the filing party, this screen will not appear. Check the individual boxes or the Select All box as appropriate, then click the Next button. image163

Uploading Documents:

The next screen is the document attachment screen. image165
REMINDER: Pursuant to LR 5-2(b), all pleadings and documents, including attachments and exhibits, must be filed as text searchable PDF files unless otherwise directed by the Court.
The main document should be the Complaint. Click on the Choose File button to locate the complaint for attachment. image168
A new window will open. Locate your complaint or other document in the location where it has been saved. image172
Prior to attachment, it is recommended that the PDF be reviewed to ensure it is accurate and is the correct attachment. This can be done by right clicking on the PDF and selecting the Open option. The PDF will open on your screen for review. After confirming the PDF is correct, click the X in the upper right corner of the PDF to close it. image174
Make sure the correct document is highlighted and then click the Open button in CM/ECF to continue with document attachment. image176
Attachments should also be uploaded at this time. Click the Choose File button to locate and confirm your attachment as indicated above. image179
Each attachment must be labeled with a Category from the drop-down menu or a Description in the free text field. It is not necessary to enter both a Category and Description. image182
The first attachment(s) should be any exhibit(s) to the complaint. The next attachment should be the Civil Cover Sheet (JS44) followed by individual summons(es) for issuance. Multiple summons(es) may be attached as a single PDF document. Civil Cover Sheet and Summons are selections available in the Category drop-down menu. image185
NOTE: Attaching a PDF to the Attachment 1 option causes the Attachment 2 option to appear. Repeat the attachment process as needed to attach all necessary documents.
When all documents have been added, click Next to continue. image188

Paying Filing Fees:

The next screen presents 3 questions to determine the status of any filing fees. pay.gov process1
These selections indicate exemption or waiver of the filing fee and will allow you to proceed without payment of fees through Pay.gov. If you select either of these options, please proceed to the Party this Filing is Against section below. pay.gov process2
This selection initiates the online payment process through Pay.gov. pay.gov process3
The next screen verifies the filing fee. Click Next to continue to the Pay.gov processing screens. image199
There are two screens presented during the Pay.gov transaction process. The top right corner indicates which screen you are currently on. All fields with asterisks are required. image201
The second screen is the payment confirmation screen. If you need to modify any of the information select the Edit this information link at the top of the screen. CAUTION: IF YOU click the back button on your browser, you will be required to restart the docketing process from the beginning, and it may also result in duplicate billing of the filing fee. image204
An e-mail confirmation of your payment may be requested by populating these fields. Any e-mail address may be entered, not just the e-mail address of the filer. Multiple e-mail addresses may be entered, and each e-mail should be separated by a comma. image207
The final step is payment authorization. Check the agreement box and then click the Submit Payment button to complete the Pay.gov transaction. image210
NOTE: Once you click Submit Payment the filing fee has been paid. DO NOT click the back button on your browser or click the Submit Payment button more than once, as these actions will cause the filing fee to be charged a second time.


Jury Demand:

The following screen will ask you to confirm your jury demand. Make the appropriate selection from the drop-down menu and click Next. image213
The next screen confirms your jury demand and populates docket text. Select the appropriate answer and click Next. image215


Temporary Restraining Order/Preliminary Injunction:

The next screen asks if your filing is accompanied by a request for temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction. Make the appropriate selection and click Next. image217
NOTE: Certain case types and cases seeking a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction will not be assigned to a judicial officer during the docketing process. You will see a warning message during docketing if you select Yes to the above question. The Clerk’s Office will assign a judge to these matters, and you will be notified as soon as possible.


Party this Filing is Against:

The next screen asks you to select the party that this filing is against. Click on the correct party, or click the All Defendants radio button to simplify the selection. Click the Next button to continue. image220

Final Steps:

The final warning screen will appear. image222
This is the last chance to insert further text into the display field or to make a selection from the drop-down menu. image225
If you have additional text to add, enter it in the display field. Otherwise, click the Next button. image228
This is the final warning screen, which displays the full docket text of the event. Click Next to file the documents. There will be no further opportunity to modify this docket entry and it will immediately post to the CM/ECF system. image231
A Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) will be generated by the CM/ECF system for the docket entry. image233


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