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Section 4 - Event Selection and Transactions

Docket Sheets

The Court's permanent record of filings made and proceedings held in a case is referred to as the docket sheet. Docket sheet information for a case includes the names of the parties or litigants, attorney information, and general statistical data.  Civil case data is captured from the information submitted on the Civil Cover Sheet (JS-44) at the time of case opening.  Criminal case data is captured from the charging documents filed.




Docket sheets also contain a chronological account of the pleadings and other filings submitted in a case. These are called docket entries.  Each docket entry will have a corresponding filing date, document number, and docket text.  Docket entries are created by users selecting events from the available civil and criminal event menus which most accurately describe the activity or document being filed.



Entering the system using the Court-generated CM/ECF login and password will give you access to the events used to create docket entries.




The item you select from this main blue toolbar determines the functions you are able to accomplish.  For example:

If you click this button on the toolbar:

You will be able to do these tasks:


Electronically file documents in a civil case (for example: motions, notices, service documents, responses, replies, answers, etc.)


Electronically file documents in a criminal case (for example: plea related documents, motions, responses, replies, appeal documents, notices, trial documents, etc.)


Log in to PACER to run name searches, create docket activity reports, look up case numbers, etc.


Access the written opinions report or, after logging in to PACER, run civil and/or criminal case reports, calendar event reports, docket sheet reports, etc.


View Court information, maintain your user account, review your billing (page) history, etc.


Open a search box.  Type the name of the event you are looking for and click the "search" button.


Exit the CM/ECF system. Be sure to logout of each session by using the logout link on the main blue toolbar instead of simply closing the browser window.

Events within each category are grouped based on their function.

Civil Events


The menus of events under the Civil selection include: Initial Pleadings and Service, Motions and Related Filings, and Other Filings.



Criminal Events

The menus of events under the Criminal selection include: Charging Instruments and Pleas, Motions and Related Filings, and Other Filings.  Selection of the links under those headings reveals the individual docket events.




To electronically file a Trial Memorandum in a civil case, for example, you would first select Civil from the main blue tool bar and click on the Trial Documents menu under Other Filings.  The event Trial Memorandum appears under the Trial Documents menu for selection.




Search Function

If you are having trouble finding a specific event, the Search function is a helpful tool.  Click the Search function and start typing the name of the event you wish to file.




This will bring up a list of all events which include the word entered in the search field.




If the proper event appears, simply click on the event to begin the docketing process.

Function Keys and Techniques

Browser "Back" and "Forward" Buttons

It is not advisable to use the BACK and FORWARD buttons on the browser's tool bar to navigate through CM/ECF.  If you need to abort a transaction before it is completed, click on another menu selection from the main blue tool bar.

The "Tab" Key

You may navigate through the screens by using a mouse.  In most screens, you may also use the TAB key and space bar to move through the data entry fields.  Active or "focus" buttons will have a faint dotted outline around them.  A focused button may be activated by hitting the space bar.  You can also use the SHIFT key and the TAB key simultaneously to move back one field at a time.

Selecting Multiple Items in a Picklist

Event and party selections appear in alphabetical order in picklists.  If multiple-item selection is allowed by the application on a particular list, multiple items may be selected by holding down the CONTROL (Ctrl) key while clicking on the items you wish to select. Holding down the SHIFT key and clicking on the top and bottom of a selection will allow you to select a range of items from the list.