Clerk’s Corner: Fall 2019

By Chief Clerk of Court John Domurad

On a recent weekend the Judiciary experienced a widespread outage of its CM/ECF filing system. Although the Northern District of New York was not significantly impacted, the outage provides an opportune time to remind our stakeholders of the procedures in place should the Court’s CM/ECF website experience a technical failure.

As memorialized in Section 10.1 of General Order # 22, should the Court’s system be unable to accept filings continuously or intermittently over the course of any period of time greater than one hour after 10:00 a.m. on any day, the filing users may submit the documents via email at ECFHELP@nynd.uscourts.gov or in person at any staffed NDNY office. Documents will be considered filed as of the date and time they are received by the Court. Please note, all documents must meet all other filing requirements as set forth in General Order # 22 (e.g., size limitations, .pdf format, etc.).

In addition to the above procedures, if the Court becomes aware of any technical problems impacting its electronic filing system, the Clerk’s Office will immediately update our external website (www.nynd.uscourts.gov) so as to notify the public of the issue and provide an emergency phone number to call. If the filing is time-sensitive, we encourage filing users to call us, and we will work with you to ensure the documents are received and filed with the court in a timely manner. Although the Judiciary goes to great lengths to minimize downtime for our CM/ECF filing system, issues beyond our control can and do occur. If we encounter an issue, we are committed to working with our customers to ensure our downtime does not impact your action.

While on the topic of electronic filing, I should note that we have seen an increase in the number of attachments that fail to properly describe the content of the attached document. Although the CM/ECF system allows filers the ability to “free text” a description of the document, Section 4.4. of General Order #22 requires all attachments be described in sufficient detail so they can be easily identified by the end user. Failure to adequately describe attachments may result in these filings being stricken from the docket and require they be refiled with a proper description. As always, if you have any questions about how to electronically file documents with the court, please feel free to call our CM/ECF help desk number (1-833-771-4945) and we will be glad to assist you.