For new attorneys practicing in the Utah District Court, it's essential to have a good handle on using the electronic case filling (ECF) system.
If you've practiced in the Tenth Circuit, you're probably e-filed before, but each court has its own unique rules.
Here are three tips for using the CM/ECF system in the Utah District Court, according to the local rules:
1. Training Is Required Before You Register.
In order for an attorney to register for the district court's CM/ECF system, she/he must complete the court's training program or provide reasons why the training requirement should be waived.
You can get the training waived if:
- You're already registered as an electronic filer in another federal district court, or be registered in the District of Utah Bankruptcy Court's ECF system;
- You've attended previous training sessions led by an in-house trainer approved by the court; or
- You've successfully completed CM/ECF online training tutorials from the court's website.
2. Your Case Must Be Opened Before You Can E-File.
Although you can e-file a complaint and pay the fee online, you must first email a copy of the civil cover sheet and complaint to the clerk's office at email@example.com. This is for informational purposes only. After the clerk's office receives it, the case will be opened and a judge will be assigned. Once that happens, the attorney will receive an email or phone call and will then be allowed to e-file the complaint and pay the filing fee through the CM/ECF system.
Pro tip: If you're on a statute of limitations time crunch, be sure to email the copy of the complaint and cover sheet to the clerk before 4 p.m. Monday through Thursdays, or before 3:30 p.m. on Fridays. All copies received after those times won't be processed until the following morning.
3. Attorneys Are Responsible for Redacting Private Information.
Clerks in the Utah District Court don't have the time to check if your e-filed document contains any private information that should be redacted. So here's what must be redacted:
- Names of minor children (use only the initials),
- Social Security and financial account numbers (show only the last four numbers),
- Dates of birth (include only the year), and
- Home addresses (show only the city and state).
Other personal information, like driver's license numbers, medical records, trade secrets, or employment history aren't required to be redacted by the court, but attorneys should tread carefully because they could violate other privacy laws if the information is published.
These three electronic filing tips are just a few of the rules that apply to the Utah District Court. For more clarification, contact the Clerk's Office at (801) 524-6100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- Rules of Practice (U.S. District Court for the District of Utah)
- Fee Hikes and Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure Amended (FindLaw's U.S. Fourth Circuit Blog)
- E-Filing Briefs: Do Judges Read Online Pleadings Differently? (FindLaw's Strategist)