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Test Case v. FNU Doe

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina

January 1, 2018

Test Case
v.
FNU Doe, et al

          ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES GOVERNING FILING AND SERVICE BY ELECTRONIC MEANS

         I. THE ELECTRONIC FILING SYSTEM

         A. IN GENERAL Unless otherwise permitted by these administrative procedures or unless otherwise authorized by the assigned judge, all documents submitted for filing in this district after January 1, 2006, no matter when a case was originally filed, shall be filed electronically using the Electronic Filing System (“System”).

         1. Parties proceeding pro se shall not file electronically.

         2. The filing of Social Security cases shall be subject to the limitations imposed in Section VI of these procedures.

         3. Juvenile criminal matters shall not be filed electronically unless, after hearing the Court rules that the juvenile shall be tried as an adult.

         4. For good cause shown, an attorney may apply to the assigned judge for permission to file documents conventionally. Such permission, if granted, will be granted only with respect to a particular case. Even if the assigned judge initially grants an attorney permission to file documents conventionally, however, the assigned judge may withdraw that permission at any time during the pendency of a case and require the attorney to file documents electronically using the System.

         5. The Clerk's Office or any judge of this Court may deviate from these procedures in specific cases, without prior notice, if deemed appropriate in the exercise of discretion, considering the need for the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of matters pending before the Court. The Court may also amend these procedures at any time without prior notice.

         6. Rule 6 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure shall govern the computation of time under these procedures.

         B. ATTORNEY REGISTRATION

         1. Attorneys admitted to the bar of this court, including special appearance attorneys, must complete and submit an Online Attorney Registration Form. The form is available on the Court's web site at www.ncwd.uscourts.gov/ecf.

         2. After the attorney electronically submits the Online Attorney Registration Form to the Clerk's Office, an Internet e-mail message will be sent to the attorney with instructions on how to complete the registration process.

         3. The Clerk's Office will verify the registration within two business days. After the Clerk's Office has verified the registration, the Clerk's Office will send the attorney an Internet e-mail message with the attorney's log-in name and password. The attorney should log in to the System and change his or her password immediately on receipt of his or her log-in name and password.

         4. Once registered, an attorney may withdraw from participating in the System by providing the Clerk's Office with notice of withdrawal. Such notice must be in writing, and mailed or delivered to United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, 401 West Trade Street, Suite 210, Charlotte, North Carolina 28202. Upon receipt, the Clerk's Office will immediately cancel the attorney's password and delete the attorney's name from any applicable electronic service list. An attorney's withdrawal from participation in the System shall not be construed as authorization to file cases or documents conventionally.

         5. After registering, attorneys may change their passwords at any time. If an attorney comes to believe that the security of an existing password has been compromised and that a threat to the System exists, the attorney must immediately change his or her password and contact the Clerk's Office by telephone.

         6. An attorney whose e-mail address, mailing address, telephone or fax number has changed from that of the original Online Attorney Registration Form shall (i) edit his or her information in the System, and (ii) timely file a notice of such change and serve a copy of the notice on all other parties.

         C. PASSWORDS

         Each attorney shall be entitled to one System log-in name and password from the District Court. The log-in name and password permit the attorney to participate in the electronic retrieval and filing of pleadings and other documents 1. No attorney shall knowingly permit or cause to permit his or her log-in name and password to be utilized by anyone other than an authorized employee of his or her office.

         2. Once registered, the attorney shall be responsible for all documents filed with his or her log-in name and password.

         3. Registration for a log-in name and password is governed by I(B) of these procedures.

         4. An attorney admitted pro hac vice must register for a log-in name and password in accordance with these administrative procedures.

         D. PRO SE REGISTRATION

         1. Although parties proceeding pro se shall not file electronically, parties proceeding pro se may request in writing - solely for the purpose of the action - to receive notice via e-mail whenever a pleading or other paper is filed electronically in accordance with these procedures. Following the update to the pro se litigant's record an NEF will be generated to notify parties.

         2. A party proceeding pro se may withdraw from receiving notice via email by providing the Clerk's Office with notice of withdrawal. Such notice must be in writing, and mailed or delivered to the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, 401 West Trade Street, Suite 210, Charlotte, North Carolina 28202. Upon receipt, the Clerk's Office will immediately delete the party's name from any applicable electronic service list.

         3. A pro se party whose e-mail address, mailing address, telephone or fax number has changed shall notify the Clerk of a change of address and serve a copy of the notice on all other parties.

         4. If during the course of the action, the pro se party retains an attorney who appears on the pro se party's behalf, the attorney must advise the Clerk's Office to terminate the pro se party's e-mail notification upon the attorney's appearance.

         II. ELECTRONIC FILING AND SERVICE OF DOCUMENTS

         A. FILING

         1. All motions, pleadings, applications, briefs, memoranda of law, or other documents in a case shall be electronically filed on the System except as otherwise provided by these administrative procedures. All documents shall be in a PDF text-searchable format.

a. A document shall not be considered filed for purpose of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure until the filing party receives a system-generated “Notice of Electronic Filing” described in II(B)1 of these procedures. E-mailing a document to the Clerk's Office or to the assigned judge shall not constitute “filing” of the document. (See Section II.H.2.b for guidance on filing during technical failures)

         2. Complaints in a Civil Case

a. The Clerk's Office will not accept complaints sent by e-mail, United States Mail, or delivered in person to the Clerk's Office except by pro se parties.
1. Complaints shall be filed electronically using unassigned case opening and paying the fee through secure electronic means. If proceeding in forma pauperis the complaint must be accompanied by a Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis.
2. If the complaint is submitted in paper form, the Clerk's Office will scan the complaint, upload the document into the System. The electronically-filed document as it is maintained on the Court's servers shall constitute the official version of the record.
b. A party may not electronically serve a complaint, but instead must effect service according to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 4.

         3. Summonses in a Civil Case

a. Counsel should create the civil summons in PDF format for each named defendant using the form AO440 located on the Court's forms webpage under Civil Forms - Administrative Office (local). The summons should be submitted via CM/ECF - CyberClerk - Submit Document to the court. The summons can be submitted either separately or as one PDF document for each named defendant, however, each summons must be completed with both pages of the AO440 form per named defendant. Failure to submit both pages per defendant will result in the Clerk's Office requesting that the form be resubmitted in its entirety. Counsel will receive a notice of electronic filing (NEF) of the summons when it is entered on the court's docket. Use the NEF hyperlink to retrieve the issued form to effect service of process.
b. In the event a Waiver of Service is requested it shall be electronically filed as a separate document.
c. A party may not electronically serve a summons, but instead must perfect service according to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4.

         4. Notices of Removal in a Civil Case

a. Notices of removal shall be filed in accordance with the procedures in II(A)2.

         5. Charging Documents in a Criminal Case

a. All charging documents, e.g. the complaint, information and/or indictment, shall be filed conventionally, i.e. in paper form. The electronically-filed document as it is maintained on the Court's servers shall constitute the official version of the record.
i. If a criminal complaint is filed, the Clerk's Office will scan criminal complaint, upload it to the System, and retain the paper document.
ii. If an indictment is filed, the Clerk's Office will redact the name of the grand jury foreperson, scan the indictment, upload it to the System, and retain the paper document.
iii. If any other charging document is filed, the Clerk's Office will scan the charging document, upload it to the System, and retain the paper document.

         6. Plea-Related Documents in a Criminal Case

         All plea agreements and factual resumes shall be filed electronically by the United States Attorney. The documents should be scanned and uploaded to the system. The United States Attorney shall retain the original documents for future production, if necessary, for two years after the expiration of the time for filing a timely appeal of the final judgment or order, or after receipt by the Clerk of Court of an order terminating the action on appeal. The electronically-filed document as it is maintained on the Court's servers shall constitute the official version of the record.

         7. Filing Deadlines

         Filing a document electronically does not alter the filing deadline for that document. A document will be deemed timely filed on a particular day if filed prior to midnight Eastern Time. If the time of day is of the essence, however, the judge will order that document filed by a time certain.

         8. Document Requiring Leave of Court to File

         If filing a document requires leave of the Court, such as an amended complaint, the attorney shall attach the proposed document as an exhibit to the motion according to the procedures in IV. If the Court grants the motion, the filer will be responsible for electronically filing the document on the case docket.

         9. Attachments and Exhibits

         Attachments and exhibits larger than 50 megabytes may be filed electronically in separate fifty-megabyte segments unless electronic filing is impractical as set out in III(B) and IV(B) of this Order.

         10. Official Court Record

         The Clerk's Office shall not maintain a paper court file in any case begun after the effective date of these procedures except as otherwise provided in these procedures. The official court record shall be the electronic file maintained on the Court's servers. The official record shall include, however any conventional documents or exhibits filed or maintained in accordance with these procedures. The procedure for retention, storage and disposition of any conventional documents and exhibits is outlined in the Court's Document Disposition Plan (Appendix I).

         11. Sealed Documents

         A document subject to an existing sealing order or sealing statute shall be filed electronically under seal pursuant to LcvR 6.1 and LcrR 55.1 and this Order. Documents ordered sealed by the court or otherwise required to be sealed by statute shall be marked as such within the document caption and include a notation that the document is being filed under court seal along with the entry date of the sealing order. A motion to file any document under seal shall be filed electronically, unless prohibited by law. The document for which sealing is sought may be submitted for in camera review prior to filing via Cyberclerk.

         An order of the court granting a motion to seal shall not itself be sealed, unless prohibited by law or unless the court finds that electronic filing of the order without seal would be inappropriate.

         B. SERVICE

         1. Whenever a pleading or other paper is filed electronically in accordance with these procedures, the System will generate a “Notice of Electronic Filing” to the filing party and any other party who is a registered user and has requested electronic notice in that case.

         2. If the recipient is a registered participant in the System, the System's e-mailing of the “Notice of Electronic Filing” shall be the equivalent of service of the pleading or other paper by first class mail, postage prepaid.

         3. A certificate of service on all parties entitled to service or notice is still required when a party files a document electronically.

         4. A party who is not a registered participant of the System is entitled to a paper copy of any electronically-filed pleading, document or order. The filing party must therefore provide the non-registered party with the pleading, document, or order according to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. When mailing paper copies of documents that have been electronically filed, the filing party may include the “Notice of Electronic Filing” to provide the recipient with proof of the filing.

         5. The three-day rule of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(d) for service by mail shall also apply to service by electronic means.

         C. SIGNATURES

         1. Non-Attorney Signature, Generally

         If the original document requires the signature of a non-attorney, e.g., an affidavit, the filing party shall scan the original document in PDF format, then electronically file it on the System.

a. The electronically-filed document as it is maintained on the Court's servers shall constitute the official version of that record.
b. The filing party shall retain the original document for future production, if necessary, for two years after the expiration of the time for filing a timely appeal of a final judgment or decree, or after receipt by the Clerk of Court of an order terminating the action on appeal.

         2. Attorney Signature

         A pleading or other document requiring an attorney's signature shall be signed in the following manner, whether filed electronically or submitted on disk to the Clerk's Office: “s/(attorney ...


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