eFiling (CM/ECF)


The judiciary's Case Management/Electronic Case Files system (CM/ECF) enables counsel to file documents electronically over the Internet 24 hours a day.  Use of CM/ECF in the Fourth Circuit is governed by Local Rule 25(a).

Notice to CJA Attorneys Regarding Next Gen CM/ECF

August 18, 2017

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals is upgrading its current (legacy) CM/ECF system to the next generation of CM/ECF (Next Gen) on Monday, November 13, 2017. In the Next Gen system, your ECF account will be combined with your PACER account to create a single account which you will use to view and file documents in CJA and non-CJA cases.

Notice of the upgrade was recently sent to all attorneys with pending cases in this court, so some of you may already be aware of what's coming. Notification has also been posted on our website, where you can find complete information. CJA attorneys must coordinate with the PACER Service Center regarding your exempt PACER account.

The first step should be completed at your earliest convenience. The second step cannot be completed until after the court upgrades to Next Gen on November 13, 2017.

Step 1: Upgrade Your Non-Exempt PACER Account

Part A. Before you can begin, you have to determine whether your non-exempt PACER account is an individual or shared account. If there are other e-filers in your office who use the same PACER account, it is a shared account. If you are the only e-filer in your office who uses your non-exempt account, it is an individual account.

  • If your non-exempt PACER account is a shared account, you have to register for a new PACER account. Your new account will be an upgraded account.
  • If your non-exempt PACER account is an individual account, log in to Manage My Account in PACER. The type of account you have will be listed in the Account Type field. If you already have an upgraded PACER account, proceed to Part B. If you have a legacy PACER account, click the Upgrade link to begin the process of upgrading your account.

Part B. Once you have an upgraded, individual, non-exempt PACER account, contact the PACER Service Center at pacer@psc.uscourts.gov and request to have your CJA privileges added to this account. Your email should include the following information:

  • Your name and the district(s) and/or circuit(s) in which you have been appointed as CJA counsel.
  • The username and account number for your upgraded PACER account. You can find this information by logging in to Manage My Account in PACER.
  • The username and account number for your PACER-exempt account. You can find this information by logging in to Manage My Account in PACER.
  • The PACER Service Center will send you an email with instructions on how to proceed. Your separate PACER-exempt account will be canceled once CJA privileges have been added to your upgraded PACER account, as you will now be able to switch between exempt and non-exempt status using your upgraded PACER account.

Step 2: Link Your Appellate ECF Account to Your Upgraded PACER Account

If you have questions regarding your PACER account, please contact PACER at 800-676-6856.

If you have questions about the Fourth Circuit Next Gen CM/ECF implementation, contact the ECF Help Desk at 804-916-2767.

Additional Resources:

Fourth Circuit Attorneys

All documents are filed only in electronic form with the following exceptions:

  • Briefs and appendices must be filed in both electronic and paper form.
  • New cases (petitions for review, mandamus, or permission to appeal) are uploaded through the "Submit New Case" utility in CM/ECF or filed in paper form.
  • CJA and other financial vouchers are maintained as financial records and filed outside the CM/ECF system. See CJA eVoucher.
  • Completed PDF fillable forms must be locked or "flattened" prior to filing in CM/ECF. This prevents further editing of form information and ensures that form information can be viewed on all devices. Read How to Flatten PDF Forms.

Fourth Circuit Pro Se Litigants:

All documents are filed in paper form unless the pro se litigant moves for and is granted leave to file through CM/ECF. Instructions for Pro Se Filers can be found in the Required Steps for Registration as an ECF Filer.

eFiling Information