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Troubleshooting CM/ECF


Internet Explorer 

  • From the menu click on Tools --▸Internet Options
  • On the General tab under the Temporary Internet Files heading, click on the Settings button
  • Make sure Every Visit to the Page is selected under Check for Newer Versions of Stored Pages
  • Click OK button
  • Click OK button

ECF Free Document First Look

  • If the document is in a Criminal, Magistrate or Social Security case, or any document with security, when you click on the link for the document for the first time, you will be prompted to log in to your Pacer account. YOU MUST LOG IN SO THAT THE PROGRAM KNOWS YOU ARE AN ATTORNEY OF RECORD AND HAVE THE RIGHT TO VIEW THIS DOCUMENT. This should take you straight to the document – this is your free look.
  • If the document is for a non-Social Security civil case, when you click on the document link for the first time, it should take you straight to the document without asking for a login. This is your free look.
  • If you click on the case number link that takes you to the docket, you will receive a login prompt. You should log in with your PACER account username and password. You do not get a free look at a docket sheet. YOU WILL BE CHARGED.
  • If you log in without using the e-mail link, YOU WILL BE CHARGED.
  • All billing disputes must be taken up with PACER.

How to tell what type of case it is:

  • Criminal - The case number will contain a “cr” (i.e. 4:06CR941)
  • Magistrate - The case number will contain a “mj” (i.e. 4:06MJ00941)
  • Civil - The case number will contain a “cv” (i.e. 4:06CV941)

When you click on the document number and are taken to a login screen

  • If the case is a Criminal, Magistrate or Social Security case, or a document with security, you must log in with your PACER username and password.
  • If you have already viewed the document using the link in the e-mail, you will be charged for this subsequent look.

Viewing Restricted documents

  • You must be logged in to your PACER account when viewing restricted documents. If you do not log in with your e-filing credentials, CM/ECF will not know who you are and will not recognize you as a authorized user.

When you click on the document number link and nothing happens.

  • his happens sometimes with AOL users. If you are using AOL mail and the AOL browser, you will have to change your e-mail notification from HTML to text
  • Occasionally something will have been docketed in error and then deleted by the Court. The attorney will receive an NEF with the document number in it. When you click on the document number, you will receive an error because it no longer exists. You should login and look at the docket sheet. When a docket entry has been deleted there should be a follow-up entry explaining why it was deleted. The attorney should also get an e-mail for this entry.

When I click on the document link, my Acrobat Reader says it can’t display the file.

  • Make sure you have the most current version of Acrobat Reader.

Internal Error 47 while docketing a pleading 

  • This error is the result of a docket entry being done incorrectly. Make sure you fill all necessary fields and select the appropriate options.

Error while uploading documents to a docket entry

  • If you get an error message while trying to upload a document to a docket entry, and the error says, "ERROR: Document is malformed or contains code which may cause an external action (such as launching an application). This PDF document cannot be accepted.", there is a problem with the PDF document you are attempting to upload.  Most likely, one or more documents contain a link (blue and underlined).  PDFs containing links cannot be uploaded in CM/ECF.
  • Typically fixed by opening your document in Adobe and selecting the "print to PDF" feature, rather than "save as PDF".  If this does not work, the only other option is to make a photocopy of the document and then scan it as a PDF so that the links will be removed.

Error while docketing Summons Returned Executed

  • While docketing the event "Summons Returned Executed", you enter the date served and hit Next and then see this message:
    ERROR:  document_type record selection error
    Party Claim Date served Date answer due
  • This error occurs when a party has been added to the case incorrectly.
  • Call the CM/ECF Help Desk at 314-244-7650

PDF Header not showing on documents

  • If you open a PDF and the red header is missing from the document, please contact the CM/ECF Help Desk at 314-244-7650.