CM/ECF Frequently Asked Questions

Match word(s).

Access Related

How do I link my PACER account to my ECF account?
You may link your PACER Account to your CM/ECF account in one of two ways: 1, by going to the Utilities menu in ECF and clicking on "Change your PACER Login" or by 2, going to PACER. Either choice will bring the user to a PACER login screen. Immediately above the login portion of the screen, a check box may be found to "Make this my default PACER login."

I am changing firms. Do I need to establish a new e-filing login and password?
Attorneys shoud not re-apply for a CM/ECF account. If you change firms, your login remains valid. Every attorney is responsibe for updating address and e-mail information in the "Utilities" option of the CM/ECF. It may be necessary to establish a new PACER login and password, assuming that account belongs to your former employer. A PACER account may be obtained at:

I am having problems logging in with the information that was provided to me. Every time I type in the password, the system tells me that it is incorrect or that I can cancel or continue. Can you please check my account and let me know why I keep getting an error when I use it.
If you are seeing a message that your login and/or password is incorrect, check that you are typing your user name and password exactly as it was displayed when it was sent to you. If you are presented with a screen that says you may already be logged in and gives you an option to continue or cancel, you should click on 'continue' which will log you in and bring you to the main CM/ECF page. We suggest that you routinely clear out your 'temporary internet files' and delete your 'cookies', to prevent any logins issues from happening. If you are using Internet Explorer or Firefox, you can set your options to do this automatically each time you close your browser. If you are using Netscape, you need to clear them manually. NOTE: once logged into CM/ECF, you may see a second login screen if you have clicked on a hyperlink to a docket sheet or document. To prevent seeing the PACER screen, follow the directions later in this FAQ page for help on linking your PACER account to your CM/ECF account.

I filed a Social Security appeal, but can not see the case through PACER. Why?
Online access to documents in these cases are limited to counsel of record. To view the documents online, first log into CM/ECF and then open the email message.

I filed an Immigration or Naturalization petition, but can not see the case through PACER. Why?
Online access to documents in these cases are limited to counsel of record. To view the documents online, first log into CM/ECF and then open the email message.

I think I have a login and password, but I can't remember it. Should I re-register and submit the online form?
No. Please do not re-submit a registration form to receive a forgotten login and/or password. You should contact our CM/ECF Help Desk at (866)239-6233 or by email at and request that your login be resent to you.

May I add a client's email address to my account?
Additional addresses may be added to the user's account. These additional addresses may receive the same emails as the user, some of the emails (by case number), or emails in other cases in which the attorney has not made an appearance but has an interest case activities. See the Court's CM/ECF User Guide for further instructions.

What if I'm having computer problems?
Problems on the filer's end, such as telephone or cable line problems, problems with the filer's Internet Service Provider (ISP), or hardware or software problems, will not constitute a technical failure under these procedures nor excuse an untimely filing. A filer who cannot file a document electronically because of a problem on the filer's end must file the document conventionally along with a copy of the document in PDF format on a 3.5" floppy or compact disk or contact the clerk's office for permission to submit the PDF document via e-mail. Since help desk support will only be available during normal business hours, filers are strongly urged to electronically file any documents due on a given day during normal business hours. (See CM/ECF Administrative Procedures, Section T)

What if I haven't yet applied for an account?
If you are receiving e-mail notices from the Court, you already have a CM/ECF account. To have the login and password reissued to you, please contact our help desk at 866-239-6233 or by email at Otherwise, please complete the online application on our web page. A login and password will be issued to you, via email, in approximately 7 business days after receipt of your application.

What if I think I have an ECF account, but don't know my login and password?
You may check to see if you have an ECF account by going to our web page and clicking on the 'MA-Federal Bar Search'link under Re-Registration menu on the Attorneys page. Search for your name there, and if found, contact the ECF Help Desk at 866-239-6233 or by e-mail at - to have the login and password reissued to you.

What if I don't know how to use the system?
Check out our training opportunities at

I have filed a notice of appearance but I'm not receiving notices. How do I fix this?
If you have filed your notice of appearance using your own ECF login and password, did you check the appropriate box to link yourself to your client on the docket (and leave the box for 'Notice' checked)? If you did, contact the ECF Help Desk. If you failed to check the association box, or unchecked the notice box, contact the docket or courtroom clerk for the assigned Judicial Officer. If the notice was filed on your behalf using another attorney's login and password, contact the docket or courtroom clerk for the assigned Judicial Officer and then file the notice again using your own ECF login and password.

I receive e-mails from the Court, but I just can't read the body of the message. What's wrong?
Check the settings on your CM/ECF account under Maintain Your Email on the Utilities menu. Be sure that you have selected the proper format ("html format" or "text format"). Contact your Internet service provider for advice on what choice is best for you.

United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts

[ Home | Site Map | Contact Information ]