CM/ECF Frequently Asked Questions

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Technical Issues

When I print an image from CM/ECF, the right edge gets cut off.
After you click the print icon, click the shrink to fit' box on the printer setup screen. Once the setting has been changed, it should remain this way for all PDF documents.

What hardware and software will I need to use CM/ECF?
You will need the following hardware and software to electronically file, view, and retrieve documents in the CM/ECF system.
* A personal computer running a standard platform such as Windows or Macintosh.;
* Internet service and a compatible browser (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Netscape Navigator, etc.). In either case, the browser must be JavaScript-enabled.);
* Software to convert documents from a word processor format to portable document format (PDF). Adobe Acrobat PDF Writer, as well as certain word processing programs can perform this function. (For viewing documents, not authoring them, only Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed.);
* A PDF-compatible word processor like WordPerfect or Microsoft Word;
* A scanner to convert paper documents that are not in your word processing system to an electronic version suitable for e-filing.

I'm unable to print a pdf document, it only asks me to name it. Why?
To print the pdf document, click on the printer icon from the Adobe toolbar-not from the browser's File menu or printer icon. Then, when the print dialogue box pops up, ensure that your installed printer is chosen as the device to print to. If the device chosen is 'print to file' or 'pdf writer' then you will be asked to give it a name. This will generate an error message and your document will not be printed.

I'm having problems with my internet provider and I have not received my electronic notices. What should I do?
Please contact the courtroom deputy and /or docket clerk for the Judicial Officer assigned to every case in which you have made an appearance to notify them of the problem. Emails sent to you will most likely be returned to the Help Desk as undeliverable. We do our best here to resend the e-notices when they fail, however we may not be able to get a notice through to you in a timely manner, due to your ISP problems. Users with known email problems should make every effort to monitor their pending cases through PACER so as to not miss any case activity.

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've registered for and received a CM/ECF login account, but I still get a login screen when I try to search for case information. Why?
The CM/ECF account that is set up for you is strictly for electronic filing of case related information. To view case related documents and query cases, you will still need to login using your Pacer account when prompted. See the FAQ on linking your PACER account to your CM/ECF account.

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)

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 open the document, but all I see is a blank screen. What's wrong?
Try refreshing your screen - that normally solves the problem. You may also want to clean out your temporary Internet files if the problem persists.

United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts

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