ECF Frequently Asked Questions
How do I file for relief from the automatic stay?
Once a debtor files bankruptcy, creditors generally can't continue proceedings against them, see 11 U.S.C. § 362(a). There are certain exceptions to this rule, however. In order for a party to continue a legal proceeding against the debtor that has been stayed because of the filing of bankruptcy, the party must first obtain an order from the Bankruptcy Court granting relief from the automatic stay.
In order to obtain relief from the automatic stay to continue collection action against the debtor, the party must file a Motion for Relief from Stay with the Bankruptcy Court and pay the applicable filing fee. [This fee is not required if the moving party is a creditor seeking to collect child support, and the moving party has also filed Official Form B-281]. The motion must be served on the debtor, debtor(s) attorney, case trustee and other creditors and parties in interest. The legal authority for obtaining relief from stay can be found in section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code [11 U.S.C. § 362(d)].
After a motion for relief from stay has been properly noticed and the deadline for objections has expired:
• If no objections to the motion have been filed, the motion will be reviewed by the court.
• If an objection is filed, a hearing will be held before any order granting or denying relief will be entered.
How do I determine the location of an event in ECF?
Use the “Search” feature located on the blue CMECF toolbar to find the category(s) in which the event you need is located.
How do I change my ECF password?
To change your password, click on the Utilities tab in ECF and then the “Change Your Password” link (passwords must be at least 8 digits and include at least one number or special character and at least one capital letter). Please contact the court if you experience any problems.
How can I obtain an audio file or a transcript of a hearing?
You can visit the Clerk’s office or call to order a cd of the hearing for a fee. An audio file of the hearing is also available on the docket through PACER.
If you need to request an actual transcript of proceedings, and you are an efiler, you need to use the event Request for Transcript within ECF. If you are not an efiler, you may contact the Court Recording Operator at the Court, and they will process the request for you. The Court Recording Operator will process either request with the next approved transcription agency in rotation. You must decide if the transcript will be received by you in the ordinary course of business or on an expedited basis. You will then be contacted by the transcription agency and you must pay them directly.
If you need a transcript of a Section 341 Meeting of Creditors, contact the Office of the United State Trustee at (401) 528-5551.
Case Information, How can I find out information about a case?
There are several ways to obtain case information:
PACER (“Public Access to Court Electronic Records”) ELECTRONIC ACCESS: If you have a PACER login and password, you can look up your case in the court’s electronic filing system using your PACER login.
To utilize PACER you must first register with the PACER Service Center. For more information please contact the PACER Service Center at:
PACER Service Center
P.O. Box 780549
San Antonio, TX 78278-0549
Telephone: (800) 676-6856
Web site: www.pacer.gov
PACER access provides complete docket information and images of filed documents for a cost of .10¢ per page. If document access fees do not exceed $15.00 a quarter, no billing occurs.
COURTHOUSE ACCESS - Public computers are available in each Clerk's office to view or print imaged documents, docket reports or forms. The fee for printing from a public terminal is 10¢ per page. The Clerk’s office accepts cash or credit card for printing fees. Older paper case files may also be reviewed unless they have been transferred to the Federal Records Center. It is best to call in advance to determine if an older file is still at the Clerk’s office or has been transferred.
TELEPHONE ACCESS - Our Multi-Court Voice Case Information System (MCVCIS) allows callers free access to limited case information by phone (e.g. name of debtor, case number, judge, date filed, chapter, attorney, trustee, whether there are assets, and case status - such as discharge date and closed date) 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from any touch tone telephone. The MCVCIS toll free phone number is: (866)-222-8029
Can I get a refund if I inadvertently pay a fee?
The Judicial Conference prohibits refunds of the fees due upon filing. The Conference prohibits the clerk from refunding these fees even if the party filed the case in error, and even if the court dismisses the case or proceeding. See LBR 1006-1(b).
Exception: the clerk must refund any fee collected without authority. For example, the clerk has no authority to collect a fee to reopen a case unless the case is closed. Consequently, the clerk must refund a fee to reopen if the parties discover later that the case was open.