How do I obtain information about a case?
Telephone Access: Basic information, such as the debtor or debtor's attorney's name, case number, or the name of the trustee is available on the telephone by calling the VCIS (Voice Case Information System) at (401) 626-3076 or (800) 843-2841. This information is provided free of charge and is available 24 hours a day from any touchtone phone. See the VCIS link on the Court’s web page for further information.
Computer Access: Electronic case summaries, docket information, and viewable copies of all pleadings filed since 1998, may be retrieved via the Internet through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system (PACER). This system requires that you be a registered participant, and there is a fee for access ($0.10 per page, with a page being approximately 50 lines of text). This charge is limited to the first thirty pages of a document or report screen you are running, but is charged each time you open a new document.. For PACER registration information, please see the PACER link on the website. Cases filed prior to 1998, which have been closed, may be archived at the Federal Records Center in Waltham, MA. To determine if a case has been archived, contact the Clerk's office. Records may be obtained directly from the Federal Records Center, but you will need to obtain certain archiving information from the Clerk's office prior to requesting information from the Federal Records Center.
Copies of documents: Court records and documents filed after 1998 have been imaged and can be obtained from the Clerk's office via e-mail or fax at no cost, or through the PACER system. Paper copies may also be obtained for a fee from the Clerk’s office.
How do I get certified copies of documents?
You may come to the Clerk's office and request certified copies. There is a printing fee and a certification fee for each document to be certified. Alternatively, if you know the documents you are looking for, you can mail a request to the Clerk's office. Your request must specifically identify the documents you want certified. Be sure to include the case name, case number, filing date and the title of the specific documents which you wish to have certified. In addition, please include your name, address and daytime contact number, so the Clerk can reach you if he/she has any questions about your request.
If you request certified documents by mail, you must include payment for the Clerk's search fee and certification with your request. The payment must be in the form of either a bank cashiers check or a U.S. Postal money order made payable to the Clerk, United States Bankruptcy Court. The fees that apply when requesting a certified document by mail include: a per document search fee, a certification fee per document, and a per page photocopy fee. Contact the Clerk’s office if you are unsure of what the total charge for certifying the document will be.
How do I get a matter scheduled for hearing?
The Clerk’s office schedules matters for hearing upon direction from the Bankruptcy Judge. To determine if a matter has been scheduled, please visit our court calendar page.
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 B2810]. 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 file a Proof of Claim?
If you have been listed as a creditor in a bankruptcy case, you will receive a written notice from the Clerk's office in the mail after the bankruptcy has been filed. The notice will tell you if there is a deadline for filing claims. If a deadline for filing claims is contained in the notice, you will also be instructed to obtain a proof of claim form from the uscourts.gov site.
If the original notice you receive from the Clerk's office does not contain a deadline for filing proofs of claim (which is usually the case in Chapter 7 cases), you may subsequently receive a "Notice to File a Proof of Claim" if the trustee later determines that there are assets available for distribution in the case. This notice will also contain the deadline for filing claims with the court.
The claim form should be filled out completely and should include any attachments needed to support your claim. DO NOT SUBMIT ORIGINAL BACKUP DOCUMENTATION to support your claim; it will not be returned to you. The original claim must have your signature on it (not a stamp or copy). You must return the original of your completed claim, with all attachments, to the Clerk's office by the deadline for filing claims. This means the Clerk's office must receive the claim form by that date, not that you mail it by that date. You must also send a complete copy of your claim to the case trustee and to the debtor and their attorney. Their addresses will be included in the notice you receive from the Clerk's Office.
If you wish to have a conformed copy of your claim returned to you, please bring an extra copy for yourself, or if you are mailing it, include an extra copy with a self-addressed, stamped envelope with enough postage to cover return mailing costs. The Clerk will file stamp the extra copy and return it to you.
Requests for information regarding when a claim will be paid should be directed to the trustee assigned to the case, whose name and telephone number can be found on the Creditor’s Meeting Notice that you receive from the Clerk's office.
You may also file a proof of claim electronically from our website without obtaining a login or password. Instructions for filing can be found by clicking the "File a Proof of Claim" button on our website.
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.
Does the Bankruptcy Court hold jury trials?
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §157(e), a bankruptcy judge may conduct jury trial in bankruptcy proceedings where the right to a jury trial applies and all parties have consented.
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 attend a bankruptcy court hearing by telephone?
Attendance at hearings by telephone is generally permitted unless another party to the proceeding objects. The local rule addressing this matter is contained in LBR 9074-1. Individuals wishing to appear at a hearing by telephone must notify the courtroom deputy prior to the hearing to request telephonic attendance. When asking for a telephonic appearance, a party must provide the courtroom deputy with the case number, day and time of hearing, and a contact phone number where the party can be reached. Since many hearings are scheduled at the same time, the party participating by telephone must remain available at the number given until the Court places the call.
A company or individual has filed for bankruptcy and owes us money. What do we do?
If you have been listed as a creditor in the bankruptcy case, you will receive a written notice in the mail from the Clerk's office advising you of the case filing, the date for the Meeting of Creditors and any important case deadlines. This notice will also tell you whether or not you should file a claim in the bankruptcy case at that time, and the deadline for filing the claim if one is to be filed. The notice will also give you important deadlines for filing complaints to object to a debtor's discharge or dischargeability of certain debts