5005-4

RULE 5005-4 ELECTRONIC FILING  [Modified 4/1/14]

 

(a) Requirement to File Cases and Documents Electronically.

 

(1) All cases filed after April 24, 2003 are part of the Court’s Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) System. Commencing on January 1, 2007, all petitions, motions, memoranda of law, or other pleadings and documents must be electronically filed except as expressly provided in section (c) below, or in circumstances where the Electronic Filer is prevented from filing electronically, i.e., CM/ECF System failure. "Electronic Filer" refers to those who have a court-issued log-in and password to file documents electronically. Filing of documents submitted, signed, or verified by electronic means must be consistent with technical standards established by the Judicial Conference of the United States and must comply with the within local rule and such other local rules as are applicable.

 

(2) The court encourages creditors without attorneys to become registered users with limited creditor filing privileges ("limited filer"), permitting them to electronically file notices of appearance, changes of address, requests for service of notices, proofs of claim and other documents related to proofs of claim (not including responses to objections to claims), reaffirmation agreements, chapter 11 ballots, and other papers as authorized by the court. In addition, without the necessity of becoming a registered user, any claimant or the claimant's agent may utilize the feature available on the court website for electronic submission of a proof of claim form, and the effect of such electronic submission shall be as provided under section 5005-4(k) of this Rule.

 

(b) Eligibility and Registration for Electronic Filing; Use of Passwords.

 

(1) Eligibility. Attorneys, United States trustees and their assistants, private trustees, and others as the Court deems appropriate, are entitled to one System password to enable the user or any support staff so authorized by the user to participate in the electronic retrieval and filing of documents within the System.

 

(2) Registration and Training.

 

(A) Registration and Training Requirements:  All applicants must register electronically for a login and password.  Training modules are required for those applicants who are not already a registered user in another Bankruptcy or Federal District Court.

 

(i) Eligible applicants must complete the online training modules, if applicable, and register electronically for a login and password once completed.  The filer must also meet the minimum system requirements.

 

(ii) Non-attorneys who intend to use the system for the limited purpose of filing claims and related claim activity, request for notice, petition for unclaimed funds, reaffirmation agreement, and not requiring the appearance of counsel, may register online for a limited user login and password.  Training modules are required for those applicants who are not already a registered user in another Bankruptcy or Federal District Court.

 

(iii) Electronic Registration is available on the Court’s Internet web site (www.rib.uscourts.gov).

 

(iv) Applicants must have a PACER login and password. A PACER login and password can be secured by contacting the PACER Service Center to establish an account. Registration may be made online at http://pacer.psc.uscourts.gov, or by calling the PACER Service Center at (800) 676-6856. PACER Access to the CM/ECF System will allow retrieval of the docket sheet and documents. PACER Access to the CM/ECF System will be on a ”read only” basis.

 

(B) Training. After successful completion of the Court’s training modules, or certification by the Clerk in circumstances where completion of the Court’s training modules is not required, each Electronic Filer will receive a System password.

 

(C) Passwords; Unauthorized Use Prohibited.

 

(i) Admission. Admission to the System by receipt of a password from the Court constitutes a request for electronic service and notice pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9036. By receiving a password, Electronic Filers agree to accept notice and service by electronic means, and registration as an Electronic Filer constitutes: (a) waiver of the right to receive notice by first class or certified mail and consent to receive notice electronically; and (b) waiver of the right to service by personal service, first class or certified mail and consent to electronic service, except with regard to service of a summons and complaint under Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7004. Waiver of service and notice by first class or certified mail applies to notice of the entry of an order or judgment under Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9022.

 

(ii) Password. The password serves as the filer’s signature. The password required to submit documents to the System serves as the Electronic Filer’s original signature on all electronically filed documents. The password also serves as a signature for purposes of Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9011, other Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, the local rules of this Court, and any other purpose for which a signature is required in connection with proceedings before this Court. Electronically filed documents must include a signature block that sets forth the name, address, telephone number, and the attorney’s bar registration number and e-mail address. In addition, the name of the Electronic Filer under whose log-in and password the document is submitted must be preceded by an ”/s/” and typed in the space where the signature would otherwise appear.

 

(iii) Unauthorized Use of Passwords. No Electronic Filer shall permit his/her password to be used by anyone other than himself/herself or an authorized employee. An Electronic Filer shall immediately notify the Clerk by telephone and e-mail if they learn that their password has been compromised. Electronic Filers may be subject to sanctions for failure to comply with this provision.

 

(iv) Revocation. The Court may revoke an Electronic Filer’s password and, therefore, his or her authority and ability to electronically file documents for: (1) failure to comply with any provision of the agreement contained in the Electronic Filer’s Registration Form; (2) failure to adequately protect his or her password; (3) failure to comply with the provisions of these Local Rules; (4) failure to pay fees required for documents filed electronically; (5) other misuse of the System; or (6) as a sanction ordered by the Court after notice and opportunity for hearing.

 

(c) Exemption/Withdrawal From Electronic Filing.

 

(1) Attorney Exemption. If filing electronically creates an undue hardship, an attorney may request permission to file documents conventionally. The request should be made to the Court and shall contain a detailed explanation of the reason(s) for the request. However, prior to requesting an exemption, attorneys are urged to register for a login and password and attempt to file after taking the online training modules and to seek assistance from the Clerk’s Office. Information regarding ECF training and support may be obtained from the Clerk’s Office and is also included on the Court’s web site at: www.rib.uscourts.gov. Upon the issuance of an order to show cause, notice, and hearing, the Court may withdraw an exemption and require the attorney to file documents electronically.

 

(2) One Time Exemption. An attorney who is not an Electronic Filer may conventionally file the first document on behalf of a client in an ECF case without leave of Court. Within twenty-one (21) days thereafter, the attorney must register as an Electronic Filer, or seek an exemption under subsection (1) above.  Failure to register or seek an exemption may result in the issuance of an order to show cause why the attorney should not be sanctioned.

 

(3) Attorneys Appearing Pro Hac Vice. An attorney who is not a member of the bar of this Court, but who is permitted to appear and practice in this Court pursuant to R.I. LBR 9010-1 may, but is not required to, register as an Electronic Filer and to participate in the System for the duration of the Pro Hac Vice appearance.

 

(4) Pro Se Litigants. Pro se litigants may conventionally file and serve documents in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and the Local Rules of this Court.

 

(5) Withdrawal. Once registered, an attorney/participant may withdraw as an Electronic Filer by providing the Clerk with a request to withdraw, stating the reason(s) for the request. Copies of the request must also be served upon all registered attorneys/participants who have appeared in pending cases in which the withdrawing attorney/participant has appeared. Upon approval of said withdrawal, the Clerk will immediately cancel the attorney/participant’s password and will delete the attorney/participant from any applicable electronic service list. However, once an Electronic Filer withdraws from the system, he or she will be unable to file documents with the Court unless one of the exemptions listed above applies.

 

(d) Format for Filing Electronic Documents.

 

(1) Format for Transmission of Electronic Documents. All electronically filed documents must be submitted as a PDF file, and when viewed in the electronic filing system, shall conform in appearance to the requirements listed in R.I. LBR 1005-1.

 

(2) Attachments to Electronic Documents. Multiple documents that are part of a pleading, which are filed at the same time by the same party may be electronically filed as a single document. Documents that are not a part of the pleading, e.g., memorandum of law, supporting affidavit, or appendix, shall be filed as an attachment to the pleading.

 

(3) Designation of Electronic Documents. Electronic Filers must designate a title for the document by selecting the appropriate event title from the categories provided in the System. Once a document is submitted and becomes part of the case docket, corrections to the docket are made only by the Clerk’s Office, or after motion and approval by the Court.

 

(e) Consequences of Electronic Filing.  Electronic transmission of a document to the CM/ECF system or the e-filing of an event on the System, together with the transmission of a Notice of Electronic Filing from the Court, constitutes filing of the document for all purposes under the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and the local rules of this Court, and constitutes entry of the document or event on the docket kept by the Clerk under Fed. R. Bankr. P. 5003.

 

(f) Time of Filing. The System is “ real-time”, so the receipt of the Notice of Electronic Filing will show the actual date and time a document was filed on the System. Documents filed electronically outside of normal business hours will be deemed filed on the date and time received. Deadlines will not change as a result of this rule. The deadline for filing, unless otherwise specifically set, is 11:59 P.M. (E.S.T.)

 

(g) Waiver of Notice and Service. Registration with the Court as an Electronic Filer of the CM/ECF system will constitute:

 

(1) waiver of the right to receive notice by first class or certified mail and consent to receive notice electronically; and

 

(2) waiver of the right to service by personal service, first class or certified mail and consent to electronic service, except with regard to service of a summons and complaint under Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7004. Waiver of service and notice by first class or certified mail applies to notice of the entry of an order or judgment under Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9022.

 

(h) Service of Documents by Electronic Means.

 

(1) Each Electronic Filer of the CM/ECF system who  electronically files a pleading or other document will automatically receive a ”Notice of Electronic Filing” generated by the System and this Notice of Electronic Filing will automatically be transmitted by the System to all parties who are registered users of the System. Electronic transmission by the Court of the ”Notice of Electronic Filing” generated by the CM/ECF System will constitute service or notice of the filed document. Parties having been excepted from the requirement to file and receive documents electronically are entitled to receive a paper copy of any electronically filed pleading or other document, and service or notice by the Electronic Filer must be made in accordance with the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and these local rules.

 

(2) Responsibility for Maintaining E-mail Addresses.  The CM/ECF system allows each registered user the ability to list a primary and secondary e-mail address in their account to receive notice of electronic filing activity.  It is the responsibility of the registered user to manage and maintain proper e-mail addresses on their accounts.  E-mail returned as undeliverable from the primary registered user's e-mail address will be removed from the system and their ECF user log-in will be terminated until the primary address is updated.  Service of court documents will be made by mail until the ECF log-in is restored with a valid primary e-mail address.  Returned undeliverable e-mail from a secondary e-mail address will be removed from the system and it will be the responsibility of the registered user to update the secondary address, if desired.  

 

(i) Official Court Record. The Case Management/Electronic Case Filing System (CM/ECF) shall constitute the official Court record in electronic form. The electronic filing of a pleading or other paper in accordance with the CM/ECF System procedures, or the conventional filing of a document which is subsequently imaged by the Court and placed into the System, shall constitute entry of that pleading or other papers on the docket kept by the Clerk pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 5003. The Court will not maintain paper except for the following:

 

(1) Documents filed under seal where the filer is not an ECF user;

 

(2) Conventionally (not electronically) Filed Exhibits, see also section (11) below.

 

(j) Electronic Signatures and Retention of Original Signed Documents by Registered Users.

 

(1)  Petitions, lists, schedules, statements, amendments, pleadings, affidavits, proofs of claim, stipulations and other documents which must contain original signatures, documents requiring verification under FRBP 1008, and unsworn declarations under 28 U.S.C. § 1746, shall be filed electronically and bear ”electronic signatures”, including the /s/.

 

(2) Documents that are electronically filed and require original signatures other than that of the registered user must be maintained in paper form at least two years after the case is closed. This retention neither affects nor replaces any other retention period required by other laws or rules of procedure. The court may require the production of original documents for review by the court, a trustee, the U.S. Trustee, or any interested party.

 

(k) Effect of Electronically Filed Document. Any document signed and filed electronically, or filed conventionally and converted to an electronic document by the clerk, including a proof of claim filed electronically on this court's website, shall constitute the filer's approved signature and have the same force and effect as if the individual signed a paper copy of the document. Documents required to be verified or contain an unsworn declaration that are filed electronically shall be treated, for all purposes (both civil and criminal, including penalties for perjury), the same as though signed or subscribed.

 

(l) Consent Motions/Joint Motions

 

(1) The following procedure shall be used in the case of joint or consent motions.

 

(A) The Electronic Filer shall initially confirm that the content of the document is acceptable to all parties intending to be bound and that all parties consent to the relief requested; and

 

(B) The Electronic Filer shall then file the document electronically, indicating his/her signature, e.g. ”/s/ Jane Doe”, ”/s/ John Doe,” etc

.

(2) The following procedure shall be used in all other instances requiring consent orders and/or stipulations where two or more signatures are required, including, but not limited to Joint Pre-Trial Orders:

 

(A) The Electronic Filer shall initially confirm that the content of the document is acceptable to all persons required to sign the document, and shall have in his or her possession the original signatures of all parties to the document.

 

(B) The Electronic Filer shall then file the document electronically, indicating the signatories, e.g., ”/s/ Jane Doe,” ”/s/ John Doe,” etc.

 

(C) The Electronic Filer shall retain the original documents containing the original signatures for two years after the case is closed.

 

(m) Exhibits

 

(1) Exhibits. Exhibits filed under Local Bankruptcy Rules, including but not limited to leases, notes, and the like, which are not available in electronic form, shall be submitted to the Court in paper format. The Clerk will indicate on the electronic docket the date such exhibits were submitted and, if appropriate, link them to the Joint Pretrial Statement. Trial exhibits will not be scanned unless the Court orders otherwise.

 

(2) Exhibits to Proofs of Claim. Exhibits in support of a proof of claim shall be filed electronically whenever possible and shall be e-filed as one event with the proof of claim. The exhibits should be electronically imaged (i.e., scanned) and filed in PDF format as an attachment to the proof of claim.

 

(n) Orders

 

(1) Proposed Orders

 

(A) Where an Electronic Filer is required to submit a proposed order under R.I. LBR 9072-1, said document shall be electronically filed, docketed, and served in accordance with these procedures and Rule 9072-1.

 

(B) An Electronic Filer wishing to submit a proposed order before hearing may file such order together with the underlying motion or application, and e-filed as one event. The proposed order should be attached to the underlying motion or application.

 

(2) Consent Orders/Reaffirmation Agreements. Consent orders or reaffirmation agreements shall be filed in accordance with subsection R.I. LBR 5005-4(l).

 

(3) Notice of Entry of Orders and Judgments by the Court

 

(A) Upon the entry of an order or judgment in an action pending in the CM/ECF System, the System will automatically generate to all Electronic Filers in the case, in electronic form, a Notice of Electronic Filing. Transmission of the Notice of Electronic Filing constitutes the notice required by Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9022. The Clerk shall give conventional notice to persons who have not consented to electronic service.

 

(B) Orders signed electronically (i.e., ”/s/”) shall have the same force and effect as conventionally signed orders.

 

(o) Emergency Filings and Requests for Continuance

 

(1) Procedure for Emergency Filings. Electronic Filers requesting emergency hearing and/or relief shall contact the Clerk’s Office by telephone at (401) 626-3100, forthwith upon the filing of such motion. Failure to notify the Clerk’s Office of such filing as aforesaid, may result in denial of the request for expedited or emergency relief, or a delay in action on the motion.

 

(2) Jointly filed motions for continuance, proposed consent orders, and similar filings that affect a matter scheduled for hearing must be filed by 3:00 p.m. the day before the scheduled hearing, or the matter will remain on the calendar and all counsel will be required to attend the hearing. If an Electronic Filer files a document that affects a matter on the calendar after 3:00 p.m. the day before a scheduled hearing, the Electronic Filer shall also notify the Courtroom Deputy of such filing by e-mail at: RIBCourtroom@rib.uscourts.gov.

 

(p) System Failure. If electronic filing cannot be accomplished because of a court or filer System failure, the Electronic Filer shall, after making at least two attempts to file electronically, send the document and/or event as an attachment in PDF format via e-mail to the following address: RIBECFSupport@rib.uscourts.gov explaining why it was not possible to file directly in the CM/ECF System. The Electronic Filer must call the Clerk’s office prior to 10:00 a.m. of the next business day to advise that a document has been filed via e-mail. The Clerk’s office will download and file the PDF document, which will be deemed filed on the date and time of the e-mail transmittal.

 

(q) Fees Payable to the Clerk. All filing fees must be paid electronically by the Electronic Filer using the following methods:  credit card, debit card or by ACH withdrawal from a registered bank account in the name of the attorney for the debtor, or the law firm of which the attorney for the debtor is a member, partner or associate.  Payment of the filing fee is due on the date the document is filed. Failure to make payment on the date of the filing may cause the Electronic Filer to be locked out of the System.

 

(r) Public Access to Court documents. Electronic access at the Clerk’s Office is available to the public during regular business hours for viewing the docket sheet and documents filed in the System. Conventional and certified copies of electronically filed documents may be purchased at the Clerk’s Office during regular business hours or by mail with a check, money order, credit or debit card for the exact amount of the purchase, unless otherwise authorized.