The Next Generation of ECF (NextGen) is Coming September 6, 2022
The Northern District of Texas (NDTX) will upgrade its Case Management/Electronic Case Filing System (CM/ECF) to the Next Generation (NextGen) of ECF on September 6, 2022. This upgrade will include the Central Sign-On feature, which allows e-filing attorneys to use their PACER login and password to file in any NextGen court in which they practice (district, appellate, and bankruptcy).
All current CM/ECF filing users who will need to file documents with the court on or after September 6, 2022, MUST have completed the three-step process described below for continued e-filing access. CM/ECF users who currently file in a NextGen court (such as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit) may skip Step One below and move to Step Two. Step Three must be completed by all CM/ECF filing users on or after September 6, 2022.
Action Required to Continue Using CM/ECF
Step One (If Applicable, Complete NOW to Prepare for NextGen):
- Obtain Your Own PACER Account (if you do not already have an individual account). Any attorney who uses a shared PACER account must obtain an individual PACER account. This is because an attorney’s CM/ECF filing user account will be tied to a PACER account after the conversion. Shared PACER accounts cannot be used by filing users after the court has upgraded to NextGen CM/ECF on September 6, 2022. If an attorney does not have an individual PACER account, the attorney should create one now. To register for an individual PACER account, go to https://pacer.uscourts.gov/ and click on “Register.”
Firms may set up a PACER Administrative Account to manage attorney accounts for centralized billing of PACER access fees. To register for a PACER Administrative Account, go to https://pacer.uscourts.gov/register-account/group-billing.
Security Warning: Do not share your individual PACER account credentials with a third-party service provider or designate that provider as a secondary recipient of a Notice of Electronic Filing. Doing so will give the provider access to sealed case information and documents in violation of court order. You are urged to use caution in your computer security practices to ensure that sealed documents are not improperly disclosed.
Upgrade Your PACER "Legacy" Account. An attorney whose individual PACER account was created prior to August 11, 2014, must upgrade the account. Go to https://pacer.uscourts.gov/, click on Manage Your Account, and log in with the attorney’s current PACER credentials. Look at the display in the “Account Type” field. If the account type is “Legacy,” select “Upgrade” and update the information as instructed. If the account type is already “Upgraded,” no action is required.
Special Instructions to CJA Attorneys: CJA Attorneys with separate fee exempt PACER accounts will need to take the additional step of merging their newly upgraded PACER account with their legacy fee exempt PACER account. To do this, e-mail PACER at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include: (1) your name, (2) district(s) and/or circuit(s) with CJA appointments, (3) username and account number for your upgraded PACER account, and (4) username and account number for your fee exempt account. PACER will reply with instructions on how to proceed.
For assistance, please contact PACER at 1-800-676-6856.
Step Two (Complete NOW to Prepare for NextGen):
Know or Reset Your Current CM/ECF Login/Password. You MUST know your current NDTX ECF filing credentials login and password on September 6 to link your ECF filing account with your upgraded PACER account. Please know your current login and password, and have them ready on September 6. Do not rely on anything saved to an internet browser because that information will be immediately eliminated once the court converts to NextGen and will not be recoverable. If you do not remember your login and password, use the reset feature from the CM/ECF login page. If you do not know your login, please call the Operations Assistance Team at 214-753-2240. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of retaining current CM/ECF login credentials to enable you to link accounts after conversion to NextGen, as described in the paragraph below.
Step Three (Complete ON or AFTER September 6, 2022):
Link your current CM/ECF filing account with your upgraded individual PACER account for Central Sign On and filing capability in NextGen. Step-by-step instructions for this process will be provided before the court goes live on NextGen. For more information on the improvements and the upgrade process, please visit https://pacer.uscourts.gov/file-case/get-ready-nextgen-cmecf.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I know if I have an upgraded PACER account?
Upgraded PACER accounts have usernames that are at least 8 characters. You may have upgraded your PACER account if you practice before another court that has already migrated to NextGen, such as the Fifth Circuit. If your username is 6 characters, you do not have an upgraded account. Go to https://pacer.uscourts.gov/ and click on Manage Your Account to upgrade your PACER account.
- My law firm uses a shared PACER account. Can we continue to use that account?
Not for e-filing. Each attorney must have an individual PACER account for electronic filing. The law firm can create a PACER Administrative Account (PAA) to manage the billing for all individual accounts. Staff who share a PACER account for read-only access may continue to share an account.
- I linked my account when the Court of Appeals or another District or Bankruptcy Court converted. Do I have to link my account again?
Yes, you MUST link your PACER account to your Northern District of Texas District Court ECF account before you can file in this Court.
- I am a CJA attorney, and I currently have two PACER accounts. Will I continue to need two accounts with NextGen?
No. If you have two PACER accounts, upgrade the private, non-exempt account. After doing so, contact the PACER Service Center at email@example.com or 1-800-676-6856 to move your existing exempt privileges to your upgraded account. Click here for instructions to request exempt status for your upgraded PACER account and to learn how to toggle between exempt and non-exempt viewing.