eFiling (CM/ECF)


The judiciary's Case Management/Electronic Case Files system (CM/ECF) enables counsel to file documents electronically over the Internet 24 hours a day.  Use of CM/ECF in the Fourth Circuit is governed by Local Rule 25(a).

Next Gen CM/ECF Implementation Complete

November 12, 2017

On November 12, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upgraded its CM/ECF system to Next Gen CM/ECF, the latest iteration of the national case management and electronic case filing system.  Additional information regarding Next Gen CM/ECF in the Fourth Circuit is available at http://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/caseinformationefiling/efiling_cm-ecf/cm-ecf-next-gen.


All changes to contact information must now be submitted through PACER account maintenance.  Hard copy and verbal contact information changes will no longer be processed.

If you have a legacy CM/ECF account, you will need to complete a two-step process in order to file documents in the Next Gen system. The first step is to upgrade your PACER account and the second step is to link your legacy CM/ECF account to your upgraded PACER account.  Check the listing of Legacy CM/ECF Account Holders to determine if you had an account in the Fourth Circuit prior to November 12, 2017.

STEP 1: Upgrade Your PACER Account (this step may have been completed previously)

STEP 2: Link Your Legacy CM/ECF Account to Your Upgraded PACER Accountt

NOTE: If you are linking accounts for someone else, be sure you know whose accounts you are linking because you will not be able to undo this process once you click Submit.

FOR CJA COUNSEL ONLY:  Once you have an upgraded, individual, non-exempt PACER account, contact the PACER Service Center at pacer@psc.uscourts.gov and request to have your CJA privileges added to this account.  Your email should include the following the district(s) and/or circuit(s) in which you have been appointed as CJA counsel; the username and account number for your upgraded PACER account; the username and password for your PACER-exempt account.  The PACER Service Center will email you with instructions on how to proceed.  Questions regarding your PACER-exempt account should be directed to the PACER Service Center.

For questions regarding linking your Upgraded PACER account and legacy CM/ECF account, contact the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ECF Help Desk at 804-916-2767.

Fourth Circuit Attorneys

All documents are filed only in electronic form with the following exceptions:

  • Briefs and appendices must be filed in both electronic and paper form.
  • New cases (petitions for review, mandamus, or permission to appeal) are uploaded through the "Submit New Case" utility in CM/ECF or filed in paper form.
  • CJA and other financial vouchers are maintained as financial records and filed outside the CM/ECF system. See CJA eVoucher.
  • Completed PDF fillable forms must be locked or "flattened" prior to filing in CM/ECF. This prevents further editing of form information and ensures that form information can be viewed on all devices. Read How to Flatten PDF Forms.

Fourth Circuit Pro Se Litigants:

All documents are filed in paper form unless the pro se litigant moves for and is granted leave to file through CM/ECF. Instructions for Pro Se Filers can be found in the Required Steps for Registration as an ECF Filer.

eFiling Information