The Federal Judiciary has developed a Next Generation (NextGen) Case Management/ Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) system that allows attorneys to use one account for both PACER and electronic filing access, for the entire federal judiciary. This centralized, or single sign on is particularly useful to those attorneys that practice in more than one federal court. An attorney will have one login and password. That one set of credentials will provide PACER access to every Appellate, District and Bankruptcy Court, and e-filing access for those NextGen courts that they are registered in. While NextGen is not yet available in all courts, it is anticipated that all federal courts will upgrade to NextGen by the end of 2021.
The Western District of Michigan will implement NextGen on August 26, 2019. If an e-filer fails to prepare as described below, they will be unable to access the electronic filing system on that date.
Now: Preparing for NextGen
The Western District of Michigan encourages attorneys to obtain an individual, upgraded PACER account at this time.
E-filers must do the following in order to e-file in NextGen:
- Obtain your own individual PACER account or upgrade your existing individual PACER account
- Know your current CM/ECF login and password.
- After the Western District of Michigan installs NextGen, link your PACER account with CM/ECF (reference document).
Upgrade Weekend: Beginning Friday, August 23, 2019
CM/ECF will be unavailable from 1:00p.m. Friday, August 23rd through 8:00a.m. Monday, August 26th.
Beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Friday August 23rd, and until 5:00 p.m. that day, the Clerk of Court will accept paper filings at all divisional offices (Grand Rapids, Marquette, Kalamazoo and Lansing). See Administrative Order 19-MS-065 for more information.
Arrangements for any emergency filings that must occur outside of business hours and while CM/ECF is unavailable during the upgrade weekend may be made by calling (616) 456-2069.
Beginning Monday, August 26, 2019
Attorneys must link their PACER account with CM/ECF to be ready to e-file (reference document). Note that this step cannot occur until Monday, August 26th or after, when CM/ECF is upgraded to NextGen in the Western District of Michigan.
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. If your username is 6 characters, you do not have an upgraded account. Go to https://www.pacer.gov/ and click on Manage My Account to upgrade your PACER account.
- My law firm uses a shared PACER account. Can we continue to use that account?
Each attorney must have an individual PACER account to use for electronic filing in NextGen. The law firm, however, can create a PACER Administrative Account (PAA) to manage the billing for all of the individual accounts. Click for a tutorial on PACER Administrative Account (PAA Basics). Staff members who share a PACER account only for research can continue to share.
- My practice is primarily in the Eastern District of Michigan/Bankruptcy Court and I don't have any active litigation in the District Court right now. Do I need to do anything?
If you will not be accessing records or e-filing in the U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan, then technically you do not need to do anything. However, upgrading your PACER account now will prepare you for when the Eastern District of Michigan and the Bankruptcy Court in this District upgrade to NextGen.
- I linked my account when the Sixth Cirtuit Court of Appeals converted. Will I have to link my account again?
Yes, after the court upgrades you will need to link your PACER account to your District Court CM/ECF account before you can e-file in the District Court.
- What happens to my CM/ECF account after the court upgrades to NextGen?
After the court upgrades to NextGen, you will link your current CM/ECF account to your PACER account. After the accounts are linked you will no longer use your CM/ECF username or password.
E-mail sent to registered attorneys, August 2019: Administrative Order No. 19-MS-065, regarding temporary suspension of electronic filing and service requirements and allowing paper filings on Friday, August 23.
E-mail sent to registered attorneys, June 2019: Prepare for NextGen - Western District of Michigan
Letter sent to office managers, May 2019: Letter to Office Managers
For assistance with creating a PACER account, please contact PACER at 1-800-676-6856 or visit the PACER website at https://www.pacer.gov/.
For assistance with your current CM/ECF login and password or linking your account after the court upgrades, contact the ECF Help Desk at (800) 290-2742.