What is bounced email?
Why do emails bounce?
"Bounced" email (sometimes
referred to as "bounce-mail") is email that has returned to the
sender because it can not be delivered for some reason. There are
two kinds of bounced e-mail: hard bounce and soft bounce -
Hard Bounce email is
permanently bounced back to the sender because the address is invalid,
such as the
domain name doesn't exist (there is no "...@domainname.com"), or because the recipient is unknown
(there is no "JoeTheAttorney@...".
Soft Bounce is an email
message that gets as far as the recipient's mail server but is bounced
back "undelivered" before it gets to the intended recipient. This
might occur because the recipient's inbox is full, the mail server is
temporarily unavailable, or the recipient no longer has an email account
at that address. A soft bounce message may be deliverable at another time
or may be forwarded manually by the network administrator in charge of
redirecting mail on the recipient's domain.
The ECF system has received over 1000 bounced emails per month.
The top reasons (in order) are:
Invalid Email Address
because the attorney has moved and not updated the ECF profile. All
original email addresses submitted on the ECF registration form were
Technical Problems with
the attorney's email system, or the email box is over quota (full).
improperly configured on the receiving end.
configured or forgotten which were set up to reject, filter or move the
when the ECF Helpdesk receives calls regarding emails which were "not
received" from ECF, after a lot of research and trouble for both the ECF
Helpdesk and the attorney's email administrator, we find out that the
emails in fact WERE received by the attorney, but the attorney forgot,
moved, filtered, lost or deleted the emails; or often the attorney had an
incorrect primary email address (such as a secretary who has left).
How does the court
handle bounced email?
The ECF Helpdesk spends a lot
of time and effort in keeping our data accurate and safe, but... Per
Local Rule 5-1(c)(3), it is the attorney's responsibility
alone to keep their own contact information current and accurate. It is not
the court's responsibility to chase down attorneys if their emails bounce. If emails
do bounce back, the
ECF Helpdesk will do the following:
Emails Bounced from
Primary Email Addresses -
Should emails not be
delivered due to difficulties with the sender (the court), the court
may try to resend the emails, but there
can not be any guarantee on timeliness or success in re-sending.
Should emails not be
delivered due to difficulties with the recipient, the emails can not
be resent. 1
All bounced emails may be automatically forwarded to the ECF Email
Bounce Log website at:
This site can be viewed by anyone at any time, without subscription or
membership. It contains more information on why emails may bounce, and how to
read email error codes.
This log is provided as a courtesy from the court for a public record
of failed notification delivery, but there will be no guarantee on the
quality, availability or duration of content.
We highly recommend that 24 hours after you have completed your
efiling, that you should check this site to determine if any emails
for your cases have bounced.
As time permits, attempts
may be made by the court to find
a newer or current email address if an address is dead.
If any different email address can
be found for the attorney on the State Bar, at a new firm or otherwise, that address
may be updated in the ECF system without consent of the
If no new email address can
be found, the email address may be changed to: email@example.com
the email address is
changed to this bogus address, the attorney may receive no further communications from the
court, or other parties on any ECF cases, in paper or otherwise.
last address line for the attorney will be changed to:
Invalid email address as of
and will show on the docket under the attorney's name.
The attorney's account will not be terminated or locked
and the attorney may still log in and update their contact information at any time
(and we HIGHLY encourage them to do so).
Emails Bounced from Secondary Email Addresses -
Since secondary email
addresses are optional, all bounced emails to
these addresses will eventually result in that address being deleted from the
profile of the attorney without any further research or notification.
In all situations, registered
are still required to keep up with the progress of all their cases
by logging into ECF (using their PACER login) to determine if there was any activity.
See Local Rule
Due to the massive volume of bounced emails, there is no guarantee of
timeliness in any of the above actions.