Email: Receiving Email From the Court
Technical and Other Information
Last updated: 06/29/12

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  1. Why am I getting email Notices of Electronic Filing for a case that's not in the e-filing program?

  2. Why am I getting email Notices of Electronic Filing for a case in which I (the attorney) am not a participant?

  3. I have a Notice of Electronic Filing that was e-mailed to me but there's no hyperlink or URL for the document, just one for the docket sheet. Why can't I get that document on-line?

  4. Who is the sender of Notices of Electronic Filing?

  5. How do we add a secondary e-mail address so someone besides the attorney (such as a secretary or calendar department)  will get Notices of Electronic Filing when they're sent?

  6. Can secondary email addresses get emails on certain cases only?

  7. Is there a limit on size of an email?

  8. Can I add a client or an interested party (non-attorney) to receive emails on a case?

  9. Can an attorney receive emails regarding cases in which the attorney is not a participating?

  10. What do all the email settings do?

  11. Once I register, will the system send me all the previous emails?
    Can emails that I didn't get be resent?
    I deleted the ECF email, can you send me another?

  12. How long does the ECF system take to send out the emails?

  13. Why am I not receiving emails from the ECF system?

  14. How can I make email rules to control forwarding, copying, sorting, etc.?

  15. What is the header information of the ECF emails?
    What IP address do the emails come from?

  16. Why am I getting multiple emails when a filing occurs?

  17. Why do the ECF emails look odd, show up as an attachment or contain unreadable text?

  18. What happens if the emails sent from the court to me bounce or are rejected?

  19. Why can't I access the document through the hyperlink in the email?
    Why does the email force me to use my PACER login?

    Isn't the first look at a document supposed to be free?

  20. Why can't I access my "free look" from the NEF?

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EM01

Why am I getting email Notices of Electronic Filing for a case that's not in the e-filing program?

The same system which is used for tracking eFiling cases is also used for non-eFiling civil cases. Registered eFiling attorneys will get an email each time the docket changes for any of their cases; eFiling or not. This is sent as a courtesy of the court but does not imply that the case is, or will become an eFiling case. You should not eFile PDF documents for any non-eFiling cases, but you will still receive all notices and filings in paper.

At this time, this function cannot be disabled.

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EM02

Why am I getting email Notices of Electronic Filing for a case in which I (the attorney) am not a participant?

There are a few reasons:
 

  1. You may be "watching" the case.  See the FAQ: "Can an attorney receive emails regarding cases in which the attorney is not a participating?"  If you wish to no longer receive emails on cases listed, simply delete the case number listed and submit your change to ECF.

  2. You may be listed as a secondary on someone else's account.  See the bottom of the email you received to see if you are listed under someone else's name.

  3. You may be listed as a participant on a consolidated or related case.

  4. Any combination of the above.

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EM03

I have a Notice of Electronic Filing that was e-mailed to me but there's no hyperlink or URL for the document, just one for the docket sheet.  Why can't I get that document on-line?

The Notices of Electronic Filing are generated whenever there is activity in a case.  As noted in the preceding FAQ, they may even be generated and sent in cases which are not designated for e-filing.

If someone files on paper, e.g., a "pro hac vice" application, or a Notice of Appeal, or anything else in paper, that filing will be entered on the docket by a court clerk.  You'll get a notice telling you that it happened, but the document filed on paper will not be available online (the court does not scan documents).  It should be on its way to you by regular postal mail.  One of the confirming characteristics that this is true of your particular Notice of Electronic Filing is that the docket text will end with parentheses enclosing lower case initials, like this:

(zzz, COURT STAFF)

Those initials identify a docket clerk at the court; in the case of an efiling by an attorney, the last name and first name of the attorney, such as (Mason, Perry), will appear in those parentheses at the end of the docket entry.

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EM04

Who is the sender of Notices of Electronic Filing?

All the outgoing mail that is generated by the e-filing application will come from the same sender:

ECF-CAND@cand.uscourts.gov

Any replies sent to this address are routed to the ECF-Helpdesk at ECFHelpdesk@cand.uscourts.gov and will be answered.

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EM07

Is there a limit on the size of an email?

All emails must be below 30.0MB (megabytes) in size to pass our gateway.  If you email PDF documents to us (as is always the case with complaints or notices of removal and their attendant documents) you may find that you're unable to attach all the exhibits to a single mail message.  You can resend as multiple emails with just a few PDFs in each.

Also not that each individual PDF file (not the combined total) must be under 5.0MB (5,000KB).

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EM08

Can a client or an interested party (non-attorney) receive emails on a case?

This is highly not advised.  Although you can add a secondary email address, these addresses receive everything that the primary gets in all his or her cases.  This can be confusing for the secondary if they start to receive emails regarding cases for which they are not involved.  Instead, set up a RULE on your email server or email client to automatically forward case emails to anyone you wish.

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EM09

Can an attorney receive emails regarding cases in which the attorney is not a participating?

Yes. We call this "watching" a case.  To be a watcher:
 

  1. Log in to ECF with your ECF login (not your PACER)

  2. On the Blue-Bar, click on Utilities -> Maintain Your E-Mail.

  3. Click on the Primary e-mail address.

  4. In the blank box under "Add additional cases for noticing," enter a case number, and then click on the Find This Case button.

  5. Click "Add case(s)." The case will now appear in the box under "These cases will send notice per filing." Note that your watcher status is indicated by the "(interest)" note after the case name.

  6. Click "Submit all changes" to save your settings. To review which cases you'll receive notices on, click "View/Hide case list."

NOTE:  The system will not show "watchers" as receiving the emails for the notices on the NEF under the section:
"Notice will be electronically mailed to" or on the Report: E-mail Info for a case.

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EM11

Once I register, will the system send me all the previous emails?
Can emails that I didn't get be resent?
I deleted the ECF email, can you send me another?

No.  New users will only get emails occurring after their registration is complete, since the ECF system only sends out emails when the efiling occurs and there is no way to re-send emails that were previously sent.

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EM12

How long does the ECF system take to send out the emails?

The ECF system usually sends out emails within 5 minutes of completion of the electronic filing so there is no real delay, but due to how email servers work however, and the frequency with which they check for new messages, you may not get your email for a few hours to possibly a day or more, but this is unusual.

Free email services (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.) have been reported to occasionally have delays receiving email more often than others.

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EM13

Why am I not receiving emails from the ECF system?

 

There are a few reasons that you may not be receiving emails from the ECF system:

  1. Your email box may be blocked or locked.  Perhaps your email box is full (or was full when the email was sent) or you are overdue on paying any fees required for you to access the internet or your email, so your provider may have restricted your email in some way.  These emails bounce back to the court and will not be resent.  More...

  2. Your email address could not be found on the internet, or by your email server.  We get many bounces which are the result of email servers being down/offline/configured wrong/etc., or when the email server does not recognize the recipient's address.  These emails bounce back and will not be resent.  More...

  3. Invalid or outdated email address.  You may have moved firms, changed email addresses, etc.  Per Local Rule 5-1, your registration is yours (not the firm's) and you are required to keep your contact information current and accurate.  These emails bounce back and will not be resent.  More...

  4. "Spam" or junk/bulk email protection may be blocking or filtering the ECF emails due to how the emails are being addressed.  All ECF emails have the common characteristics listed HERE.  Quite often these emails get filtered to a "protected" email folder on your email server which can only be accessed by the administrator on the system, or may be automatically deleted.  These emails may or may not bounce back (usually they do not) and will not be re-sent. 

This last one can be major a problem since some email spam protection blocks emails which are not sent specifically TO: the recipient.  Since ECF by definition sends "bulk" email, ECF emails may be blocked and there is nothing that the court can do about it on our end.

The good news however is that all email spam protection allows for what is commonly called a "White List".  White Lists are email addresses which are allowed to come through despite any other email filtering or protection. ("Black Lists" in contrasts are never allowed.)
 

ECF highly recommends that the email address,
ECF-CAND@cand.uscourts.gov
be added to your White Lists, or even better, add the wild-card: *uscourts.gov, so that any email from any U.S. Court entity can get through.  This must be done by your email systems administrator.

Please see our ECF Bounced Email Log, Support Policies and bounced email info for more important information regarding bounced emails.

 

NOTE: The U.S. District Court will not be modifying the format of the ECF emails to meet any recipient's email requirements (spam or otherwise).  What you get is what you get, so you will need to find a way of working with our system.

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EM14

How can I make email rules to control forwarding, copying, sorting, etc.?

Many firms have expressed interest in making email rules on their own mail servers so that they can direct incoming notices of electronic filing to mailboxes besides that of the direct addressees or for other functions. There are a million different options for rules on different systems, but an example rule might be:

for: all inbound emails
from: ECF-CAND@cand.uscourts.gov
and beginning subject line text: Activity in Case 0:00-cv-12345*
forward to: x@yz.com and 1@23.com

On most systems, a rule like this will forward all emails regarding case 0:00-cv-12345 from ECF-CAND@cand.uscourts.gov to x@yz.com and 1@23.com, but it will not forward emails regarding any other case or from any other email address.

* Make sure that the subject line text matches exactly like the notices from your case.

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EM15

What is the header information of the ECF emails?
What IP address do the emails come from?

Here is a sample of the ECF email header information which may be helpful for email systems administrators in troubleshooting problems, setting up rules or white-lists:

Return-Path: <ecfhelpdesk@cand.uscourts.gov>

X-Mail-from: ECF-CAND@cand.uscourts.gov

Received: from candei.cand.uscourts.gov (lsm9n.gtwy.uscourts.gov [208.27.203.128])

by candei.cand.uscourts.gov (8.11.6+Sun/8.11.6) id h46GaH011406;

From: ECF-CAND@cand.uscourts.gov

Content-Type: text/html

MIME-Version: 1.0

Message-Id: <{variable}@cand.uscourts.gov>

Subject: Activity in Case {...case number and title}

To: efiling@cand.uscourts.gov
     {all otheres are blind carbon copy "bcc"}

Please note that it is completely impossible for the court to change the format or headers of the notices.

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EM16

Why am I getting multiple emails when a filing occurs?

You should only get one email, per case, per filing on a given case.  If you are getting multiple, check the following:
 

  1. You have the case listed as a "watched" case. If so, delete the case number from your list.
     
  2. Another e-filer may have listed you as a secondary addressee.  If so, have them remove your email address from their profile.
     
  3. If you still get duplicates, please email us at  ECFHelpdesk@cand.uscourts.gov and we will research the issue.
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EM17

Why do the emails from ECF look odd, show up as an attachment or contain unreadable text?

Try changing your email setting for "Format notices" to text format instead of HTML (or vice-versa).

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