Hyperlinking to an Existing Document
Last updated: 04/15/11

You can create a hyperlink to a previous filing (which will bring up the main document, if available) and make a relation between the two filings in the ECF system.  This way you never need to resubmit anything that has been previously filed on your case.


  1. You can not hyperlink directly to an attachment in a previous filing (such as an exhibit), only to the main document, although the reference implies the entire previous filing.  If you need to hyperlink to a previously filed specific attachment, refer your filing to the docket entry as usual, then describe the specific reference in the free text box
  2. There is no way in the current system to hyperlink to any filing in a different case, even if the cases are related or consolidated.  If you need to do this, please just e-file the document into your case, instead of hyperlinking to it.
How to Hyperlink Your Current Filing to a Previous Filing
During the course of e-filing most ECF events, you will be prompted with the following screen:
This optional screen allows you to insert hyperlinks in your docket text to any previous docket entries in this case for ease of access to those documents. Please use this option only if your current filing specifically references past document(s) in this case. Otherwise, simply click SUBMIT to skip this step.

If you check the box, you will be able to select document(s) to be hyperlinked in your new docket entry from a list on the next page. You may limit the number of docket entries displayed by entering one or more dates in the Filed fields, or one or more docket numbers in the Documents fields.

Do you wish to insert a hyperlink to a previously docketed entry in this case?











Do not bother filling in any of the fields (unless you wish to filter your search), simply checking the box and clicking [SUBMIT] will bring you to a page which shows all of the previously filed documents on the case.  Simply check the box(es) needed.

12/16/2003 1 COMPLAINT against Acme Nail Company. Filed by W. E. Coyote. (zz, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 01/01/2003)
01/16/2003 2 MOTION for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis filed by W. E. Coyote.. (zz, COURT STAFF) (Entered on 01/16/2003)
01/16/2003 3 ORDER DISMISSING CASE without prejudice Failure to bring in a paid complaint. Motion to proceed in forma pauperis is DENIED. Signed by Judge James T. Kirk on 1/16/03. (zz, Court Staff)

HINT: It is recommended to review or print out the docket sheet before this point so you can choose the correct document(s) the first time; otherwise you may have to start the whole process over by clicking the CIVIL button on the blue tool bar.

When you are done, the new docket text will add the text "re #" and look similar to this example:

Filing Date


Docket Text



MOTION to Dismiss filed by Bonaparte, Napoleon. (Mason, Perry) (Entered: 09/08/2003)



CERTIFICATE/PROOF OF SERVICE by Bonaparte, Napoleon re 11 (Mason, Perry) (Entered: 09/08/2003)

The same would be true for exhibits, declarations, etc.

NOTE:  In the example above, if docket #11 was not available online (such as a paper filing when no PDF was submitted), docket #12 would still link back to #11 and the "11" hyperlink within the docket text of #12 would still look like a functional hyperlink, but clicking on it will only bring up the following text:

Document is not stored electronically in this system; it was a paper filing, which may be retrieved in the usual ways.
For details, visit www.cand.uscourts.gov and check
Court Information -> Frequently Asked Questions -> Existing Case Info

For more information on docket text, click HERE.