August 29, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions

CM/ECF Adversary Proceedings

What is a third-party complaint? Is there a fee for filing?

A third party complaint is a complaint filed against a third party by a defendant or plaintiff alleging that the third party is liable for all or part of a claim or counterclaim in dispute between the original parties.  There is no fee for filing a third-party complaint.

Who is responsible for issuing a summons or alias summons in an adversary proceeding? How is this accomplished?

The Clerk’s Office is responsible for issuing the summons, or alias summons,  in an adversary proceeding.  Upon the docketing of the completed summons (which constitutes issuance), the filing attorney receives electronic notification of the issuance, and is responsible for printing and serving the summons together with the complaint and any printed scheduling order.

Effective 12/1/2005 FRBP 7004(a)(2) provides that “The clerk may sign, seal, and issue a summons electronically by putting “/s/” before the clerk’s name and include the court’s seal on the summons.”.  This subsection does not authorize electronic service of the summons.  The summons, complaint and any scheduling order must be served by the plaintiff in accordance with FRBP 7004(b).

CM/ECF Chapter 12/13

Can the Court grant a discharge, under a Chapter 12 or a Chapter 13 plan, prior to completion of payments under the respective plan (e.g. hardship discharge)?

The Court may grant  a discharge prior to completion of payments under a Chapter 12 plan or a Chapter 13 plan, provided that certain conditions are met, upon motion filed by the debtor for a hardship discharge.  Applicable Bankruptcy Code Sections are:  523(c); 1228(b)(1), (2) and (3); and 1328(b)(1), (2) and (3).  Applicable Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure are 2002 and 4007d).

What event code do I use if only one debtor in a joint Chapter 12 or Chapter 13 case wants to convert to a Chapter 7 case?

The proper event to use is Notice of Voluntary Conversion of Joint Debtor, when only one debtor in a joint Chapter 12 or Chapter 13 case is converting to a Chapter 7 case

What form do I use for filing a Chapter 13 Plan?

Pursuant to Local Bankruptcy Rule 3015-2(A), all Chapter 13 Plans and Related Motions must be filed on the revised form approved by the Court for use in the Eastern District of Virginia.  The revised plan may be obtained from the Court’s web site, under Bankruptcy Forms, accessed through the Forms link.

What is the difference between an amended Chapter 13 plan and a modified Chapter 13 plan?

An amended Chapter 13 plan is one that is changed prior to confirmation of the plan, whereas a modified plan is one that is changed after confirmation of the plan.

Can I use my CM/ECF login and password to file documents in a bankruptcy court in another district?

No.  You must obtain a separate login and password for each court in which you file documents.

How do I change my mailing address, firm name, e-mail information and/or password?

Log into CM/ECF using your CM/ECF login and password.

To change account information (ex.:  firm name (office), address, phone number, etc.):  From the menu bar, select Utilities.  From the Utilities screen, select Maintain Your ECF Account.  On the Maintain Account Screen, make the appropriate changes, and click Submit.  On the Person/Search Open and/or Closed Cases screen, select appropriately, and click Submit.  On the Update Cases screen, select appropriately and click Submit.  A confirmation of the update displays.

To change e-mail information:  From the menu bar, select Utilities.  From the Utilities screen, select Maintain Your ECF Account.  From the account screen, click the Email information button.  On the Email information screen, make the appropriate changes, and click Return to Account screen.  On the Maintain User Account screen, click Submit.  On the following screen, click Submit.  A confirmation of the update displays.

To change your password:  From the menu bar, select Utilities.  From the Utilities screen, select Change Your Password.  On the Change Your Password Screen, key your new password,  re-enter your new password and click Submit.  A confirmation of the change displays.

How do I obtain a login and password to file documents in CM/ECF?

To become a registered user of the CM/ECF system, you must first complete the appropriate registration form.  For attorneys who are admitted to practice in the Eastern District of Virginia, the appropriate form is the Full Participant Registration form.  For attorneys who practice outside of the Eastern District of Virginia, and creditors who file large volumes of proofs of claim, the appropriate form is the Limited Participant Registration form or the Limited Participant Registration Form [Case Specific].   The forms are located on our website on the Getting Started with CM/ECF page, accessed through the ECF Helpdesk link.  Upon completion, the form is mailed to the appropriate address, as shown on the form.  Full participants may be required to obtain CM/ECF training prior to issuance of a login and password for the system.

Why do I have access only to the menu options Query, Reports, Utilities and Logout, when I log into CM/ECF?

The CM/ECF login and password, assigned by the Court, allows you access to file cases and documents in the CM/ECF system, through the CM/ECF links, Bankruptcy and Adversary.  In order to retrieve information from the system, you must also have a PACER login and password, which is assigned by the PACER Service Center.  When you log into CM/ECF initially with your PACER login and password, you will only have access to the Query, Reports, Utilities and Logout menu options.  If you have logged in incorrectly, and wish to file documents, select Logout, clear your cache, and log into the system again, using your CM/ECF login and password.

Internet Browser Issues

How do I clear my browser cache/delete temporary internet files?

The temporary internet files folder, also referred to as cache, contains a record of the places you have been and the items you have downloaded from the Web.  This folder is stored within your computer system.  All of these files take up space.  So, from time to time, you should clear the files stored in your cache to free up space on your computer.  This is called clearing the cache, or deleting temporary Internet files.  Instructions for clearing the cache may differ from browser to browser.  Click here to be re-directed to instructions for clearing the cache for a number of the major browsers.

What is Pop-up Blocker? How do I turn it off?

Pop-up Blocker is a feature that lets you limit or block windows that “pop-up” in your browser.  When Pop-up Blocker is turned on, the Information bar displays a message that the “Pop-up blocked.  To see this pop-up or additional options, click here.”  Click the appropriate hyperlink to view instructions for turning off Pop-up Blocker in Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.

National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Act

What is the National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Act of 2008?

On October 20, 2008, the president signed into law the National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Act of 2008 (Act).  The Act provides a temporary exclusion from the bankruptcy means test for Reservists and members of the National Guard called for no less than 90 days to active duty or homeland defense activity after September 11, 2001.  Click here for more detailed information regarding the Act.

Can I use my PACER login and password to retrieve information from other courts, in other districts?

Yes.  A single PACER login and password is assigned to a user.  This allows information to be retrieved from the CM/ECF database of any U. S. Bankruptcy Court, U. S. District Court and U. S. Court of Appeals, as well as the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, the U. S. Court of Federal Claims, and the U. S. Supreme Court.

Why do I have access only to the menu options Query, Reports, Utilities and Logout, when I log into CM/ECF?

The CM/ECF login and password, assigned by the Court, allows you access to file cases and documents in the CM/ECF system, through the CM/ECF links, Bankruptcy and Adversary.  In order to retrieve information from the system, you must also have a PACER login and password, which is assigned by the PACER Service Center.  When you log into CM/ECF initially with your PACER login and password, you will only have access to the Query, Reports, Utilities and Logout menu options.  If you have logged in incorrectly, and wish to file documents, select Logout, clear your cache, and log into the system again, using your CM/ECF login and password.

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