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How to Prepare Your Documents

The federal court's case files are maintained in electronic form. The paper documents you send to the Clerk for filing will be scanned and converted to digital images. The image will be identical to the paper document and cannot be altered. After your document is scanned, it can be viewed on a screen, downloaded, saved on a hard or portable drive, emailed, and printed.

After your paper documents have been scanned, they will be discarded. However, if you want the documents returned to you, please include a self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage for their return. The electronic version of your document is the Court's official record of that document.

To ensure that your documents can be read in electronic form:

  • Use white, unlined paper.

  • Write on only one side of the paper. Do not submit double-sided pages.

  • Type or neatly write by hand.

  • Use blue or black ink.

  • Use 1" margins at the top, bottom, and left and right sides of the page.

  • Double-space or leave a bit of space between lines of handwriting.

    • Do not use highlighters. Once the document is scanned, the part that appeared in highlights on paper may be blacked out and unreadable in the electronic version.

    • Do not staple or otherwise bind the pages of a document together. You may paper-clip or clamp pages together if you are submitting more than one document at a time.

Purusant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 11, you must sign each pleading. 

Any document you want a judge to read must be filed with the Clerk of Court.  Anything mailed directly to a judge might be discarded without ever reaching the judge.  No letters to the court and/or judge are permitted.