FAQs

General Questions
Attorney Admission Questions
Financial Questions
Procedural Questions
Records/Files Questions
What is ECF?
Procedures for Filing Documents
Electronic Sound Recording/Court Reporting Questions
Interpreting Questions
Juror Questions
Miscellaneous Questions
Ten FAQs Regarding Electronic Courtrooms

General Questions

What are the Clerk's Office hours?

8:30 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday

Where is the Clerk's Office located?

Philadelphia - 601 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106-1797, Room 2609 on the second floor - Phone: (215) 597-7704 Fax: (267) 299-7135

Allentown - 504 Hamilton Street, Allentown, PA 18101-1500, Room 1601 on the first floor - Phone: (610) 434-3896 Fax: (610) 434-6174

What telephone number do I call for.....?

Main Number? (215) 597-7704

Procedural Questions? (267) 299-7011 or (267) 299-7012

Electronically Filing Documents on CM/ECF? (267) 299-7017 or (267) 299-7146

Automated Services? (267) 299-7059 or (267) 299-7060

Financial Department? (267) 299-7106

Ordering a Transcript? (267) 299-7041 or (267) 299-7104

Records/File Room? (267) 299-7082

Interpreter Coordinator? (267) 299-7029

Jury Service? (267) 299-7299

Attorney Admissions? (267) 299-7099

Naturalization? (267) 299-7099

What do I do in case of an emergency matter after hours?

Normal office hours are from 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Attorneys who need to contact the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania outside normal office hours or on weekends should call:

Court Security Officers (CSOs) Control Room (staffed 24/7) (215) 597-0374
Federal Protective Service (FPS) (800) 525-5726

CSOs/FPS will contact the Deputy Clerk on duty regarding the emergency. The Deputy Clerk on duty will then contact the attorney and the on-duty judge.

This service is available for attorneys who have to file an injunction or other emergency matters during non-business hours.

What are the geographic boundaries of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania?

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania consists of the following counties: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton and Philadelphia.

Attorney Admission Questions

As an attorney, how do I become admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania?

Application for admission to the bar of our court may be obtained here or at the front counter of the Clerk's Office. Admission ceremonies are held once a week. The fee for attorney admission is $206.00. There is an $19.00 fee for a duplicate certificate of admission or certificate of good standing. For further information on attorney admissions, refer to Local Civil Rule 83.5 or call the Attorney Admissions Clerk at (267) 299-7099.

How can an attorney be admitted Pro Hac Vice?

An attorney who is admitted to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania may file a motion for an out of state attorney to appear Pro Hac Vice. The Pro Hac Vice admission fee is $40.00 and is payable by credit card or check when using CM/ECF or by check for filings mailed to the Clerk’s Office with a paper application and disk containing the filing in pdf.

How do I obtain a Certificate of Good Standing?

To obtain a Certificate of Good Standing, please submit a letter request that includes a check made payable to “Clerk, USDC” for the $19.00 fee and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:

Clerk of Court, EDPA
2609 U.S. Courthouse
601 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Any questions should be directed to the Attorney Admissions Clerk at (267) 299-7099.

Financial Questions

What are the filing fees?

The filing fee for a Complaint or Notice of Removal is $400.00. (This has been established pursuant to a decision of the Judicial Conference of the United States to assess a $50.00 administrative fee pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1914(b) (in addition to the $350.00 filing fee established by 28 U.S.C. 1914(a)). This $50.00 administrative fee shall not be charged to petitioners in civil actions seeking habeas corpus relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2241-2266.)

The filing fee for a Notice of Appeal is $505.00.

The filing fee for a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus is $5.00.

The filing fee for a Miscellaneous Case is $46.00.

Who should the check be made payable to?

Clerk, United States District Court

Does your office accept credit cards?

Yes. The Clerk's Office accepts American Express, MasterCard, Visa, Discover and Diner's Club credit cards. Please see additional information on the Credit Card Collection Network page.

Procedural Questions

What is the time period for responding to motions?

Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, you have 14 days from the date on the Certificate of Service to file a response to a Motion. Refer to Local Civil Rule 7.1.

How do I have notice of the Entry of Orders and Judgments sent to me by facsimile?

In order to participate in the program, a Facsimile Transmission Authorization form must be executed to authorize the Clerk of Court to serve notice of the entry of Orders and Judgments, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 77(d) or Fed.R.Crim.P. 49(c), by facsimile in lieu of notice by means of mail. A Facsimile Transmission Authorization form may be obtained by contacting the Office of the Clerk of Court at 2609 United States Courthouse, 601 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106-1797, (267) 299-7059 or (267) 299-7060, or a request for the form may be sent by fax to (267) 299-7135. All forms are to be returned by mail or in person.

What filings are accepted in the Allentown Divisional Office?

The Allentown Office will accept all filings, including Bankruptcy Court filings.

What forms/papers are needed to file a Complaint or Notice of Removal?

The forms needed for filing a Complaint or Notice of Removal are: one (1) Civil Cover Sheet, two (2) copies of the Designation Form, and one (1) Case Management Track Form, along with a $400.00 filing fee. Please see additional information on the Clerk's Office Procedural Handbook page.

How do you execute a Judgment?

A Judgment may be executed 14 days after it has been entered. You may obtain a Writ of Execution Package (forms) from the Clerk's Office.

How can a Subpoena be issued in this district for a case pending in another district?

You may obtain subpoena forms from the Clerk's Office in Philadelphia. Refer to Rule 45 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for issuing subpoenas.

What is the Post Judgment Interest Rate?

The Post Judgment Interest Rate may be obtained here.

When are Motions heard?

To obtain this information, contact the Courtroom Deputy to the Judge assigned to the case.

How much time do you have to serve a Summons?

You have 90 days to effectuate service of a summons.

How much time do you have to file a Bill of Costs?

There is no time specified for the filing of a Bill of Costs.

How much time do you have to file a Notice of Appeal?

For civil cases you have 30 days from the date that the order was entered to file a Notice of Appeal. If the Government is a party to the action, the time for filing a Notice of Appeal is 60 days from the date that the order was entered.

For criminal cases, defendants have 14 days from the date that the order was entered to file a Notice of Appeal.

How much time do you have to file a Motion for Reconsideration?

You have 14 days from the date the order was entered to file a motion for reconsideration.

When can you request a Default Judgment?

Please see the Federal Rules.

In reference to the Civil Justice Expense and Delay Reduction Plan, is there a limit on the number of interrogatories?

Refer to Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in reference to the limit on interrogatories.

Do you time-stamp copies of filings over the counter?

The Clerk's Office does not time or date stamp filings over the counter. You may receive a date-stamped copy of a filing by providing a copy of the filing along with a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Records/Files Questions

How many years of civil and criminal cases do you have at the District Court?

All active civil and criminal cases are in the records room. We retain closed civil cases from the present year and the three previous years. Closed criminal cases are kept for seven years in the records room.

Do I have to come into the Clerk's Office to review a closed civil case file and obtain a copy of the pleading?

No. You may write or fax a request to the correspondence department in the Clerk's Office in Philadelphia. The fax number is (267) 299-7135. To obtain a copy of a document the cost is $.50 per page. There is an additional fee of $11.00 for a certified copy. If the file is located at the Federal Records Center (FRC), you'll need to contact the Records Room at (267) 299-7082 to obtain a form that reflects the file's accession number, location number and box number. Alternatively, a blank form can be obtained here, but the Records Room would need to be contacted to obtain information for the form. The public submits the form via mail, fax or e-mail directly to the FRC to request copies of documents. The FRC does not provide on-site court case review services to the public. In order to obtain a case file from the FRC for your review at the District Court, please contact the Records Room. The fee for this service is $64.00.

How do I get a copy of an electronic docket and what is the cost?

You may submit a request in person at the Clerk's Office in Philadelphia. You may also submit a request in writing or by fax to the correspondence department in the Clerk's Office in Philadelphia. The fax number is (267) 299-7135. To obtain a copy of a docket the cost is $.50 per page. Alternatively, you may obtain the docket through the PACER system. The cost is $.10 per page of electronic access (via the Internet). The fee for using PACER to obtain copies is limited to 30 pages per document or docket (i.e., $3.00).

How do I perform a search?

Searches can be done through the PACER system. The cost is $.10 per page of electronic access (via the Internet). Alternatively, you could come to the Clerk's Office in Philadelphia and perform the search for free using terminals available on the second floor of the courthouse. You could also request to have a search done for a $30.00 fee by writing or faxing a request to the correspondence department in the Clerk's Office in Philadelphia. The fax number is (267) 299-7135.

How do I access PACER?

You can call the San Antonio PACER and Billing Center at (800) 676-6856 to register and for information.

What is ECF?
ECF Brochure

Procedures for Filing Documents

How do I file documents in the Eastern District?

Documents for filing in the Eastern District may be filed:

Electronically on the ECF (Electronic Case Filing) system in accordance with Local Civil Rule 5.1.2.

- or -

Any attorney that has been excused from registering as an ECF Filing User in accordance with Local Civil Rule 5.1.2 is required to file the document on a disk in PDF format with a courtesy copy and a signature form on file. The document submitted on disk constitutes the original. Attorneys are required to submit a signature form (one-time only). After the signature form is submitted a signature code is provided by the Clerk's Office. The filing attorney is to place the signature code on the signature line of the courtesy copy. Copies of documents served on counsel are to contain the signature of the filing attorney and not the code.

Is an ECF login and password different from a signature code?

Yes. The ECF login and password is utilized to access the ECF system and to file documents electronically. The signature code is utilized for documents that are not filed electronically. The signature code is to be placed on the signature line of the courtesy copy that accompanies the filing on disk in PDF format.

Do I need an ECF login and password and a signature code?

Yes. An ECF login and password is required to file documents electronically. A signature code is required to file documents by attorneys that are excused from registering for ECF and for filing documents excluded from electronic filing in accordance with Local Civil Rule 5.1.2.

If I filed a document electronically do I need to submit an original document?

No. The electronic filing is the original document.

Do I need to complete a Validation of Signature Form for every document I file?

No. Only one signature form per attorney needs to be submitted. After submission of the signature form the Clerk's Office will issue a code. The attorney is to place the code on the signature line of all courtesy copies of the filed documents.

When and how do I receive my signature code after I submit the signature form?

The signature code will be sent to you by e-mail in 1-2 days. If an e-mail address is not available, the information will be sent by fax or mail.

What should I do if I misplaced my signature code or my ECF login and password?

Call 1-866-ECF-4ECF for assistance.

Why have I received a non-compliance notice when I have submitted a signature form and already received a code?

If you do not file electronically using ECF, the code must be placed on the signature line of the courtesy copy of the document. Also, a disk with the document in PDF format must accompany the filing. The document on disk constitutes the original.

Is my validation code secure?

The validation code is to be placed on the courtesy copy of the document and not on the document in PDF format. The courtesy copy is only for use by the Court. Copies of documents served on counsel are to have a signature and not the code. The document in PDF format is placed on the ECF system for viewing by ECF and PACER users.

If I scan a document into PDF do I still need to use the signature code?

Yes. The code must always be placed on the signature line of the courtesy copy, if you do not file electronically using ECF.

If I am admitted pro hac vice do I need to use a signature code?

Yes.

Is there a size limit for PDF documents? Can I place the file on a CD?

The size limit for converting files to PDF is 5.0 MB per file. A document over 5.0 MB may be divided into separate files. Documents may be submitted on a CD.

Is there training available for the ECF system and the procedures for filing documents?

Training is conducted on a regular basis for ECF, creating PDF files and the requirements of Local Civil Rule 5.1.2. Please call 1-866-ECF-4ECF to register for the training.

How do I change my name, address, telephone number, fax number, and/or e-mail address for the Eastern District including CM/ECF?

You can login to the ECF system and make the changes yourself. Alternatively, you can submit a letter describing your change of name, address, telephone number, fax number, and/or e-mail address and applicable cases. Please see Mail Sent to the Court for where to write. The Mail Sent to Counsel form cannot be used for this purpose. The attorney's signature must be on the letter. The change would only apply to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The letter can be faxed to (267) 299-7135. In the case of a name change, you'll need to include a copy of your marriage certificate or other documentation that supports the change.

What are the formatting requirements (i.e., fonts, margins, etc.) for documents filed in the Eastern District?

There are no such requirements for complaints. However, some of the judges may have requirements in their own policies and procedures for other pleadings.

Can I pay a filing fee with a credit card when using CM/ECF?

Yes. Filing fees may be paid by credit card when using CM/ECF for: Civil and Criminal Admission Pro Hac Vice, Complaints, Civil Notice of Appeal, Notice of Cross Appeal and Notice of Interlocutory Appeal and Criminal Notice of Interlocutory Appeal, Appeal of Magistrate Judge Decision to District Court and Notice of Appeal – Final Judgment.

Contact Information

For more information on the ECF system and filing documents in accordance with Local Civil Rule 5.1.2, please call the toll-free number 1-866-ECF-4ECF (1-866-323-4323). You may also submit your questions by fax to (267) 299-7135 or by e-mail to ecf_edpa@paed.uscourts.gov.

Electronic Sound Recording/Court Reporting Questions

What are the transcript fees?

For an ordinary transcript (delivery in 30 days), the fee is $3.65 per page.

For a 14-day transcript (delivery in 14 days), the fee is $4.25 per page.

For an expedited transcript (delivery in 7 days), the fee is $4.85 per page.

For a daily transcript (delivery in 1 day), the fee is $6.05 per page.

For an hourly transcript (delivered within 2 hours and set up in advance), the fee is $7.25 per page.

For a realtime unedited transcript, the fee is $3.05 per page for 1 feed, $2.10 per page for 2 to 4 feeds, and $1.50 per page for 5 or more feeds.

For copywork, the fee is $.90 per page for the first copy; each additional copy to the same party is $.60 per page.

For overnight copywork, the fee is $1.20 per page for the first copy; each additional copy to the same party is $.90 per page.

All payments are due in advance.

How do I obtain a transcript?

Transcripts can be ordered by calling (267) 299-7041 or (267) 299-7104. Alternatively, the Transcript Order Form (Appendix Y of the Clerk's Office Procedural Handbook) can be faxed to (267) 299-7135 or sent by first-class mail to the Court. Please use the address for the Clerk of Court indicated in Mail Sent to the Court and include the notation Attention: Transcripts.

Interpreting Questions

Will I be needed to do a presentence report following a plea?

The Court Interpreter Coordinator will contact the probation office 2 days prior to the proceeding and ask if an interpreter will be needed for the presentence report. The Coordinator will notify the interpreter if they are needed.

Will the courtroom be set up with microphones, etc.?

The Court Interpreter Coordinator will contact the Assistant United States Attorney 3 days prior to the proceeding and ask them to contact the agent and have their technician set up the courtroom.

Juror Questions

Why am I serving as a juror in Philadelphia if I don't live in Philadelphia?

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania's jury pool includes nine counties: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton and Philadelphia.

Is daycare available?

No. If you have children under the age of 10 that you are required to care for, you are exempt from jury service. In order to be exempt from jury service in this case you must return your questionnaire stating your reason for seeking the exemption.

Where do I park for jury duty?

Court Locations provides maps of courthouse locations and parking information.

What if I have a paid vacation and can not attend jury service?

You must write a request to the Court requesting a postponement of your jury service. Please include copies of relevant information concerning your vacation.

How long will the trial last?

You will be informed of the approximate length of the trial when you appear before the judicial officer and counsel for the voir dire process. All jurors are randomly chosen and we have no idea of which case they will be assigned until the time they are chosen.

What will happen to me if I fail to appear for jury duty?

Any person summoned for jury service who fails to appear as directed may be ordered by the district court to appear forthwith and show cause for failure to comply with the summons. Any person who fails to show good cause for noncompliance with a summons may be fined not more than $1,000, imprisoned for not more than three days, ordered to perform community service, or any combination thereof.

What is a grand jury?

The function of a grand jury is to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that a federal crime was committed and that a specific person or persons committed it. If the grand jury finds probable cause, it will return a written statement of the charges called an indictment, and the case will proceed in the court.

How long does a grand jury sit?

A grand jury usually sits once a week for a period of 18 months.

Will I be sequestered?

Federal jurors are rarely sequestered.

I was recently a juror in my county and was told that I would be exempt for several years. Why am I being called for jury duty?

You have been summoned for Federal jury duty. Your service in your county only satisfied your duty for county jury duty.

I am a veteran. Am I exempt?

No. (Only if you are in active service.)

How do I request a postponement or excusal for jury duty?

Requests for postponements or excusals will not be accepted by e-mail. All such requests must be made in writing, signed by the prospective juror and sent by first-class mail to the Court. Please use the address for the Clerk of Court indicated in Mail Sent to the Court and include the notation Attention: Jury.

I was recently summoned for federal jury duty, but after calling the Court's Code-A-Phone system I found that I was not required to report. Why am I being called again?

Your federal jury duty is satisfied only after you physically appear in the U.S. Courthouse for jury selection. At the completion of such service, you will be excused for at least two years.

What is the dress code?

Appropriate dress code, such as business casual attire, is required. Tank tops, sweat pants and flip flops are not considered appropriate. You may wish to bring a light sweater or jacket as temperatures can vary in the courtrooms.

Miscellaneous Questions

How do I become placed on the roster of Criminal Justice Act attorneys?

Contact the Federal Defenders Association at (215) 928-1100.

How do I get a passport returned?

A passport may be returned after sentencing and only upon the Court's Order.

Who do I contact about Video Conferencing or Electronic Courtrooms?

Michael Hearn - Phone: (267) 299-7039 E-mail: Mike_Hearn@paed.uscourts.gov

Ed Morrissy - Phone: (267) 299-7044 E-mail: Ed_Morrissy@paed.uscourts.gov

Fax: (267) 299-7116

Ten FAQs Regarding Electronic Courtrooms

1. How much advance notice is needed to request one of the Court's electronic courtrooms?

Advance notice is always required for the use of an electronic courtroom. Contact the courtroom deputy as soon as possible to give the Court advance notice when requesting one of the electronic courtrooms. Currently, there are sixteen courtrooms (thirteen full size and three Magistrate Judge courtrooms) that are fully equipped with evidence presentation and video conferencing capabilities within the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

2. What training is available to counsel regarding the use of the Court's electronic courtrooms?

The Court provides hands-on training to counsel and their staff at least three days prior to the start of court proceedings. Contact the courtroom deputy for training information. The Office of the Clerk of Court also demonstrates the use of electronic courtrooms several times per year during Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses.

3. Will the Court provide someone to present the evidence?

No. The Clerk of Court will only control the use of all monitors in the courtroom. It is the responsibility of counsel to manage and present their own evidence.

4. Does the Court provide internet access in the courtroom?

No. However, if internet access is required, counsel may bring in an internet provider. The Court would need four weeks' notice to arrange for building access.

5. Can laptops be used for evidence presentation (i.e., power point presentation) during court proceedings?

Yes. Laptops can be used for evidence presentation at the counsel table and/or the evidence presentation station located in the well of the courtroom. It is advisable for counsel to bring their laptop to their training session to ensure compatibility.

6. Does the Court provide any electronic equipment for use in non-electronic courtrooms?

The Court provides a limited number of TV/DVD units, document cameras, projection screens and interpreting equipment.

7. Do the electronic courtrooms have video conferencing capabilities?

Yes. Each electronic courtroom has video conferencing capabilities. Advance notice is needed to arrange a test with the video conference location prior to the court proceeding.

8. When using the Court's video conferencing system, can the people at the far location view documents being viewed in the courtroom?

Yes. Any evidence being displayed on the Court's evidence presentation system can be viewed at the far location.

9. Can the Court or the witness view evidence presented prior to it being viewed by the jury panel?

Yes. The Clerk of Court has the ability to black out the witness and jury monitors until the Judge authorizes the evidence to be viewed.

10. How is the evidence being presented viewed by everyone in the courtroom?

Monitors are located on the Judge's bench, the clerk's station, the witness stand, each counsel table, as well as eight monitors in the jury box. Additional monitors can be set up for those sitting in the gallery.