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E-Filing: Federal Criminal Suits

US District Court: District of Colorado Mandatory Electronic Case Filing on Criminal Cases

(This applies to criminal cases in the US District Court locally)


CRIMINAL CASES: Electronic Filing on Criminal Cases begins December 5, 2005.
Attorneys are required to register by November 4, 2005, and may sign up for training now at

CIVIL CASES: Electronic Filing on Civil Cases began on June 20, 2005.

Electronic Case Filing (ECF)

Is the new automated electronic docketing system for Colorado. ECF provides a new, easy to use electronic case filing feature that makes life much easier for court users allowing the filing and viewing of court documents over the Internet.

What ECF Offers

ECF allows attorneys to file and view documents from anywhere they have access to the Internet, 24 hours a day. Documents are docketed as part of the filing process. ECF also provides the following benefits:
- 24-hour access to filed documents over the Internet;
- Automatic email notice of case activity;
- Ability to download and print documents directly from the court system;
- Concurrent access to case files by multiple parties;
- Secure storage of documents (so files are not misplaced); and
- Reduction in overhead costs.

How it Works

The system accepts documents in Portable Document Format (PDF). PDF retains the way a document looks, so the pages, fonts and other formatting are preserved. Filing a document with the court's ECF system is easy.
· Create the document using word processing software.
· Save the document in PDF format.
· Log on to the court's ECF system,using a court-issued login and password.
· Follow the set of simple prompts to provide information about the case, party and document to be filed.
· Attach the PDF document and submit it to the court for filing.
· Save or print the ECF electronic receipt emailed from the court confirming that the document was filed.


The ECF system will be governed by the Local Rules, the ECF Procedures (Criminal) and the User's Manual. All users should be familiar with these documents and the requirements set forth within them. The court will soon publish the rules and manuals governing ECF on it's website at (click on Electronic Case Filing).

Live Date

Effective December 5, 2005, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado will require that all attorneys filing documents in criminal cases do so by using the ECF Internet System described in this information. An attorney who desires an exception to the requirement should refer to the ECF Procedures for more information.


Attorneys must register on the court's website at (click on Electronic Case Filing) by completing an ECF Account Registration. Upon completion of the form and addition to the court's database, users will be issued and notified of their login for the system. Registration allows the user to take advantage of the benefits of electronic filing and notice.


Attorneys and their staff are encouraged to complete either the classroom or online training options prior to filing documents with the District of Colorado. Completion of any ECF training or experience in a different federal district or bankruptcy court may be substituted for the training offered as long as the user has read and understands the ECF Procedures for the District of Colorado (Criminal) and the ECF User's Manual. Training on the State of Colorado's electronic filing system will not prepare you for the federal court ECF system. Classroom training for users will be provided to all interested attorneys and law firm staff. The court will provide classroom instruction and online training options. Due to class size limitation for classroom instruction, we request that either an attorney or a staff member attend, but not both. Users should visit the court's website at (click on Electronic Case Filing) to register for classroom instruction and/or complete the online training.


-Computer with 16 MB RAM
-Netscape 4.76, Internet Explorer 5.5, or Mozilla 1.0
-Internet Access
-Adobe Acrobat Reader 3.0 or higher (only allows viewing of documents).

- Computer with 64 MB RAM
- Netscape 6.0 or higher, Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher
- Broadband Internet Access
- For filing of documents: Adobe Acrobat Writer 4.0 or higher (or other software to convert documents to PDF format)
- Scanner

Must See Websites:

Questions or Concerns?

· Contact the court's ECF Help Desk toll free at 1 (866) 365-6381 or (303) 335-2050.
· Email the ECF Help Desk at

Need Help Getting Started?

· Read the "Getting Ready for Electronic Filing"
document on the court's website at (click on Electronic Case