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Friday, May 13, 2005

Members of the U.S. District Court Bar:

The U.S. District Court Clerk's Office wishes to bring several important matters to your attention.

1. The U.S. District Court judges have approved General Order 2005-10, In the Matter of the Amendment of the Local Rules of Practice Regarding Ethical Standards. The General Order can be found on the courts internet site at

2. CM/ECF Version 2.4 went into effect on April 16, 2005. Included in this version is a Written Opinions Report.

The E-Government Act of 2002 required federal courts to make written opinions available in a text-searchable format via their web sites by April 16, 2005. For the purposes of the E-Government Act, the Judicial Conference defined a written opinion as any document issued by a judge or judges of the court sitting in that capacity, that sets forth a reasoned explanation for a courts decision.

The Written Opinions Report is a free report that allows PACER users to search for these written opinions. To view the Written Opinions Report, log into CM/ECF using either your CM/ECF or PACER login and password. Click on Reports on the blue menu bar. Under Civil and Criminal Reports is the Written Opinions Report. Click on the Written Opinions Report and enter your search criteria, e.g., case number, date range, party name, etc. Only opinions entered on or after April 16, 2005, will be available on this report.

PACER users who access opinions via other reports and queries (e.g., the docket report) will not be billed for accessing the written opinion itself, but will be billed for the report or query used to identify the written opinion. For example, if a PACER user runs a docket report, the user will be charged for the docket report, as usual. If the user then clicks on the hyperlink for a written opinion within the docket report, the user will not be charged for viewing that opinion; no PACER billing receipt will appear on the screen since there is no charge. Further, viewing a document classified as a written opinion will not result in an entry in the Review Billing History Report. An entry will be made in the Billing Transaction log file with opinion in the description field and the number of pages in the page count field.

3. Also included in the new version of CM/ECF is a PDF header option that appears at the top of every page on a document viewed or printed in ECF. This header will appear in blue in the following format:

Case: 8:03-cv-00493-JFB-TDT Document #: 4 Date Filed: 11/24/2003 Page 1 of 2

If you print the document, the header prints on the top of each page. If you wish, you can turn off the PDF header option by doing the following:

While logged into CM/ECF, go to your individual user account. Go to Utilities on the blue menu bar. Click on Maintain Your Account. On the top right-hand portion of the screen, uncheck the Add Headers to PDF Documents box. Click on submit; click on submit again. Once the box is unchecked, the header option is turned off on all documents. To turn the header option back on, follow these same steps, but check the box before clicking on submit twice.

4. A new Motion to Redact event has been added to both the criminal and civil motion lists. This event should be used if a party is asking the court for permission to redact a previously-filed document. In the motion drop down menu, the moving party should choose redact.

If you have any questions about any of these matters, please do not hesitate to contact the Clerks Office at (402) 661-7350.

Thank you,
United States District Court Clerk's Office