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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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Hon. Michael McShane, Chief Judge

Melissa Aubin, Clerk of Court

Creating and Filing Documents

The standard format for electronically filed documents is Portable Document Format or PDF. At the time of filing, CM/ECF evaluates the document for compliance with PDF standards and will reject PDFs with the following content:

  • JavaScript
  • encryption
  • password protection
  • scripts that can launch an external application
  • internal attachments
  • embedded audio or video

CM/ECF will also reject

  • PDF files that are not compliant with PDF standards,
  • that were created with Mac OS X using a fillable form in a Safari browser, or
  • that were created with Mac OS X and MS Word with the option "best for printing" selected.

In addition to the above requirements, the District of Oregon prohibits unflattened fillable forms and requires that all PDF documents be text-searchable.

More information about creating, uploading, and viewing PDFs is available on the PACER website.

Creating Compliant PDF Documents

There are three primary methods for creating PDF documents: (1) saving a document as a PDF directly from the word processing program, (2) printing a document to PDF, or (3) scanning documents from paper into PDF. All PDF documents filed in CM/ECF are required to be text-searchable. LR 5-2(b).

Saving as PDF

Saving a document to PDF directly from your word-processing program is the preferred method of creating PDFs. Most PDFs created this way are optimized and meet text-searchable requirements.

Printing to PDF

In some instances, printing to PDF is preferable. This is the case for any PDF-fillable form or for any PDF or document that contains scripts or code. NOTE: If CM/ECF blocks a PDF from being uploaded, printing the file to PDF frequently solves the problem.

Scanning to PDF

Scanning a document creates an image, and, therefore, scanned documents are much larger than documents saved directly to PDF. In addition, an optical character recognition (OCR) program requirements.

PDF Fillable Forms

DO NOT upload a PDF fillable form to CM/ECF. Instead, print or flatten the fillable PDF before uploading it to CM/ECF so that the fields are removed.


PDF/A is an International Standards Organization (ISO) standard document format. PDF/A documents are self-contained and do not rely on or access information outside of the document itself to display the information contained within the document. Accordingly, the PDF document appears, and will continue to appear, identical to the document from which it was created, no matter where or when it is accessed. As a result, most PDF/A documents will have a slightly larger file size.

The District of Oregon does not require filings to be in PDF/A format at this time.

File Size Limits

PDF files that exceed 75 MB will not be accepted by CM/ECF. Files that exceed this limit must be broken down into smaller, separate files and uploaded as attachments to the main document.

Uploading Documents:

This is the document attachment screen, which is presented in all public-user events. image165
REMINDER: PDF Fillable Forms should be flattened prior to attachment, and pursuant to LR 5-2(b), all pleadings and documents, including attachments and exhibits, must be filed as text-searchable PDF files unless otherwise directed by the Court.
The main document should be the pleading. Click Choose File to locate the document for attachment. image168
A new window will open. Locate your pleading in the location where it has been saved. image172
Prior to attachment, it is recommended that the PDF be reviewed to ensure it is accurate and is the correct attachment. This can be done by right clicking on the PDF and selecting the Open option. The PDF will open on your screen for review. After confirming the PDF is correct, click the X in the upper right corner of the PDF to close it. image174
Make sure the correct document is highlighted, and then click Open in CM/ECF to continue with document attachment. image176
Attachments should also be uploaded at this time. Click Choose File to locate and confirm your attachment as indicated above. image179
Each attachment must be labeled with a Category from the drop-down menu or a Description in the free text field. It is not necessary to enter both a Category and Description. image182
The first attachment(s) should be any exhibit(s) to the pleading, such as the required state court pleadings for a Notice of Removal. The next attachment should be the Civil Cover Sheet (JS44) followed by individual summons(es) for issuance. Multiple summons(es) may be attached as a single PDF document. Civil Cover Sheet and Summons are selections available in the Category drop-down menu. image185
NOTE: Attaching a PDF to the Attachment 1 option causes the Attachment 2 option to appear. Repeat the attachment process as needed to attach all necessary documents.
When all documents have been added, click Next to continue. image188