Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Select from the categories below to view a list of the most common bankruptcy questions. If you have a question that isn't addressed from the list of FAQs, please contact us.

  • General

    What is the Bankruptcy Code?

    Created in 1979, the Bankruptcy Code provides help for businesses or persons in financial difficulty in the form of bankruptcy chapters. Chapter 7, 11 and 13 bankruptcies are the most commonly filed chapters. The Bankruptcy Code is available at legal libraries.

    What is the difference between bankruptcy chapters (7, 11, 13)?

    Chapter 7

    Often called the 'liquidation chapter,' Chapter 7 is used by individuals, partnerships, or corporations who have no hope for repairing their financial situation. In Chapter 7, the debtor's estate is liquidated under the rules of the Bankruptcy Code. Liquidation is the process through which the debtor's non-exempt property is sold for cash by a trustee and the cash is distributed to creditors.

    Chapter 11

    Often called the 'reorganization chapter,' Chapter 11 allows corporations, partnerships, and individuals to reorganize, without having to liquidate all assets. In filing a Chapter 11, the debtor presents a plan to creditors which, if accepted by the creditors and approved by the Court, will allow the debtor to reorganize personal, financial or business affairs and again become a financially productive individual or business.

    Chapter 13

    An individual with a regular income who is overcome by debts, but believes such debt can be repaid within a reasonable period of time, may file under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 13 permits the debtor to file a plan in which the debtor agrees to pay a certain percentage of future income to the Bankruptcy Court for payment to creditors. If the Court approves the plan, the debtor will be under the Court's protection while repaying such debts.

    What is a Motion?

    A motion is a written formal statement in which the party who is requesting an action, the Movant, sets forth his grounds for the action requested. The party against whom the action is requested is the respondent. Hiring a competent attorney is highly recommended.

    What is an Adversary Proceeding?

    An adversary proceeding is a lawsuit arising in or related to a bankruptcy case, filed by a party called a plaintiff” against a party called a “defendant.” Adversary proceedings are initiated by filing a document called a “complaint” with the court to resolve both federal and state law issues. Certain types of disputes cannot be handled by motion in the bankruptcy case, but instead require the commencement of an adversary proceeding. Federal Bankruptcy Rule 7001 lists certain types of actions that require an adversary proceeding. Adversary proceedings are governed for the most part by Part VII of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.

    See also Adversary Proceeding Filing Requirements.

    What is a Reaffirmation Agreement?

    A reaffirmation agreement is an agreement by a debtor to continue paying a dischargeable debt (such as an auto loan) after bankruptcy, usually for the purpose of keeping collateral (i.e. the car) that would otherwise be subject to repossession.

    What is the function of the U.S. Trustee?

    The Office of the U.S. Trustee is an Executive Branch agency that is part of the Department of Justice. Its responsibilities include monitoring the administration of bankruptcy cases and detecting bankruptcy fraud. It is also responsible for appointing interim trustees to administer Chapter 7 cases from a previously appointed panel of private individuals, lending support to and overseeing the Debtor-in-Possession in Chapter 11 cases, and appointing a standing trustee in Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 cases.

    If you wish additional information regarding either the trustee program in general or individual , visit the U.S. Trustee Website (external link) or call:

    For cases filed in Las Vegas: (702) 388-6600
    For cases filed in Reno: (775) 784-5335

    You may also visit our Trustees page for additional information such as Monthly Operating Reports, and listings of District of Nevada Trustees.

    How do I find out who the trustee is in a case?

    There are several ways in which to obtain trustee information on a case:

    Court Documents

    For Chapter 7, 12 or 13 bankruptcy cases, this information can be found on the Notice of Chapter Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of Creditors and Deadlines that is sent out when a case is commenced.

    Voice Case Information System (VCIS)

    VCIS allows callers to access case information, free of charge 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from any touch tone telephone. VCIS is available at both offices.

    • VCIS Phone: 1-866-222-8029

    Visit or Contact the Clerk's Office

    You are welcome to visit or call one of the Clerk's Offices below during the court's hours of operation.

    Las Vegas

    300 Las Vegas Blvd., South
    7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Phone:(702) 527-7000

    Reno

    300 Booth Street
    7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Phone: (775) 326-2100

    PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records)

    A web based system that allows anyone with internet access and a PACER login to access court records via the Internet. Beginning in 1989, dockets may include images of documents filed. These documents may be viewed, downloaded and printed from your computer.

    What does the case number tell me?

    A bankruptcy case number consists of the year of filing, the location where the case was filed (1 or 2 for Las Vegas, 3 for Reno cases filed prior to January 1, 2002, 5 for Reno cases filed since January 1, 2002) and four additional digits, and the initials of the judge assigned to the case.

    Example:

    BK-S 98-20180-lbr is a case filed in Las Vegas in 1998, followed by the five-digit case number, assigned to the Honorable Linda B. Riegle.

    BK-S 04-12345-bam is a case filed in Las Vegas in 2004, followed by the five digit case number, assigned to the Honorable Bruce A. Markell

    BK-N 98-30054-gwz is a case filed in Reno in 1998, followed by the five-digit case number, assigned to the Honorable Gregg W. Zive.

    BK-N 02-50001-gwz is a case filed in Reno in 2002, followed by the five-digit case number, assigned to the Honorable Gregg W. Zive.

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    What are the federal holidays?

    The Las Vegas and Reno courts are closed on federal holidays. Visit the Federal Holidays page to see the closure dates for this year.

    Who do I notify about a possible fraudulent filing?

    In order to expedite the handling of complaints of criminal violations in the bankruptcy system, the United States Trustee requires that your complaint be submitted in a signed letter, bearing your return address and telephone number to:

    Fraudulent Filing Notification Addresses

    For cases filed in Las Vegas

    Office of the United States Trustee
    Special Investigations Unit

    300 Las Vegas Blvd. South,
    Suite 4300
    Las Vegas, Nevada 89101

    For cases filed in Reno

    Office of the United States Trustee
    Special Investigations Unit

    300 Booth Street,
    Suite 2129
    Reno, Nevada 89509

    Upon receipt, your complaint will be reviewed promptly. If the information furnished establishes a reasonable belief that a criminal violation has occurred, the matter will be referred to the United States Attorney. If the United States Attorney deems the matter to hold prosecutorial merit, it will be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation. A clearly written statement containing copies of any available documentation will expedite this process.

    Submit the following information:

    • The bankruptcy case name and file number, together with copies of any pertinent court filings.
    • A chronological summary of the matter.
    • A narrative of what occurred.
    • Names, addresses and telephone numbers (to the extent available) of the subjects and witnesses known to you.

    Once a bankruptcy petition is filed, all information submitted regarding the debtor or entity becomes a matter of public record, no matter what the outcome of the case. This information, which is regularly checked by credit companies, may affect the debtor's or entity's credit rating.

    What if the case I'm interested in has been archived?

    To retrieve case information or copies of documents from the Federal Records Center, you must obtain the following items from the Clerk's Office at which the bankruptcy was filed:

    • Accession Number
    • Location Number
    • Box Number

    You may obtain this information in person, by phone, or by writing to the Bankruptcy Clerk at the office where the petition was filed. A $53.00 fee is required for retrieval of the file.

    For written requests, there is a $30.00 per document search fee in the form of either a bank cashier's check, a U.S. Postal money order or a personal check made payable to: United States Bankruptcy Court. Personal checks will not be accepted from Debtors or Debtors in possession. Please include the following with your request:

    • Case name
    • Case number
    • Filing date
    • The title of the specific documents requested
    • Your name
    • Your address
    • Your daytime telephone number
    What if I don’t agree with an order in the case?

    A Notice of Appeal may be filed after an Order or Judgment has been entered in a case. In a Notice of Appeal, the party filing the appeal, the appellant, wishes to reverse the Order or Judgment granted in favor of the other party, the appellee. When an Appeal is filed in the District of Nevada, the matter is referred to the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP). The filing fee for a Notice of Appeal is $298.00.

    Under 28 U.S.C. § 158, the circuit court may accept a direct appeal if the appropriate court or party certifies that direct appeal is necessary to resolve a matter of first impression, conflicting decisions, or public importance.

    How do I obtain a copy of a court hearing recording?

    Digital Copies of digital audio recorded court hearings may now be obtained on a compact disc (CD) with the data playable on a computer. Your computer must have a CD drive, a sound card, and Internet access.

    When you order a copy of a court record in CD format, you will be provided with instructions on how to download free software from the Internet which will enable your computer to play the digital audio recording of the requested court hearing.

    Up to eight hours of a hearing held on one date can be provided on one CD. The cost of one CD is $30.00 due at time of order. Additional copies are $30 per copy.

    For additional information on how to order a CD digital audio recording, you may call the Electronic Court Recording Department at one of the following numbers (based on the location where the case is filed):

    • Las Vegas Phone: (702) 527-7159
    • Reno Phone: (775) 326-2103

    You may also download and complete one of the following order forms (based on the location where the case is filed) and submit:

    How do I obtain certified copies of documents?

    Visit the Clerk’s Office

    A certification fee of $11.00 per document is required plus a copy fee of $.50 cents per page. Payment may be in the form of a bank cashier's check, a U.S. Postal money order, or a personal check made payable to: Clerk, United States Bankruptcy Court, or cash. If payment is by cash, exact change is required. Personal checks will not be accepted from debtors or debtors in possession.

    Certified copies by mail

    To obtain copies by mail, provide a written request which contains the following:

    • Case number
    • Debtor’s name
    • Precisely which documents are to be copied and certified
    • Include a $30.00 search fee per item, a $11.00 certification fee per item to be certified, and $.50 cents per page

    Payment may be in the form of a bank cashier's check, a U.S. Postal money order, or a personal check made payable to: Clerk, United States Bankruptcy Court. Personal checks will not be accepted from debtors or debtors in possession.

    How do I obtain copies of documents?

    Visit the Clerk’s Office

    The Clerk’s office will make up to 10 copies for a fee of $.50 cents per page from paper files. Payment may be in the form of a bank cashier's check, a U.S. Postal money order, or a personal check made payable to: Clerk, United States Bankruptcy Court, or cash. If payment is by cash, exact change is required. Personal checks will not be accepted from individual debtors or debtors in possession. Copies of documents filed in electronic files (2002 cases and forward) can be printed from computer terminals in the Clerk's office for $.10 per page.

    PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records)

    A web based system that allows anyone with internet access and a PACER login to access court records via the Internet. Beginning in 1989, dockets may include images of documents filed. These documents may be viewed, downloaded and printed from your computer.

    Mega Cases

    You may request information from copy vendors on some mega cases. To access which copy service to contact, locate the case in which you are inquiring about from the list of mega cases and then see information on copy service.

    Copies by mail

    To obtain copies by mail, provide a written request which contains the following:

    • Case number
    • Debtor’s name
    • Precisely which documents are to be copied
    • Include a $30.00 search fee, per item to be searched
    • and a self-addressed, stamped envelope

    Payment may be in the form of a bank cashier's check, a U.S. Postal money order, or a personal check made payable to: Clerk, United States Bankruptcy Court. Personal checks will not be accepted from debtors or debtors in possession. Upon receipt of request, the clerk will advise the requestor of the number of pages to be copied and the appropriate fee ($.50 cents per page) Once the copy fees are received, copies will be made and mailed.

    Is there a court document which provides procedural information?

    Download the complete set of Local Rules in pdf format. The Local Rules govern cases and proceedings before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada.

    How do I obtain information (such as debtor’s name, attorney, case number, judge assigned to the case and the status) on a case?

    Voice Case Information System (VCIS):

    VCIS allows callers to access case information, free of charge 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from any touch tone telephone. VCIS is available at both offices.

    • VCIS Phone: 1-866-222-8029

    Computer/Internet Access (PACER)

    Electronic case summaries and docket information may be retrieved using a computer via the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system (PACER). Please click here for PACER registration information (external link) or call (800) 676-6856. All registered agencies or individuals will be charged $.10 per page with a maximum charge of $3.00. NOTE: PACER users who do not accrue charges of more than $15.00 in a quarterly billing cycle will not be charged a fee. Transcripts of federal court proceedings are not subject to the 30 page fee limit.

    Scanned images of documents shown on docket entries in cases filed on or after January 1, 1998 are also available through this web site. However, there may be instances where not all docket entries will have attached images of documents.

    In Person

    For more detailed information, bankruptcy documents may be viewed in person or retrieved for copying from the Clerk's Office at which the case was filed. Cases which have been closed six months or longer may be archived at the Federal Records Centers in California. To determine if a case has been archived, contact the appropriate Clerk's Office:

    • Las Vegas: (702) 527-7000
    • Reno: (775) 326-2100

    In order to view or retrieve bankruptcy documents, you must have the bankruptcy case number or debtor's name.

    What forms of payment are accepted by the court?

    Payment from debtors may be in the form of a bank cashier’s check, a money order, or cash. If payment is by cash, exact change is required. Personal checks and credit cards will not be accepted from individual debtors or debtors in possession.

  • Debtors / Attorneys

    How do I get admitted to practice in the bankruptcy court? (Attorney)

    You may contact the United States District Court at the following telephone numbers for information on admission eligibility and procedures:

    Las Vegas Phone: (702) 464-5400
    Reno Phone: (775) 686-5800

    If I file for bankruptcy, will it stop an eviction?

    The Clerk's Office is prohibited by federal statute from providing legal advice. If you have any questions on how a bankruptcy filing affects enforcement of an eviction proceeding, please contact your local constable’s office, county sheriff’s office, or your legal advisor.

    What are the consequences of filing for bankruptcy?

    Depending on a debtor's financial situation and reasons for filing, the consequences of filing for bankruptcy protection may outweigh the benefits. Those considering bankruptcy should be aware of the following:

    Filing for bankruptcy protection is not free. Please refer to the Fee Schedule.

    Not all debts are dischargeable.

    Example: Secured creditors retain some rights which may permit them to seize property, even after a discharge is granted. Spousal and child support obligations and most tax debts are not dischargeable.

    Within 14 days of the filing of a bankruptcy petition, schedules of the debtor's assets and liabilities must be filed. Failure to timely file the appropriate schedules may result in dismissal of the bankruptcy and the barring of the debtor from filing again for 180 days (six months). 11 U.S.C. § 521 mandates that a chapter 7 or chapter 13 case “shall be automatically dismissed effective on the 46th day after the date of filing of the petition” if the debtor fails to file “all information required by 11 U.S.C. 521(a)(1)” within 45 days of filing.

    If a case is not dismissed and a discharge is entered by the court, the debtor is prohibited from being granted another discharge in chapters 7 and 11 within six years.

    Fraudulent information or acts by the debtor are grounds for denial of a discharge and may be punishable as a criminal offense.

    Where can I find information on filing for bankruptcy without an attorney?

    Please read, Filing for Bankruptcy without an Attorney (external link) available on the U.S. Courts website or visit our section, Filing Without an Attorney (Pro Se) for information on legal services, where to file, and what to do before and after you file.

    What is a bankruptcy petition?

    A bankruptcy petition is a document filed by the debtor (in a voluntary case) or by creditors (in an involuntary case) which opens the bankruptcy case. It is required at the time of filing. The form is Official Form B 1: Voluntary Petition.

    A joint petition is one bankruptcy petition filed by a husband and wife together.

    Where do I file?

    The Court has two offices located in the District of Nevada. The specific location for filing or reviewing bankruptcy petitions is determined by the county in which the debtor’s address is located. Review the table below to identify the filing office for your bankruptcy case.

    Debtor Address Location Filing Office
    Clark, Esmeralda, Lincoln and Nye Counties U.S. Bankruptcy Court
    District of Nevada

    300 Las Vegas Blvd. South
    Las Vegas, NV 89101
    Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lyon, Mineral, Pershing, Storey, Washoe and White Pine Counties United States Bankruptcy Court
    District of Nevada

    300 Booth Street
    Reno, NV 89509
    What are the filing requirements?

    Filing Fees & Requirements may be obtained from this website. For information on Credit Counseling and Means Test, visit the U.S. Trustee website (external link).

    What if I have an emergency filing after hours?

    The Court's normal operating hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. In emergency situations, filings may be accepted at other times; however, a pre- approved appointment must be arranged. Contact the appropriate Intake office below during operating hours to arrange for an emergency filing:

    Las Vegas Phone: (702) 527-7000 or (702) 527-7122
    Reno Phone: (775) 326-2100 or (775) 326-2106

    Where do I get a copy of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (Bankruptcy Rules)?

    A copy of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (Bankruptcy Rules) is available for review in any Clerk’s Office location and in legal libraries. Bankruptcy Rules are not available for purchase from the Court.

    You may also review the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.

    Where do I get a copy of the Local Rules?

    From the publisher

    To obtain a copy of the Local Rules from the publisher, contact:

    Lexis/Nexis – Matthew Bender Publishing
    Phone: (800) 833-9844, Option 5

    Note: there is a fee for this publication.

    Our Website

    You may also obtain a copy of the Local Rules in pdf format from our website at no charge.

    What is a Creditor Mailing Matrix?

    A Creditor Mailing Matrix is a list of the names and current addresses of all creditors and other parties that should have notice of a bankruptcy. It is prepared by a debtor and must be filed at the same time the bankruptcy petition is filed. As a debtor, it is your responsibility to ensure you have listed current, valid addresses for your creditors. If mail sent by you or the Clerk’s Office regarding your bankruptcy comes back as "undeliverable," it is your responsibility to try to find a valid address for the creditor and notify the Clerk’s Office of the valid address.

    Additionally, if you obtain a different address for a creditor after you file your bankruptcy, you must notify the Clerk’s Office in writing of the new address.

    Creditor Matrix Example

    Do I need to send a copy of a petition to anyone else?

    It is your responsibility to make the determination as to whom you should send a copy of the petition.

    How many copies do I need to file at the court?

    To determine the number of copies you will need to file, please refer to our Pleadings page which indicate the number of copies to file based on document type and filing location.

    How do I obtain a hearing date?

    Court Calendars and Self-Calendaring Dates are available on our website. You may request a hearing date and time online to request other types of hearings that are not listed on the Self-Calendaring Dates page or to request a hearing for Reno.

    You may also obtain dates at the Intake counter when you bring your document in for filing (unless the document is being filed electronically).

    What is a 341(a) meeting?

    A 341(a) meeting is presided over by the trustee assigned to the bankruptcy case and is considered a meeting of creditors. This meeting is held approximately 40 days after the new petition is filed. A debtor is required to appear and testify under oath and to be questioned by the trustee or creditors about his/her assets/liabilities. Failure to appear may result in dismissal of the case. If a continuance or change in the hearing date, time, or location is sought, the trustee assigned to the case must be contacted. Such requests are not filed with the court.

    What is an ex-parte matter and how do I file for it?

    An ex-parte matter is one which requires no notice to other parties. Ex-Parte relief is usually granted only under emergency circumstances, or is limited to setting a hearing with limited notice or sooner than it would ordinarily be heard. To file an ex-parte matter, the original and a copy of the motion must be filed with the Clerk's Office. Hiring a competent attorney is highly recommended.

    I received a notice that I have a deficient pleading. What does that mean?

    Pleadings are considered deficient if they are:

    • Not in compliance with the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (F.R.B.P.) and the Local Rules.
    • Submitted to the wrong court.
    • Submitted with insufficient funds or paid in a method not accepted by the Court (personal checks from debtor's are not accepted, payment must be made by Money Order, Cashier's Check or Cash)
    What is a bankruptcy discharge?

    Under the federal bankruptcy statute, a discharge is a release of the debtor from personal liability for certain specified types of debts. In other words, the debtor is no longer required by law to pay any debts that are discharged. The discharge operates as a permanent order directed to the creditors of the debtor that they refrain from taking any form of collection action on discharged debts, including legal action and communications with the debtor, such as telephone calls, letters, and personal contacts.

    Although a debtor is relieved of personal liability for all debts that are discharged, a valid lien (i.e., a charge upon specific property to secure payment of a debt) that has not been avoided (i.e., made unenforceable) in the bankruptcy case will remain after the bankruptcy case. Therefore, a secured creditor may enforce the lien to recover the property secured by the lien.

    For more information about discharges and how it varies depending on the type of case a debtor files, please read Discharge in Bankruptcy (external link) on the U.S. Courts website.

    How do I get a bankruptcy removed from my credit report?

    The Bankruptcy Court has no jurisdiction over credit reporting agencies. The Fair Credit Reporting Act, 6 U.S.C. Section 605, is the law that controls credit reporting agencies. The law states that credit reporting agencies may not report a bankruptcy case on a person's credit report after ten years from the date the bankruptcy case is filed. Other bad credit information is removed after seven years. The larger credit reporting agencies belong to an organization called the Associated Credit Bureaus. The policy of the Associated Credit Bureaus is to remove chapter 11 and chapter 13 cases from the credit report after seven years to encourage debtors to file under these chapters.

    You may contact the Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection (external link) in Washington, D.C. by calling (202) 326-2222. This office can provide further information on reestablishing credit and addressing credit problems. For information on credit practices, contact (202) 326-3224.

  • Creditors

    A company has filed for bankruptcy and owes us money. What do we do?

    If you have been listed as a creditor in a bankruptcy case, you may download and complete a Proof of Claim form or request a hard copy of the claim form by mail or by visiting any Clerk's Office location. You may then mail or bring it in to our office location where the case is associated.

    For Chapter 7, 11, and 12 petitions, an original claim and a copy of any documentation supporting your claim should be filed.

    For Chapter 13 petitions, an original claim and one copy, along with any documentation supporting your claim should be filed.

    If you would like a confirmed copy returned to you, please enclose an extra copy and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Creditors who file 10 or more Proofs of Claim per year in the District of Nevada must file electronically. A CM/ECF Limited Use Registration form is available on our web site.

    District of Nevada Local Rule 3002 requires the creditor to serve a copy of a proof of claim upon the debtor, if the debtor is not represented by an attorney. The debtor’s address can be found on the Notice of Chapter __ Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of Creditors, and Deadlines.

    What do I do with documents/notices I am receiving from the court? I don't understand why I'm receiving these.

    Debtors should list everyone they owe money to at the time of filing. If the debtor is unsure whether or not money is still owed to a creditor, the debtor may list the creditor as a precautionary measure. If as the creditor listed in the documentation, you are sure that you do not know the person/entity named as the debtor, you are free to recycle or destroy the documents/notices as you see fit.

    You may also send the court a copy of the notice along with a signed and dated request to be removed from the case mailing list. Contact the debtor's attorney to understand why you were listed by the debtor.

    What is the Automatic Stay?

    The automatic stay is an automatic injunction that restrains creditors from taking certain actions against a debtor who has declared bankruptcy. Under Section 362 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. § 362, most proceedings against the debtor are stayed once the bankruptcy petition is filed. The creditor is not permitted to begin or continue any efforts to collect the debt owed by the person or entity who has filed bankruptcy.

    The filing of a petition under Chapter 7 "automatically stays" most actions against the debtor or the debtor's property.

    How do I file for Relief from the Automatic Stay?

    In order for a party to continue a proceeding against the debtor that has been stayed because of the filing of the bankruptcy and the automatic stay; he/she must file a Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay with the Bankruptcy Court, or a Stipulation for Relief from the Automatic Stay.

    Hiring a competent attorney for assistance is highly recommended.

    A Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay is commenced by the filing of a motion. Each motion shall be supported by all documents which assert a valid perfected security interest and all documents which support an assertion of lack of adequate protection or of equity in that property. District of Nevada Local Rule 9004(g) requires a §362 Information Cover Sheet attached to a Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay.

    The filing fee for a Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay is $176.00. An original and two copies of the Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay are required upon filing.

    What is the procedure for obtaining default judgments?

    The procedure for obtaining default judgments may be accessed by clicking on the following link, Obtaining Default Judgments.

  • Case Management (CM) / Electronic Case Filing (ECF)

    What are the benefits of using the CM/ECF system to file electronically?
    • The system is easy to use
    • 24-hour availability
    • Instant filing of documents - No more waiting in line or checking to see when it was docketed
    • Automatic e-mail confirmation for filers
    • Ability to have e-mail notification for case activity
    • View, save or print documents - no more copy requests
    • View and print docket sheets, claims registers and reports
    • Reduces paper, copying and mailing costs
    • Multiple parties can access information simultaneously
    • Secure and reliable
    How do I obtain a login?

    In order to file documents electronically and receive a login, you must obtain training and be registered with the court. To complete this requirement, register for training in Las Vegas or Reno.

    If you already have a login and can't remember your username and password, contact the CM/ECF Helpdesk.

    CM/ECF Helpdesk Phone: (866) 232-1266

    Which login should I use? CM/ECF or PACER?

    Users who wish to file electronically should use the CM/ECF login. Users must login with an ECF login and password. To obtain a login and password, visit our training/registration information.

    Users who wish to view case information and documents should use the PACER login which will access CM/ECF. Users must login with a PACER login. To learn more about PACER and how to obtain a PACER login, visit PACER information.

    Note: When logging in you will use the same location https://ecf.nvb.uscourts.gov (external link), but different logins depending on what you are wanting to do.

    What are the hardware and software requirements for using the CM/ECF system?

    Visit Hardware/Software Requirements in our Training section to ensure your system is compatible for using CM/ECF.

    What is the maximum file upload size in ECF?

    The maximum file size for uploading to ECF is 4 megabytes (MB).

    How do I convert a Creditor Matrix to a text (.txt) file?

    A creditor matrix contains each creditor's name and mailing address. This information is used for noticing and also for claims information when applicable. The creditor matrix must be in an ASCII file format with an appropriate text extension such as .txt before it can be successfully uploaded into the CM/ECF system.

    Creditor Matrix Example

    Suggested Creditor Matrix Specifications:

    • The name and address of each creditor must be five (5) lines or less
    • Each line may contain no more than 50 characters including blanks.
    • Names and addresses should be left justified (flush against the left margin, no leading blanks)
    • Account numbers or "attention" lines should be placed on the second line of the name/address.
    • City, State and ZIP code must be on the last line.
    • Nine digit ZIP codes must be typed with a hyphen separating the two groups of digits.
    • All states must be two-letter abbreviations.
    • Each creditor must be separated by at least one blank line.
    • Do not include page numbers, headers, footers, etc.

    Supported Embedded Fonts:

    • Courier (Regular, Bold, Oblique, and Bold Oblique)
    • Helvetica (Regular, Bold, Oblique, and Bold Oblique) (Acrobat 3 and 4 only)
    • Arial (Regular, Bold, Italic, and Bold Italic) (Acrobat 5 and 6 only)
    • Times (Roman, Bold, Italic, and Bold Italic)

    Note: If creating the matrix from within a word processor, such as WordPerfect or MS Word, you must follow these specific directions to save the file as an ASCII text file:

    WordPerfect:

    1. Click on File, then Save As.
    2. Change the File Type to ASCII Dos Text.
    3. Name the file.
    4. Click on Save.

    MS Word:

    1. Click on File, then Save As.
    2. Change the "Save as Type" to MS-Dos Text.
    3. Name the file.
    4. Click Save.

    This procedure will save the file with the name given, adding a .txt extension to the file name.

    How do I set up my computer for optimum security?

    When connecting to the internet, your computers and networks become open to intruders and virus attacks. The following are suggested methods for maintaining security.

    Anti-Virus Software

    It is always recommended that you have an up to date anti-virus software installed on each computer in your network. Most anti-virus software today has an automatic update feature that will contact a website and download the latest anti-virus updates as they come out. This is a necessary feature due to the overwhelming number of viruses that are created and released each day. The most well-known and effective anti-virus software available are Norton® software and McAfee® software. Both choices have the automatic update feature. (Always remember to install your anti-virus software last. When installing new programs, disable or un-install your anti-virus software, install your new programs, then re-enable or re-install the anti-virus software.)

    Set up a Firewall

    The fire wall will prevent hackers and many viruses from entering your network by blocking hidden access points called ports. There are two types of Firewalls - Software and Hardware.

    Software Firewall

    ($30-$70 per computer)
    Stops intruders from entering a computer. This is a cheap fix for small networks. It must be installed on each computer in the network and the price for licence's and add up quickly for larger networks.

    Windows XP comes with a built-in firewall software which works pretty well.

    Norton Firewall can be purchased for other operating systems and is one of the best on the market. See - http://us.norton.com (external link), www.symantec.com/product/ (external link) or http://www.mcafee.com/us/products-solutions.aspx#/enterprise/ (external link)

    Hardware Firewall

    ($60-$1600 Try eBay)
    Much more expensive and far more effective. One hardware firewall will protect an entire network. It will prevent an attacker before he can see your computers. See - www.firewallguide.com/hardware.htm (external link)

    Other Options

    ($40-$1000 Older/Used routers are much cheaper, try eBay. Verify that they have NAT or PAT before purchasing.) For Cable, DSL, and other high speed internet connections; Many home and small business routers have Network Address Translation (NAT) or Port Address Translation (PAT). These protocols can be configured to allow your computers to connect to the internet through a single Static IP address. Attackers will be able to see your router but not see your network. Routers are not known to get viruses and can be locked with passwords to prevent attacks.

    Useful Information

    AOL® is the largest internet service provider and provides a huge target for hackers and viruses. Dial-up connections are slow and least likely to be hacked, but still open to virus attacks.

    Windows XP is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. Norton is a registered trademark of Symantec Corporation in the United States and other countries. McAfee is a registered trademark or trademark of McAfee, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. AOL® is a registered trademark of AOL LLC.

    What are some keyboard shortcuts I may use in ECF?

    You may use the following keyboard shortcuts within the ECF system:

    • Ctrl+p - to print
    • Ctrl+c - to copy
    • Ctrl+v - to paste
    • Ctrl+a - tp select all
    • Ctrl+q - to quit
    • Ctrl+z - to undo previous step
    What are the scanning guidelines for ECF?

    The guidelines below will help to minimize file size & save storage, upload and review time for CM/ECF files.

    It is critical for fast and efficient use of CM/ECF that the software used for scanning documents is configured correctly. Essentially, the consequence of a poor or incorrect setup is a significantly increased file size that can be up to 20 to 40 times the size of a correctly scanned document. This enlarged file size can cause:

    • Vastly increased file storage requirements at the user's PC as well at the Bankruptcy Court's server, together with a general slowness in handling these files.
    • Vastly increased network traffic both locally and through the user's Internet Service Provider (ISP) resulting in long file-upload times. The communications network may time out if the files exceed the recommended size.
    • A very slow response time from CM/ECF as the user attempts to upload a large file. This may result in file rejection or a delay in obtaining a confirmation of successful receipt.
    • A very slow download and/or file opening when attempting to read large files already uploaded into CM/ECF.

    Follow these steps and checks to ensure correct scanner software settings:

    • Resolution should be set to 200 dpi, or a maximum 300 dpi.
    • Image type should be set to black and white drawing (NOT gray scale, NOT color).
    • Scanned image output or "save as" format should be TIF (ideally compressed CCITT4). Check your scanner software manual for information on how to set output type.

    A simple test scan should be made and the file converted to PDF for upload to CM/ECF. This PDF conversion can be done using one of several software packages but a good example is Adobe Acrobat 5.0 (the full package; not just the Reader). Simply drag the scanned file onto the Acrobat Icon and conversion is automatic. This conversion should not significantly increase the file size.

    To verify the file size:

    1. Find the file through Windows Explorer
    2. Left-click the icon of the file once to highlight it
    3. Right-click and select Properties. The file size will be listed.
    4. If your document is mostly text, it should be no larger than approximately 50KB per page. At most a very detailed page with graphics should be no larger than approximately 200KB per page.

    PRINT THIS PAGE AND SCAN IT AS A TEST!

    At 200 dpi this single page scans and converts to a 35KB PDF file
    At 300 dpi this single page scans and converts to a 52KB PDF file

    What are the suggested browser settings for ECF?

    Below are the suggested browser settings for Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator.

    Internet Explorer®

    The first setting to check is how often it looks for updated pages from the server.

    1. Open Internet Explorer
    2. Select Tools > Internet Options
    3. From the General tab, select Settings... In the middle of the screen, under Temporary Internet Files
    4. Check "Every visit to the page", then press OK
      Settings Screen in Internet Explorer


    Second thing is to remove all temporary files that have been stored to your local computer while in ecf.

    1. Select Tools > Internet Options
    2. From the General tab, select Delete Files... In the middle of the screen, under Temporary Internet Files
    3. Check the box "Delete all offline content", then press OKImage for the Delete Files popup in Internet Explorer


    Third, change the setting that will automatically remove those temporary files every time you close your browser. This will help maintain optimum performance from your system.

    1. Select Tools > Internet Options
    2. Select the Advanced tab
    3. Scroll down to the Security section and check the box, "Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when browser is closed", then press OKImage for Internet Options box in Internet Explorer

    Netscape Navigator™

    The first setting to check is how often it looks for updated pages from the server.

    1. Open Netscape
    2. Select Edit > Preferences
    3. Click on the arrow next to Advanced to expand the list (If expanded, you should see the screen below.)
    4. Select Cache
    5. Check "Every time I view the page", under Compare the page in the cache to the page on the network. Click OK.
      Image of Preferences page in Netscape Navigator

    Second thing is to remove all temporary files that have been stored to your local computer while in ecf.

    1. Select Edit > Preferences
    2. Click on the arrow next to Advanced to expand the list.
    3. Select Cache
    4. Select Clear Cache and OK when completed

    Note: Clearing the Cache is recommended on a routine basis. This will help your system to maintain optimum speed.

    Internet Explorer is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Netscape Navigator™ is a trademark of Netscape Communications.

    How do I access audio files that have been docketed?

    In CM/ECF, designated audio files of hearings and matters heard by the judges will be available on the docket. When the docket entry is created by the court for a selected hearing, a speaker icon will display on the docket report indicating that embedded audio content (in MP3 format) is available.

    Visit Listening to CM/ECF Audio Files for instructions on how to access the file.

    What if the addresses on the Creditor Mailing Matrix and the Proof of Claim don't match?

    Effective June 1, 2009 the Clerk’s office will no longer update the Creditor Mailing Matrix to add any creditor’s address(es) that are reflected on a proof of claim and are not on the debtor’s mailing matrix, i.e, new, mailing and/or payment addresses.

    Parties should be aware when noticing, to check both the Claims Register and Creditor Mailing Matrix for all address information.

    To make changes to your address or update an existing address on the Creditor Mailing Matrix, please visit our website for the appropriate bankruptcy forms.

    If you have any questions, please contact our CM/ECF Help Desk at 1-866-232-1266.

    I am having problems viewing Adobe® Acrobat® files or when I open a PDF file that states, 'DONE', nothing appears on the screen.

    Adobe Acrobat (ver. 6 or later) has changed the format for which they save files. When a file is saved, version information is now stored, which causes parties that have versions prior to this unable to open them.

    Ex: Users with version 6, can view files stored as version 6, but users with version 4, are not able to view documents stored in version 6.

    Note: To check the version of Adobe you are using:

    1. Open Adobe
    2. Select Help
    3. Select About Adobe (the version information should be displayed on this screen)

    To resolve the problem, change the settings below to allow Adobe to save the file in a format that is backwards compatible.

    For Windows XP:

    1. Select Start
    2. Select Printers and Faxes
    3. Highlight Adobe PDF and right click
    4. Select Printing Preferences
    5. Select Adobe PDF Settings tab
    6. Choose Edit, beside the Adobe PDF Conversion Settings (Default Setting: Standard)

      Set the Compatibility equal to Acrobat 5.0. Most users should be on Adobe Acrobat 5.0 or greater at this time.

    Adobe and Acrobat are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated.

  • Transcripts

    Will anyone be able to obtain a copy of the transcript during the initial 90 calendar day period after the certified transcript copy has been filed with the clerk’s office?

    Yes, any counsel, party, or member of the public wanting a copy of a transcript during the 90 calendar day period will be able to purchase a copy from the court reporter or transcriber at the rate established by the Judicial Conference.

    Will counsel, a party, or the public be able to review the transcript during the 90 calendar day period?

    Yes, the transcript on the CM/ECF system will be available for review and inspection at the court’s public terminal during the 90 calendar day period. However, the clerk’s office will not provide copies to counsel, a party or the public during the 90 calendar day period, but rather will refer anyone who wants a copy to the transcriber.

    In addition, an attorney in a case who has received a transcript from the court reporter or transcriber will be given access to the transcript through the CM/ECF system. Counsel of record in a case who has not purchased a copy of the transcript from the court reporter or transcriber will not have access to the transcript through CM/ECF until they purchase it from the court reporter or transcriber or until the 90 calendar day period has expired.

    Once the certified copy of the transcript is filed with the clerk’s office, may court reporters or transcribers sell copies to other parties requesting transcripts?

    Yes, nothing in the new policies restrict counsel, parties, or the public from requesting copies of a transcript from a court reporter or transcriber during or after the 90 calendar day period.

    How will a court reporter or transcriber know when to redact a transcript?

    Any transcript redaction request must be requested by a party in the case by filing a Request for Redaction with the court and submitting the request on the transcript company within 21 calendar days of the initial filing of the transcript with the clerk’s office. The Request for Redaction must specify the personal data identifiers to be redacted, noting the page and line numbers where the redaction is required.

    What are the personal identifiers that a party may request to be redacted?

    The redaction of the following personal identifiers should be requested from counsel:

    • Social Security or Taxpayer Identification numbers redacted to the last four (4) digits;
    • Financial account numbers redacted to the last four (4) digits;
    • Dates of birth redacted to the year; and
    • Names of minor children redacted to initials.
    May parties move to redact other information in a transcript other than the specified identifiers?

    Yes. While court reporters or transcribers are authorized to redact the specific personal identifiers noted in number 5 above, counsel may move the court by separate motion. A ruling from the court is required before other information in the transcript may be redacted.

    When a court reporter or transcriber electronically files a certified copy of the transcript with the clerk’s office, they also send the transcript to the ordering party. If a transcript is requested to be redacted, the court reporter or transcriber sends the redacted copy of the transcript to the clerk’s office for filing. Does the court reporter or transcriber also send a redacted copy to the ordering party as well?

    There is no requirement to send a copy of the redacted transcript to the party who originally ordered the transcript. The redacted transcript only needs to be sent to the clerk’s office following the same procedure that was used to deliver the original transcript.

    Is there a fee that the court reporter or transcriber can charge for making the redactions?

    No. The Judicial Conference has not authorized an additional fee for providing redacted transcripts for the court's electronic records.

    Will all transcripts filed with the clerk’s office be available electronically?

    If a transcript is redacted, the original unredacted transcript will not be available electronically. The redacted version of the transcript will be available after the 90 day restriction period has ended.