The computer equipment and software required to electronically file documents in ECF is similar to that commonly found in many law firms today.
To access documents filed in the ECF system you will need:
- A personal computer running a standard platform such as Microsoft Windows XP or later or Macintosh
- Internet access (high-speed access is recommended)
- Internet browser: Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher or Firefox 2.0 or higher. If you will be accessing ECF via a MacIntosh computer, only the Firefox web browser has been identified as compatible with ECF.
- A Portable Document Format (PDF) file viewer such as Adobe Acrobat Reader (4.0 or higher; free)
- A Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) account
To file documents into the ECF system, you will also need:
- Local court-assigned account and password
- An e-mail account to receive electronic notices through ECF
- Word processing software
- $250 - $500 (can be less if part of computer purchase)
PDF-conversion software that is compatible with Adobe Acrobat version 4 or higher
- Adobe Acrobat Standard: $270 - $299
- Adobe Acrobat Professional: $425 - $449
- CutePDF: Writer only: Free; v3.0: $49.95
- Software prices may be lower with volume licensing.
A CD writer (CD-RW) to store PDF files to be submitted with paper documents (sealed, other) filed at the courthouse
A document scanner may be necessary to create document images in PDF format that are not created via your word processing software, such as exhibits or other supporting documents. It is recommended that the scanner have an automatic document feeder (ADF) which allows easier and faster scanning of multi-page documents. Prices:
- $50 (single sheet, flatbed)
- $550 (12 ppm w/auto document feeder)
- $6500 (90 ppm duplexing with ADF) and higher depending upon speed/features