The Third Circuit amended its local rules to require electronic filing effective December 15, 2008. This note highlights some of the amendments, which Third Circuit practitioners should review in their entirety and which are available at the Court’s website at As a result of the amendments, litigants will be required to file most documents with the Third Circuit’s Electronic Case Filing (“ECF”) system, which is intended to replace both the email submissions currently used for certain filings and, for the most part, the filing of paper.  

Every attorney who intends to practice in the Third Circuit must register as a “Filing User” of the ECF system, and the registration acts as a consent to service via ECF. Service of a paper copy is no longer required except in the case of a person who has not consented to ECF service, where a document is filed solely in paper form, or when dealing with pro se litigants.  

All briefs, motions, appendices, petitions for rehearing, entries of appearances, and other documents must be filed through the ECF system. Filing must be completed by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time of the date the filing is due to be considered timely filed. Only ex parte motions and case-originating documents in original proceedings may be filed solely in paper form. In addition to electronically filing briefs and appendices, the parties must send the Third Circuit ten paper copies of briefs and four paper copies of appendices.  

Sealed documents must be filed both electronically and in paper form unless permission is given to file only in paper form. Any personal identifying information, such as social security numbers, must be redacted.  

Documents created by the filer and filed with the ECF system must be in PDF text format (i.e., documents should be converted to PDF from a word processed document, as opposed to scanned) so that search capability is maximized and document file size is minimized. Filed documents may include hyperlinks to cases or the record.  

Any orders or judgments entered by the Court will be filed on the ECF system.