Next Generation of CM/ECF Information & Resources

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The Federal Judiciary has developed a Next Generation (NextGen) Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) system that will allow attorneys to use the same account for both PACER and electronic filing access. E-filers will be required to use an individual PACER login and password for access to the electronic filing system.  The U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina plans to implement NextGen on August 30, 2021. After this implementation date, the username and password that an e-filer currently uses to access the Court's CM/ECF system will not work with NextGen.

What Is New For Attorneys In NextGen

One key feature of NextGen is “Central Sign-On,” a new functionality that will allow attorneys, others with permission to electronically file, and parties receiving electronic service of court documents to maintain one account across all NextGen courts (appellate, bankruptcy, and district).  E-filers will be able to use one login and password to e-file in every NextGen court where they have been granted e-filing privileges, rather than having to remember a separate login and password for each individual court.  The same login and password will be used to access the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system to view dockets and other case information for all federal courts, including those that have not yet upgraded to NextGen. 

E-filers must do the following in order to file in NextGen:

  1. Obtain your own individual PACER account (link is external) or upgrade your existing individual PACER account (link is external).
  2. Know your current Western District of North Carolina CM/ECF login and password (if unknown, please contact the Clerk's Office for Assistance.
  3. Reference document for linking your Pacer account to ECF.
  4. Registering for E-Filing Access (Link for reference and link to PACER at

CJA Panel Attorneys will need only one PACER account for filing and viewing in NextGen. If you have a separate exempt CJA account now, those exempt privileges will need to be added to your individual upgraded PACER account.

  • How do I know if I have an upgraded PACER account?
    Upgraded PACER accounts have usernames that are at least 8 characters. You may have upgraded your PACER account recently if you practice before another court that already has migrated to NextGen, such as the Fourth Circuit. If your username is 6 characters, you do not have an upgraded account. Go to (link is external) and click on Manage My Account to upgrade your PACER account.
  • What happens to my CM/ECF account after the court transitions to NextGen?
    After the Court upgrades to NextGen, you must link your current CM/ECF account to your PACER account. After the accounts are linked, you will no longer use your CM/ECF username or password to file in this Court.
  • My law firm uses a shared PACER account. Can we continue to use that account?
    Not for e-filing. Each attorney must have an individual PACER account to use for electronic filing in NextGen. The law firm can create a PACER Administrative Account (PAA) to manage the billing for all of the individual accounts. Staff members who share a PACER account only for research can continue to share. NOTE: The PAA will not allow access to case information. For more information on PAA Accounts review Information regarding PACER Administrative Accounts (link is external).  To register for a PACER Administrative Account, visit (link is external).
  • I linked my account when the Court of Appeals or another District or Bankruptcy Court converted. Do I have to link my account again?
    Yes, once the Western District of North Carolina is live on NextGen, you must link your PACER account to your Western District of North Carolina CM/ECF filing account before you can file in this Court.
  • I am a CJA attorney, and I currently have two PACER accounts. Will I continue to need two accounts with NextGen?
    CJA Attorneys will only need one PACER account for filing and viewing in CM/ECF NextGen. If you have a separate exempt CJA account now, those exempt privileges will be added to your individual upgraded PACER account; and your current exempt account will be canceled.

For assistance with creating a PACER account, please contact PACER at 1-800-676-6856 or visit the PACER website at (link is external).

For assistance with your current CM/ECF login and password or linking your account after the Court transitions, contact the Clerk's Office during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 (Eastern time), Monday through Friday at any of the following locations:

Asheville 828-771-7200

Charlotte 704-350-7400

Statesville 704-883-1000

Go Live Date:
August 30, 2021

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