(A) General Requirements.
(1) Format. All documents must comply with the format requirements of the Bankruptcy Code, the Bankruptcy Rules and these rules. Documents filed or submitted in cases or proceedings shall be either filed electronically in PDF by a registered user, or filed in conventional paper format by non-registered users and then converted to PDF by the clerk. All PDF documents created for filing in CM/ECF, including proposed orders uploaded in the E-Orders program in CM/ECF, must be saved in a text-searchable format. A document is text-searchable when converted to PDF format directly from a word processing program using Adobe Acrobat, Windows PDF or other similar software. If a document in paper format is scanned into PDF format, the scanning software must have Optical Character Recognition (OCR) functionality enabled. Any exceptions to the requirement that a document be electronically filed by a registered user shall be set forth in the Clerk’s Filing Instructions or in the court’s “Guidelines for Preparing, Submitting and Serving Orders”.
(a) Papers Filed with the Court. Filers of papers shall be responsible for redacting Social Security or other individual taxpayer identification numbers and other personal identifiers such as dates of birth, financial account numbers, and names of minor children from documents filed with the court. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, any documents which include personal identifiers should be redacted to exclude the personal information or, if such redaction is not practical, the party may seek to submit them as sealed records pursuant to subdivision (4) of this Rule; however, the court may still require submission of a redacted copy for inclusion in the public records. Redaction guidelines for personal information not addressed by the Bankruptcy Rules or forms include:
(i) Social Security or other individual taxpayer identification numbers. If an individual’s social security or other individual taxpayer identification number must be included in a pleading, only the last four digits of that number should be used.
(ii) Names of minor children. If the involvement of a minor child must be mentioned, only the initials of that child should be used. When completing Official Bankruptcy Forms requiring information on minors, follow the form instructions regarding how to indicate this information.
(iii) Dates of birth. If an individual’s date of birth must be included in a pleading, only the year should be used. When completing Official Bankruptcy Forms requiring information on minors, follow the form instructions regarding how to indicate this information.
(iv) Financial account numbers. If financial account numbers are relevant, only the last four digits of these numbers should be used.
(b) Electronic Availability of Electronic Transcripts and Redaction of Transcripts Filed with the Court. Transcripts of court proceedings shall only be filed with the court by the official court reporter. Filed transcripts shall be made available, and shall, where required to comply with privacy requirements, be redacted in accordance with this court’s guidelines setting forth the policies on electronic availability of transcripts of court proceedings and redaction of transcripts filed with the court.
(c) Privacy and Redaction of Tax Returns Provided by Individual Debtor Directly to Parties Under 11 U.S.C. §§521(e)(2)(A) or (f) or 11 U.S.C. §1116(1)(A). Requests for copies of the debtor’s tax information under 11 U.S.C. §521, or for tax returns submitted by individual debtors under 11 U.S.C. §1116(1)(A), and docketed as a non-public “restricted” document, shall be in accordance with the Administrative Office of the United States Courts “Director’s Guidance Regarding Tax Information Under 11 U.S.C. §521”, as amended or supplemented by any subsequent directives issued. This document will be posted on the court website (see Guide to Judiciary Policy Vol. 4: §830).
[Comment: See also 11 U.S.C. §110 (bankruptcy petition preparers must continue to submit their complete social security or other individual taxpayer identification numbers, where required, on papers submitted to the court), Bankruptcy Rules 1005 (only last four digits of social security or other individual taxpayer identification numbers included in caption of petition), 1007(f) (verified statement of social security or other individual taxpayer identification numbers must be submitted) and 9037 (Privacy Protection for Filings Made With the Court).]
[Comment: See Local Rule 5005-4(E) (Official Case Record) and Local Rule 5005-1(G)(1)(a) (submittal of proposed orders). See also Bankruptcy Rule 9037 (Privacy Protection for Filings Made with the Court).]
|☞2020 Amendment: Amended to clarify the procedure for restricting filings that contain personal information, and moves the amended rule to Local Rule 9037-1 to be consistent with the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure which provides for privacy protection for filings made with the Court in Rule 9037. As a result, local rule 5005-1(A)(3) is abrogated and replaced with local rule 9037-1.|
(4) Sealed Records.
(a) General. Documents filed with the court shall be sealed only upon order of the court. Requests to seal documents shall be filed electronically by registered CM/ECF users with full filing privileges and conventionally by all other filers, including registered CM/ECF users with limited electronic filing privileges.
(b) Local Form Cover Sheet Required. The Local Form “Cover Sheet to Accompany Items Conventionally Submitted for Sealing or In Camera Review” shall accompany any conventionally filed motion and/or sealed document.
(c) Manner of Submission of Motions to Seal and Sealed Documents. A Motion to seal and/or a sealed document may be filed with the court as:
(i) an unsealed motion and a sealed document; or
(ii) a sealed motion accompanied by the sealed document; or
(iii) a sealed document being filed pursuant to a prior court order authorizing the document to be filed as sealed. If conventionally filed, a copy of the order authorizing sealing must also accompany the sealed document (unless order is sealed).
(d) Disposition of Sealed Documents upon Case Closing. Upon administrative closing of a case containing sealed documents, and absent a prior order of the court directing the clerk as to the length of time during which the records shall remain sealed, the court will issue an order setting a deadline for the document(s) to be unsealed unless prior to the deadline, the party filer files a motion requesting that the document(s) be returned or deleted from the court’s electronic case management system. If no timely requests are filed, the document(s) will be unsealed.
(5) Form Used for Submission of Social Security or Other Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers. The Official Bankruptcy Form “Statement About Your Social Security Numbers” as required by the Bankruptcy Rules or this court, shall be retained by the clerk as a non-public record.
(B) Place of Filing. Unless otherwise directed by the court, all papers to be filed or received conventionally by the court shall be delivered to the clerk’s office, and not to a judge’s chambers.
[Comment: See also Local Rule 5005-1(F)(2) (emergency submittal).]
(C) Deficient Petitions and Papers.
(1) Petitions. Petitions presented for filing which do not conform to the official form, are filed without an attorney (non-individual debtors only), do not indicate the last four digits of the social security number or other individual taxpayer identification number and/or an identification number on the petition, are not accompanied by the Official Bankruptcy Form “Statement About Your Social Security Numbers” (individual debtors only), are not accompanied by a creditor matrix, list of 20 largest unsecured creditors (chapter 11 cases), are not accompanied by a corporate ownership statement as required by Bankruptcy Rule 1007(a)(1) and Local Rule 1002-1(A)(2), or other document required at the time of filing shall be accepted for filing as deficient. The clerk shall, as provided by subdivision (C)(3) of this rule, serve a notice of deficiency giving the debtor a deadline to correct the deficiency to avoid dismissal of the case without further notice.
(2) Other Papers. Any other paper which is otherwise presented in improper form may, depending upon the nature of the deficiency, be either docketed as deficient and, without notice or hearing, be subject to entry of an order striking the paper, or, if filed in a closed case, returned without filing.
(3) Clerk’s Deficiency Notices.
(a) Authority of Clerk to Prepare and Serve Deficiency Notices. The clerk is authorized to prepare notices which establish deadlines for correction of filing deficiencies for service on parties filing papers not prepared or submitted in compliance with the administrative requirements contained in the Bankruptcy Code, Bankruptcy Rules, Local Rules, Court Administrative Orders or other procedures of this court.
(b) Content of Deficiency Notices. A deficiency notice shall indicate the nature of the deficiencies, establish a deadline for correction of the deficiencies and set forth the consequences, including possible dismissal of the case without further notice, of failure to correct the stated deficiencies within the time indicated. Registered users may also receive notification via an electronic docket entry “Notice to Filer of Apparent Filing Deficiency” that a deficient or incorrect docket entry has been entered. An electronic deficiency notice may establish a deadline for corrective action to be taken or indicate that the error has been corrected by the clerk and no further action is required.
(c) Deadline to Correct Deficiency. The deadline established pursuant to this rule for any deficiencies with respect to schedules and statements required to be filed pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 1007(b)(1), shall be the 14 day deadline from the date of filing the petition established by Bankruptcy Rule 1007(c), or as extended by the court. All other deadlines for correction of deficiencies pursuant to this rule shall be a date no less than seven days from the date of filing of the deficient paper. The actual deadline established by the clerk shall depend upon the nature of the deficiency to be corrected.
(d) Clerk Corrected Deficiency(ies). At the discretion of the clerk, certain electronically docketed entries will be corrected by the clerk (e.g., incorrect party filer, incorrect document linkage, etc.). The clerk will enter on docket an electronic entry “Notice to Filer of Apparent Filing Deficiency” which will indicate the item was corrected and that no further action is required by the registered user.
[Comment: See Local Rules 1002-1(B) (clerk authorized to refuse for filing certain voluntary petitions, 1006-1(A)(3) (refusal of installment application and petition by clerk), 5080-1 (fees required).]
(D) Papers Filed in Closed Cases. The clerk may return, without docketing, to the filing party any paper which is tendered for filing after the administrative closing of a case or proceeding, except a motion to reopen or other paper specifically authorized by the order disposing of the case or proceeding. If the paper is filed electronically, the clerk will enter an electronic docket entry “Notice to Filer of Apparent Filing Deficiency” advising that no further action will be taken by the court.
(E) File Stamping of Copies. The clerk shall provide a filed-stamped copy of any conventionally filed paper to the filing party if an additional copy of the paper and an adequately sized, self-addressed stamped envelope is also supplied at the time of filing.
(F) Submission of Papers in Matters Already Set for Hearing.
(1) Deadline for Filing. Form of Response. Responses, memoranda, affidavits and other papers intended for consideration at any hearing already set before the court, must be filed and served so as to be received by the movant and the court not later than 4:30 p.m. on the second business day prior to the hearing, or the papers submitted may not be considered at the hearing and may stricken. All responsive papers shall set forth any applicable defenses or objections in law or fact on which the respondent relies. All responsive papers must be served in accordance with these local rules. This subdivision shall not apply to affidavits filed pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 7056.
(2) Emergency Submittal. Responses, memoranda, affidavits or other papers not filed prior to the deadline established in subdivision (1), but which the filing party deems necessary for the court’s consideration at the scheduled hearing, may be considered at the hearing only if (a) such response, memorandum, affidavit, or other paper sets forth with particularity, under a separate heading in the text or, in the case of an affidavit, on a notice accompanying such affidavit, the emergency nature of the filing or other exceptional circumstance(s) causing the untimely filing of such paper, (b) the filing party promptly notifies the courtroom deputy or law clerk of the hearing judge, in the manner specified on the hearing judge’s homepage on the Court’s website maintained at www.flsb.uscourts.gov, that such paper has been filed and the ECF number assigned to such filing, and (c) such paper is sent by email (in addition to any notice of electronic filing generated by the CM/ECF system) promptly after filing to all interested parties for whom an email address is reasonably ascertainable and, for all other parties, by telecopier or other means reasonably calculated to ensure prompt receipt. The requirements of this rule are in addition to the service requirements set forth in the Bankruptcy Rules and these local rules.
[Comment: See subdivision (B) (all papers to be delivered to clerk, not to judge).]
(3) Rule Not Applicable to Exhibits/Amended Chapter 13 Plans, Schedules, or Statement. This rule does not modify Local Rule 9070-1, regarding the presentation of papers introduced as evidence in a trial or evidentiary hearing, nor does this rule apply to amended chapter 13 plans, schedules, or statements filed prior to a scheduled confirmation hearing under the deadlines established by Local Rules 1009-1(D)(4) and 3015-2(A).
|☞ 2020 Amendment: Local Rule 5005-1(F) clarifies and supplements the requirements for filing a response to a pleading in order to ensure such response is heard and considered at the hearing on the underlying motion that relates to the response. The amendment details a procedure for submission of the response, memorandum, or affidavit and requires an explanation for the untimeliness of such response.|
(G) Submittal and Service of Proposed Orders. Unless otherwise directed by the court, the “Guidelines for Preparing, Submitting, and Serving Orders” apply to matters before this court.
(1) Submittal of Proposed Orders. Unless otherwise directed by the court or by these rules:
(a) Requests for relief which may be considered immediately by the court without opportunity for objection or hearing must be accompanied by a proposed order submitted in accordance with the “Guidelines for Preparing, Submitting, and Serving Orders”.
[Comment: See Local Rule 9013-1(C) (motions which may be considered without opportunity for hearing).]
(b) The proponent and any opponent of any requested relief set for hearing on an emergency basis shall bring to the hearing a proposed order granting or denying the relief requested. Otherwise, the proposed order shall be uploaded in electronic format using the E-orders program in CM/ECF.
(c) The prevailing party in a hearing or trial shall submit a proposed order, in the manner directed by the court, conforming to the decision of the court, not later than 4:30 p.m. on the seventh day following the hearing or trial. At the time of submittal, unless otherwise directed by the court the proponent must provide a copy of the proposed order and any covering memo to all adverse parties unless the order conforms strictly to a local form. If a party fails to timely submit a proposed order, the court may dismiss the underlying matter for failure to prosecute or take other action. If the court requests or permits submittal of competing proposed orders each party submitting a proposed order shall provide a copy of the proposed order and any covering memo to all adverse parties no later than two business days following the last date set for submission to the court.
(d) An order submitted in a matter that was heard solely on the Chapter 13 Consent Calendar must state that the matter “came before the Court on the Chapter 13 Consent Calendar.” Matters resolved on the Chapter 13 Consent Calendar are not considered to be heard “by the Court.”
[Comment: See also “Guidelines for Preparing, Submitting, and Serving Orders” and Local Rule 2002-1(A) (notice of proposed relief must be served on all directly affected parties) and Local Rule 9072-1 (form of orders).]
(2) Service of Entered Orders. Where the clerk is required to serve orders under these rules, service will be accomplished via the BNC or, via the NEF (for registered users who have appeared in the case). Where the clerk is not required to serve orders under these rules, the clerk will provide, via the BNC or via the NEF (for registered users who have appeared in the case), a copy of the order for use by the designated serving party. It is the responsibility of the designated serving party to timely serve the order on all required parties within three business days from entry and file a certificate of service in accordance with Local Rule 2002-1(F). A proposed order must not indicate in the service section that the clerk will serve the order unless the clerk is required to provide service under these rules or directed by the court for a specific case or order.
[Comment: See also “Guidelines for Preparing, Submitting, and Serving Orders” and Local Rules 2002-1(C) (service of particular orders), 2002-1(H) “Master Service List” in chapter 11 cases, and 9076-1 (electronic service).]
|☞2020 Amendment: Local Rule 5005-1(G)(1)) clarifies and supplements the requirements for submitting an order in a chapter 13 case which is heard on the Chapter 13 Consent Calendar. See Local Rule 1001-1(F)(16) definition of consent calendar.|