Northern District of Illinois Moving to NextGen CM/ECF System

On May 2, 2022, the Northern District is slated to update its CM/ECF system to the NextGen CM/ECF. The Northern District’s Clerk, Thomas G. Bruton, sent ECF filers an email outlining the procedure change. Essentially, every filer is now required to have a personal Pacer account – not a single account for a firm, as an example – and you link your existing Northern District CM/ECF credentials to that Pacer account. Districts across the country are all moving to this system which, conveniently, allows for access to each court’s system using just one set of Pacer credentials.

The following are instructions for complying with the NextGen CM/ECF requirements from the Clerk’s office:

  1. Do you have a unique login to PACER or do you share your PACER account? Note that each NextGen user must have their own individual PACER account.  Specifically, this means that a firm with one shared PACER login account must register each user with their own unique individual PACER account and password.  If you currently share a PACER login within your firm, you must register for your own PACER login*.

    To register for your own PACER Account, visit this website:

    *A law firm can create a PACER Administrative Account (PAA) to manage the billing for all their individual accounts. Staff members who share a PACER account only for research can continue to share. For more information on group billing accounts visit this website:

  1. Do you have a PACER login with only 6 characters? If you still have a PACER account that was created prior to August 2014 (Legacy PACER Account) and has not been upgraded—that is, if you are using a PACER id that is only 6 characters long—you will need to first upgrade your legacy PACER account. You can use this instruction to guide you through the steps on how to upgrade your PACER account:

  1. Do you remember your password to the Current CM/ECF system? If you do not remember your current password, visit:

  1. Do you remember your login to the current CM/ECF system? If you do not remember your current login, please send an email to:


  1. On or after May 2, 2022, all users must link their individual PACER account to your existing individual CM/ECF account. This is a one-time only procedure and links your personal PACER account to your personal CM/ECF account going forward. Please note, this step will not work until May 2, 2022.