CM/ECF Case Info

Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER)

Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) is an electronic public access service that allows users to obtain case and docket information from federal appellate, district and bankruptcy courts, and the PACER Case Locator via the Internet. PACER is provided by the federal Judiciary in keeping with its commitment to providing public access to court information via a centralized service.

All new cases filed in the United States District Court of South Dakota will be placed in the Court's Case Management/Electronic Case Files System. (CM/ECF)

This system provides 24/7 realtime Internet access to docket sheets and court documents. A key feature of the CM/ECF system is that it accepts documents filed electronically over the Internet.

Only those attorneys who have been trained and certified may file documents electronically. However, anyone who registers with the PACER Service Center will be able to read, download, store and print any document filed with the Court, unless it has been sealed or is otherwise restricted by Court order.

To log into our LIVE Electronic Case Filing System click here.
If you need further assistance regarding Electronic Case Filing please email us or call (605) 330-6600.




What is the difference between Sealed and Ex Parte in CM/ECF?

The first version of our electronic filing system (CM/ECF) differentiated between documents filed ex parte and documents filed under seal. A document filed ex parte was assumed to be a public document unless the court ordered that the document be filed under seal. For that reason, we emphasized in training that if an ex parte document was meant to be filed under seal, counsel must file a motion requesting that the document be filed under seal. Because we do not allow counsel to file sealed documents, the ex parte document, as well as any related documents requesting that it be filed under seal, had to be filed in paper form with the Clerk’s Office.

However, the current version of CM/ECF treats ex parte documents differently. An ex parte matter filed with the District of South Dakota is now treated similarly to a sealed document. When an ex parte matter is filed, the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) is sent to counsel for the filing party ONLY. Opposing counsel does not receive the electronic notice. In addition, only counsel for the filing party can see the docket entry and access the document in CM/ECF. Neither the docket entry or document are available to opposing counsel. It is also not available for viewing on PACER and cannot be accessed on the public access terminal in the Clerk’s Office.

Counsel may now file ex parte matters electronically. All ex parte documents will have restricted access so counsel will no longer need to file motions asking the court to seal the ex parte document(s). If you have any questions about this, please contact the Clerk’s Office.