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Court Announcements and News

Scheduled CM/ECF Downtime 11/30 8PM ET - 12/1 7AM ET

November 16, 2015

In order to perform the system maintenance necessary for the new forms and data collection requirements effective December 1, 2015, the ECF system will be unavailable Monday, November 30 8:00 p.m. (ET) until 7:00 a.m. (ET) Tuesday, December 1. Please plan accordingly.

Should you have a true emergency filing during this time, please visit the After Hours Emergency and Court Closure Filings page of our website for information. PACER will be available for case and document viewing.

Information for Attorneys - Bankruptcy Form Changes Effective 12/1/2015

October 20, 2015

The Bankruptcy Forms Modernization Project is an initiative that will require filers to use new official bankruptcy forms as of December 1, 2015. CLICK HERE for more information.

2015 Holiday Schedule

October 19, 2015

CLICK HERE for more information on the upcoming holidays, closures, and emergency/court closure filings.

Bankruptcy Forms Changes Effective 12/1/15

October 19, 2015

Most of the Official Bankruptcy forms, including the Voluntary Petition and all related Schedules and Statements, will be replaced effective December 1, 2015. The new forms are substantially revised, reformatted, and renumbered. Included with this revision cycle are separate petitions for individual and non-individual debtors as well as new schedules A/B, E/F, and J-2. Many of the new forms require additional information which will result in new screens in CM/ECF when filing petitions. For detailed information regarding these changes, please review the following:

Reappointment and Solicitation for Applications re Incumbent Federal Public Defender - Middle District of Florida (Tampa)

October 19, 2015

CLICK HERE to review the Eleventh Circuit's public announcement on the reappointment of Donna Lee Elm, Federal Public Defender for the Middle District of Florida at Tampa. Members of the public and the Bar may send comments or applications to the review committee. Submissions must be received no later than 12/21/2015.

Vacancy Announcement - 11th Circuit Court of Appeals - Clerk of Court

October 19, 2015

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit invites applications for the position of Clerk of Court. The Clerk of Court is an executive position appointed by the Court of Appeals under authority of Section 711 of Title 28 of the United States Code. CLICK HERE for more information.

U.S. District Court for Northern District Court moves to NextGen ECF

October 19, 2015

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida has announced they will update their electronic filing software to the first release of ECF Next Generation ("NextGen") effective November 23, 2015. This update includes a "Central Sign On" feature allowing one login and password for all NextGen courts.

Scam Targets Bankruptcy Filers

October 19, 2015

Phone scammers are targeting bankruptcy filers in several states, including Florida, using personal information from filings and posing as attorneys to get intended victims to immediately wire money to satisfy debt. Calls may appear to be from a law firm per caller ID but are in fact not and are fraudulent. Consumers receiving this kind of call are advised to hang up and contact their bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. Do not give any personal or financial account information to the caller.

Reappointment of Federal Public Defender Michael Caruso, Southern District of Florida

October 16, 2015

The current four-year term of Michael Caruso, Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of Florida at Miami, expires 15 August 2016. Click here to review an announcement from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit concerning the reappointment of Mr. Caruso and the solicitation of qualified applicants for the position should Mr. Caruso not be reappointed.

Motion to Extend or Impose Stay - Administrative Order

September 28, 2015

Administrative Order No. 15-002 has been entered pertaining to Motions to Extend or Impose Stay. CLICK HERE for more information.

Mortgage Modification Mediation Process Important Update

September 24, 2015

Effective October 1, 2015, all parties participating in the Mortgage Modification Mediation process in the Northern District of Florida shall comply with the amended and modified MMM procedures set forth within Administrative Order No. 15-001.

Support for EZ-Filing to be Discontinued

September 14, 2015

We have been informed that CINgroup will no longer update or support the EZ-Filing and New Hope bankruptcy software programs after November 30, 2015, and will not release an update containing the new or revised bankruptcy forms effective December 1.

Attorneys who currently use EZ-Filing or New Hope software should visit their website at http://go.cingroup.com/ezfilingtransition for more information and FAQs.

Proposed Amendments Published for Public Comment - August 2015 (IMPORTANT)

August 14, 2015

The Judicial Conference Advisory Committees on Bankruptcy and Evidence Rules have proposed amendments to their respective rules, and requested that the proposals be circulated to the bench, bar, and public for comment. The proposed amendments, Rules Committee reports explaining the proposed changes, and other information are posted on the Judiciary’s website at: http://www.uscourts.gov/rules-policies/proposed-amendments-published-public-comment.

An Updated Version of McAfee May Mark Email Generated by CM/ECF as Spam

June 11, 2015

The Administrative Office of the Federal Judiciary has advised that law firms, attorneys and/or parties who are running the recently updated version of McAfee may not receive email from ECF. As it is understood, email generated by ECF may be recognized as spam for those running this updated version of McAfee.

Noticing Project Procedural Update

February 24, 2015

The Court will now serve the "Notice of Case Number Change" in order to ensure timely receipt by all parties. In addition, the document has been updated to note that the latest updates will initially appear in yellow highlighted text so that the changes may be easily reviewed.

Certificate of Service Information & Local Form Available

February 4, 2015

A new Certificate of Service PDF form (Local Form 4) has been added on the Forms page of the Court's website as well as an instructional document (Local Form 5-Inst) which contains samples of Certificate of Service formats for those to be included as part of a pleading or other document filed in CM/ECF and those to be filed separately as a stand alone document (e.g., Certificate of Service of an Order as directed by the Court). Click here to access these documents.

Noticing Project Procedural Change re Preliminary Hearing Orders on Motions for Relief from Stay

January 28, 2015

Due to their time sensitive nature, the court has added "Preliminary Hearing Orders on Motions for Relief from Stay" to the list of documents that will be served to non-electronic parties through the Bankruptcy Noticing Center. Click here to access the court's Noticing Project procedures and Frequently Asked Questions.

Important Noticing Project Procedural Change

January 23, 2015

The Noticing Project procedures have been updated concerning text to be added to proposed orders. The term "proof of service" has been replaced by "certificate of service" within the "attorney" and "trustee" proposed order text examples. Click here to review the revised procedures and to take advantage of our list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Noticing Project FAQ Update

January 15, 2015

We have received many questions over the past few days about the new noticing requirements, CM/ECF and PACER. All of your questions have been discussed and the answers codified within the Noticing Project Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document for the benefit of all filers.

Noticing Project Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Updated

January 8, 2015

The FAQs associated with the noticing project that went live on 1/1/2015 have been updated. The latest FAQs address how to access Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) information for an entry in a case and how that information can be used to help a filer create a properly formatted and accurate Certificate of Service.

Noticing Project Procedural Document Updated

January 5, 2015

The procedural document for the Noticing Project has been updated to note that the court will continue to serve the "Notice of Need to File Proof of Claim".

Noticing Project Details and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

December 30, 2014

The court's new noticing policy will go into effect on January 1, 2015. The Noticing Project announcement document has been updated with FAQs to help you navigate this new process. A link to this document (called "Noticing Requirements/FAQs") has been added to the Filing Requirements drop-down menu for your convenience.

New Fee for Filing Motions to Redact

December 1, 2014

During its September 2014 session, the Judicial Conference approved a new fee for filing a motion to redact. This fee is effective December 1, 2014. CLICK HERE to review frequently asked questions (FAQs) concerning this fee. The current fee schedule, effective 12/1/2014, can be accessed HERE.

Noticing Project Update

November 24, 2014

A new link has been added to the Filing Requirements page called "Noticing Requirements." This document has been updated to include Orders Scheduling Pretrial Hearings and Trials to the list of documents that the court intends to continue noticing through the Bankruptcy Noticing Center. The document also notes that the United States Trustee's Office is excluded from the new noticing requirements pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §101(42).

Bankruptcy Rules, Forms, and Fee Amendments Effective 12/1/2014 - Instructional Video Available

November 21, 2014

The Bankruptcy Courts for the Eastern, Northern, and Western Districts of Oklahoma have created an instructional video presentation concerning amendments to the rules and forms. The Northern District of Florida thanks the Chief Deputy Clerks of the Oklahoma bankruptcy courts for creating this very effective presentation.

New Local Form for Motion for Mortgage Modification Mediation (LF-3)

October 1, 2014

The new Verified Ex Parte Motion for Mortgage Modification Mediation ("MMM"), Local Form 3, is available in fillable format on the Local Forms page for use in all chapters of bankruptcy for debtors who wish to engage in mortgage modification mediation. Please note adherence to Administrative Order No. 15-001 is required effective October 1, 2015.

Noticing Project

September 22, 2014

Effective January 1, 2015, the Court will institute a policy of attorneys and Trustees serving their orders and hearing notices. This practice is consistent with other federal and state courts. Click here for details.

No Ex Parte Communications

June 20, 2014

Judge Specie shall not engage in ex parte communication of any kind. Bankruptcy Rule 9003 states: "any party in interest, and any attorney, accountant, or employee of a party in interest shall refrain from ex parte meetings and communications with the court concerning matters affecting a particular case or proceeding." Failure to comply with this rule may result in sanctions.

Historic Agreement Reached on Uniform Mortgage Modification Mediations in Bankruptcy Cases Filed in Florida

April 24, 2014

On February 27, 2014, a state-wide summit was held in Orlando to discuss uniform procedures to adopt in the respective Mortgage Modification Mediation (MMM) programs operating in Florida’s Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of the United States Bankruptcy Court. After listening to the positions of the various constituencies, the Bankruptcy Judges in all three districts support the general terms, which shall remain subject to each district’s unique practice and procedures. This is the first time all three federal Bankruptcy Districts in Florida adopted a uniform process or policy.

New Chapter 13 Mortgage Modification Mediation program Begins 6/1/13

May 17, 2013

Minimum Qualifications:

•Chapter 13 debtors only
•Mediation limited to debtor’s primary residence
•Debtor must be able to contribute up to 31% of gross income to modified mortgage payment
•Debtor must pay a $385 mediation fee to the Chapter 13 Trustee before attending mediation

This Court has implemented a program to streamline the process of obtaining a mortgage modification where lenders are required to have a representative with full settlement authority available at the mediation.

Claims Transfer Fee Effective May 1, 2013

April 5, 2013

Effective May 1, 2013, the bankruptcy courts will begin charging a new fee of $25 for each claim transferred. This fee was approved by the Judicial Conference of the United States at its September 2012 session. Click here for more information.


Automatic Adjustment of Certain Dollar Amounts in the Bankruptcy Code and Official Bankruptcy Forms

March 14, 2013

On April 1, 2013, automatic adjustments to the dollar amounts stated in various provisions of the Bankruptcy Code and one provision in Title 28 of the United States Code will become effective and will apply to cases filed on or after April 1, 2013. Click here for details.

Bankruptcy Bar Association Pro Bono Initiative

March 11, 2013

Click here to read about the new Pro Bono Initiative established by the Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Bar Association and the Court in an effort to assist Florida lawyers with the goals set out in Rule 4-6.1 of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar.

Review Judge Specie's Do's and Don'ts List

November 20, 2012

Judge Specie's Do's and Don'ts List can be reviewed here.

New Proposed Orders Guidelines

October 16, 2012

Please review the new Proposed Orders Guidelines here, which are effective immediately.

Centralized Processing of Returned Bankruptcy Notice Center (BNC) Mail

September 11, 2012

Effective October 15, 2012, the Bankruptcy Noticing Center (BNC) will begin accepting, processing and securely disposing of notices that would otherwise be returned to the bankruptcy courts by the U.S. Postal Service. The service will significantly reduce national postage expenditures. Further information can be reviewed here.

Online Claims Filing Through Court Website

September 6, 2012

Creditors may file an electronic Proof of Claim without logging into, or being required to have a login and password for CM/ECF by clicking here. You will be permitted to attach supporting documentation by selecting the radial button at the bottom of the screen.

Increase in PACER/Electronic Public Access Fee - Effective April 1, 2012

March 27, 2012

As directed by Congress, the Judicial Conference amended the Electronic Public Access Fee Schedule to increase the PACER Internet access fee from eight cents per page to ten cents per page and to raise the waiver from $10 to $15 in a quarterly billing cycle. The change is needed to continue to support and improve the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system, and to develop and implement the next generation of the Judiciary's Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system.

RSS Feeds Now Available for the Opinions Search Application

January 10, 2012

There are four RSS Feeds now available at the top of the FLNB Opinions Search page which can be found at the following URL:


Each feed corresponds to the particular Judge who wrote the opinion.

Reminder: Certificate of Service Requirements

July 11, 2011

The Administrative Procedures for Electronic Filing (Section II, B) requires attorneys filing electronically to serve pleadings electronically to registered participants of the ECF system. For parties who have opted out of electronic service or who are not registered participants, attorneys are required to serve the pleading in accordance with applicable rules. The pleading should include a Certificate of Service reflecting which parties have been served electronically or by other means.

CourtCall Telephonic Appearance Procedures

July 11, 2011

Various links listed on this and other pages are maintained by other public and private organizations. These links and pointers are provided for the user's convenience. The U. S. Bankruptcy Court does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this outside information; nor does it control or guarantee the on-going availability, maintenance, or security of these Internet sites. Further, the inclusion of links or pointers to particular items in hypertext is not intended to endorse any views expressed, or products or services offered on these outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring the sites.