- Submission of Exhibits in Electronic or Paper Format. Unless the Court orders otherwise, if all parties in an adversary proceeding or contested matter are represented by counsel, exhibits shall be exchanged and submitted to the Court in electronic format through CM/ECF and shall be text-searchable when possible. In Adversary proceedings or contested matters in which any party is self-represented, participating counsel shall file exhibits with the Court electronically through CM/ECF and self-represented parties shall file in paper. Participating counsel shall also provide paper copies of electronically filed exhibits to self-represented parties in advance of the hearing as set forth below.
- Redaction of Personal Data Identifiers. Exhibits must be redacted prior to electronic or paper filing in accordance with Local Rule 9037-1.
- Exhibit Filing. No later than five (5) calendar days prior to trial or a non-emergency evidentiary hearing, counsel for the parties and self-represented parties shall mark, list, file, and exchange all exhibits they plan to introduce into evidence. If for some reason the exhibit or a facsimile of the exhibit cannot be filed, clarifying information for the non-filed exhibit is to be provided with the items that are filed. All exhibits must be listed in order on a separate Exhibit List, form available at www.flnb.uscourts.gov. The time requirements set forth herein shall not apply to exhibits for hearings on Motions for Relief from the Automatic Stay, which shall be governed by Local Rule 4001-1(E).
- Exhibit Cover Sheet. Each exhibit shall be preceded by an 8 1/2 X 11-inch Exhibit Cover Sheet, form available at www.flnb.uscourts.gov, and numbered sequentially beginning with the number 1.
- Original and Hard Copy Exhibits. A minimum of four (4) copies of the original, hard copy, and/or printable version of the documentary exhibits and Exhibit List shall be furnished to the Courtroom Deputy prior to the commencement of the hearing or trial. Counsel are encouraged to utilize the Court’s electronic exhibit display equipment.
- Additional Exhibits. In the event that additional exhibits that were not filed in CM/ECF are offered or introduced into evidence during the evidentiary hearing or trial, the party responsible shall file a complete set of such additional exhibits via CM/ECF within seven (7) days following the conclusion of the evidentiary hearing or trial.
- Large Items and Exhibits Other Than Paper Documents. Items to be introduced into evidence other than paper documents should be photographed, accompanied by an Exhibit Cover Sheet, and listed on the Exhibit List. Paper documents larger than 8 ½ x 14 inches should be listed on the Exhibit List and accompanied by a reduced 8 ½ x 11-inch copy (“substitute”) and an Exhibit Cover Sheet. Counsel shall attach Exhibit Cover Sheets to exhibits and substitutes, identifying corresponding exhibits and substitutes with the same number. At the conclusion of the trial or hearing, upon request by the offering party granted in open court or with a separate order, the Courtroom Deputy may return original exhibits to counsel. If possible, the physical object shall be brought to court for trial. If an appeal is taken, the substitute exhibit will be included in the record on appeal, unless otherwise ordered by the bankruptcy or appellate court.
- Use of Electronically Stored Exhibits in Court. Exhibits filed through CM/ECF are the official exhibits for purposes of the evidentiary hearing or trial, except that electronically stored exhibits shall not be used in adversary proceedings or contested matters in which any of the parties are self-represented.
- Upon the expiration of thirty (30) days after entry of an order or judgment concluding a contested matter or adversary proceeding, including the entry of an order disposing of any post-judgment motions, and provided that no appeal is pending, or if an appeal is taken, upon filing of the mandate, the Clerk shall give notice to all parties to reclaim their exhibits. The parties shall have thirty (30) days from the date of said notice to either reclaim their exhibits or to make arrangements with the Clerk to do so. Exhibits which are not reclaimed shall be discarded or destroyed.
Advisory Committee Notes
The amended rule includes both stylistic and substantive changes. The format of subdivisions is changed to maintain a consistent style across all rules. Various additional subdivisions are added to update the rule to better define required practices for electronic filing, including subdivisions (A), (B), (F), (G), and (H). The amended rule establishes the general primacy of electronic filing, including making the electronically-filed exhibits as “official” for the purpose of evidentiary hearings and trials except where any of the parties is self-represented. This rule also amends the time frame for filing exhibits from three business days to five calendar days before an evidentiary hearing, except for the possibility of separate time requirements under Local Rule 4001-1(E). Note that in this revision cycle the Local Rule 4001-1(E) time period was reduced to the same five-day period in this rule but the possible distinction has been left in this rule. The amended rule substitutes a pre-exhibit cover sheet for the requirement of “tagging” exhibits that was time-consuming for electronic documents. Subdivision(H)(2) was removed as duplicative of Subdivision (C). Other changes are stylistic in nature.