PUBLIC NOTICE - CM/ECF for the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa has been upgraded to CM/ECF Version 5.1.1. Please look at the following for upgrade information.

Summary - hyperlinks will take you to more detailed information

Improved Password/Cookie Security


Document Uploading Screen Enhancements

Docket Report & PDF Headers

Nature of Suit Codes

New Event - Motion to Dismiss Case for Failure to State a Claim

PDF/A - Making the Transition from PDF to PDF/A

Restricted Access to Bankruptcy Appeal Cases

Logout message


Version 5.1.1 was tested with Firefox 3.5 and Internet Explorer 7 & 8.

CM/ECF Version 5.1.1 Additions and Enhancements

Improved Password/Cookie Security -

When you first log in to CM/ECF Version 5.1.1, you will receive the following notice about changing your password to one that meets the new standards. To help protect the system, CM/ECF now requires users to create more secure passwords. Please click on the link to Maintain Your Login/Password and review the More User Information screen.



Passwords must be at least eight characters long and include both uppercase and lowercase alphabetic characters and at least one digit or special character (for example, 0-9, @, #, $, %, &, *, +).

Multiple Login Attempts

After five invalid login attempts, your account will be “locked” for five minutes and the following error message will appear:

Your account is temporarily disabled because an incorrect password was given 5 times. If you do not know who entered the incorrect passwords, please contact the Help Desk at (515) 284-6388. If you need to have your password changed, please click on Lost Password. Otherwise, please try again in approximately 5 minutes.



When a query is run for a multi-defendant criminal case, the defendant numbers for the selected defendants now are included with the case number at the top of the query menu screen.



If all of the defendants are selected, or if the main case is selected, the words All Defendants will appear beside the case number in lieu of the actual defendant numbers.



When the user runs a query on a person name, that name now is included at the top of the screen that lists all of the cases in which that person is a participant. The person’s role is included at the top of the screen as well (for example, Sean P Spellman is an attorney in 5 cases.).



Additionally, a summary of selection criteria used for the query now appears at the bottom of the case list screen; however, if the query is run on a case number alone, the summary of selection criteria will not appear.




Query a person name, for a person named in multiple cases will provide the party role as well as the number of matches.



When a Query is run for multiple criminal defendants the defendant numbers for the selected defendants will be included with the case number. If all defendants are selected the words All Defendants will appear.




Document Uploading Screen Enhancements -

Text will appear to alert users whether the Category and/or Description are required when adding attachments.




Docket Report & PDF Headers

The Sort by dropdown list on the Docket Report selection criteria screen now includes a Document number option. If selected, those entries without document numbers will appear chronologically within the entries that do have document numbers.



Some courts allow digital audio files to be uploaded to CM/ECF. When using the View multiple documents option for the Docket Report, users should not select any docket entries that have digital audio files attached (these entries are designated with a speaker icon), as the digital audio files embedded in the PDF documents for these entries are inaccessible in View multiple documents mode.

Nature of Suit Codes -

The following nature of suit codes have been added with jurisdictional pairings:

NOS Code


Valid Jurisdiction(s)

367 TORTS - Personal Injury - Health Care/Pharmaceutical Personal Injury/Product Liability 2, 3, 4, 5
375 False Claims Act 3
448 Civil Rights - Education 1, 2, 3, 4
560 Prisoner Petitions - Civil Detainee - Conditions of Confinement 2, 3
751 Labor - Family and Medical Leave Act 1, 2, 3<
896 Other Statutes - Arbitration 3, 4
899 Other Statutes - Administrative Procedure Act/Review or Appeal of Agency Decision 2, 3


The subcommittee on Judicial Statistics has eliminated the following nature of suit codes:


New Event - Motion to Dismiss Case for Failure to State a Claim

When filing a Motion to Dismiss the user will see a display message to remind them that there is a separate Motion to Dismiss Case for Failure to State a Claim. So if you have a Motion to Dismiss Case for Failure to State a Claim, you would stop filing using Motion to Dismiss and file it using the correct event.



PDF/A - Transitioning from PDF to PDF/A -

PDF/A is a standard format that allows for the long-term archiving of electronic documents with the assurance that the documents will be accessible in the future. While not currently required by CM/ECF, the software has been modified to accept PDF/A documents.


Creating a PDF/A with Microsoft Word

Creating a PDF/A with Corel WordPerfect X4

Creating a PDF/A from Scanned Documents using Adobe

Restricted Access to Bankruptcy Appeal Cases -

Public access to documents in bankruptcy appeal cases filed in the district courts for bankruptcy cases filed before December 1, 2003, has been modified. All documents not flagged as written opinions, filed in cases designated as bankruptcy appeals (Natures of Suit 422 and 423) that have a case filing date prior to December 1, 2003, and a case closure date of one or more years ago, will be automatically restricted to case participants, public terminals and court staff.

Logging out of CM/ECF

When you click Logout from the main blue menu bar, the following pop-up message will appear.




Click Ok to complete the logout and consider closing your browser.

Creating a PDF/A with Microsoft Word


To create a PDF/A directly from MS Word, the user must update the PDF conversion settings. In Word2007, click on Preferences in the Acrobat menu on the ribbon:



In older versions of Word, go to Adobe PDF / Change Conversion Settings to access the PDFMaker window.


In the PDFMaker winow, click the Create PDF/A-1a:2005 compliant file checkbox, then click OK.


Creating a PDF/A with Corel WorkPerfect X4


Note: Older versions of WordPerfect do not include PDF/A in the Compatibility options.


To create a PDF/A directly from WordPerfecf X4, click on File / Publish to PDF, then click Settings.



In the Publish to PDF Settings window, select PDF/A-1a from the Compatibility dropdown, then click OK.


Creating a PDF/A from Scanned Documents using Adobe


Note: Check your scanner manual to determine whether your scanner permits saving as PDF/A. If it does, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to update the setting and disregard the steps below.


1. If the scanner is connected directly to the user’s computer, go to File / Create PDF / From Scanner / Configure Presets. (If the scanner is not directly connected, go to Step 3)


2. In the PDFMaker window, select the device and click the Make PDF/A compliant checkbox, then click OK.


3. If the scanner is connected remotely via the user’s network, scan the document as normal, creating a PDF. Then open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat 9 Professional and go to Advanced / Preflight / PDF/A Compliance to convert the PDF to PDF/A.