General Information FAQs
General Information FAQ List
Court Location, Hours, Holidays, Employment
Where are the Five Different Locations of the Bankruptcy Court??
The Bankruptcy Court has five divisional offices located throughout the Central District of California: Santa Barbara, Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, and Riverside. Each division has courtrooms, a clerk’s office for filing documents, and staff available to answer questions. For information on which location to file documents, see FAQ Before Filing#27.
Click here for addresses to each division.
Click here to find the location of a particular judge.
In addition, the Office of U.S. Trustee has locations at or near each court division. For information about locations of the U.S. trustee, see FAQ After Filing#7.
What are the Normal Court Hours for Court Business?
The bankruptcy court is normally open Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for court business, including filing documents and attending court hearings. Also, judges set their own hearing calendars, so please consult the front page of a Notice of Hearing for the particular time of a hearing.
Click here for information on future hearing calendars available for each judge
Which Days is the Court Closed for Federal Holidays and Other Dates?
The court is closed on all Federal Holidays and occasionally for district wide training or other functions. Notices of closure are publicized via Public Notices.
New Year’s Day – observed January 1, or the first Monday after January 1 if January 1 is on a weekend
Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday – observed on the third Monday of January
President’s Day – observed on the third Monday of February
Memorial Day – observed on the last Monday of May
Independence Day – observed on July 4
Labor Day – observed on the first Monday of September
Columbus Day – observed on the second Monday of October
Veterans’ Day – observed on November 11 or the first Monday following November 11 if it is on a weekend
Thanksgiving Day – observed on the fourth Thursday of November
Christmas Day – observed on December 25
Click here for a list of Public Notices.
Where do I Find Information on Employment With the Court?
a) Employment with Clerk’s Office or As Judicial Assistant
Click here to see what Job Opportunities are available.
Click here to download a Job Application.
You may also call the Job Hotline at (213) 894-3129.
You may also pick up a Job Application from any clerk’s office location.
b) Employment as a Judge’s Law Clerk
Click here for Federal Law Clerk Information System.
Most federal judges accept applications through OSCAR, an electronic system for delivering applications in federal courts. Click here for information.
Most federal judges abide by the Law Clerk Hiring Plan, a timetable for applications and the interview process. Click here for information.
Information about Bankruptcy Cases and Obtaining Copies
How do I Obtain Information about a Bankruptcy Case?
a) Computer Access
* At the clerk’s office of each division, free computer use is available to view electronic dockets.
*On a computer, complete electronic docket information and images of all documents filed in a bankruptcy case or adversary proceeding may be retrieved via the CM/ECF PACER system (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) for a fee, and registration is required. Note that a separate database is used to store cases closed prior to January 1, 2001. For assistance at accessing this database, contact the CM/ECF Help Desk.
Click here to register for a PACER account for information on availability and cost of imaged documents.
Click here to contact the CM/ECF Help Desk
b) Voice Case Information System (VCIS) — VCIS allows callers to access limited information (i.e., debtor, case number, judge, date filed, chapter, attorney, trustee, whether there are assets, and case status – such as discharge date and closed date) about a case, free of charge 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from any touch tone telephone. VCIS is available for all divisional offices. The VCIS phone numbers:
c) Paper Copies – Very few records are now paper-based. Bankruptcy documents may be viewed in person at the clerk’s office where the case was filed if the case has not been archived and if the documents are not on an electronic docket. In order to view or retrieve bankruptcy documents, you must have the bankruptcy case number of the debtor. If you do not have the case number, you may obtain it by using computers available to the public in the Records Section of each clerk’s office location. If the case file is stored at the clerk’s office, it may be viewed the same day unless it is being reviewed by another person at the time of the request. A valid government-issued picture identification card is needed to view a case file or docket. Some acceptable identification cards include a state driver’s license or identification card, a U.S. passport, or a federal, state, county, or city employee card. Credit cards, car keys, or student identification cards are not acceptable forms of identification.
How do I Get Non-Certified Copies of Documents?
a) Using Computer to Print Documents from CM/ECF PACER – Electronic docket information and images of all documents filed in a bankruptcy case or adversary proceeding may be retrieved and printed via the CM/ECF PACER system (Public Access to Court Electronic Records). Note that a separate database is used to store cases closed prior to January 1, 2001. For assistance with accessing this database, contact the CM/ECF Help Desk.
Click here to register a PACER account and for information on cost and availability of imaged documents:
b) Clerk’s Office at Each Division – Copies may be ordered at the clerk’s office in person or by mail, and there is a search fee and a per-page fee. If ordered by mail, include a self-addressed, stamped envelope to return the copies.
What if the Document I Need is Not on the Electronic Docket?
For bankruptcy cases and adversary proceedings filed prior to the onset of “Case Management/Electronic Case Filing” (CM/ECF), not all documents will be imaged on the electronic docket. Please contact the clerk’s office of the court division where the case is or was administered.
How do I get Certified Copies of Documents?
a) Via Mail to Division of Bankruptcy Case – To identify the address of the court division where the bankruptcy case is or was administered, see FAQ Before Filing#27. Then, comply with all of the following steps:
1) Mail a request that clearly identifies the document(s) desired, bankruptcy case name, bankruptcy case number (and adversary proceeding number, if applicable), and daytime telephone number;
2) Include a self-addressed, stamped return envelope of proper size and postage for the documents requested;
3) Wait for a phone call from the clerk’s office to identify the total fee required; and
4) After receiving a call from the clerk’s office stating the total fee, send payment in the form of either a bank cashier’s check or U.S. Postal Service money order made payable to: United States Bankruptcy Court. DO NOT SEND CASH OR PERSONAL CHECKS.
b) Request in Person at Clerk’s Office — If you visit the clerk’s office to obtain the certified copies, charges and the processing time needed to complete your order will be explained in person.
For information on acceptable forms of in-person payment, see FAQ Before Filing#28.
What if the Case I am Interested in Has Been Archived?
Cases closed for one year or more may be archived at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Perris, California. To determine if a case has been archived, contact the clerk’s office in your division. Click here for the NARA website.
To retrieve case information or copies of documents from NARA, you must first obtain the Accession Number, Location Number, and Box Number from the clerk’s office where the bankruptcy case was filed. You may obtain this information in person, by phone, or by writing to the Records Department of the court division where the bankruptcy case was filed. You may then contact NARA directly or pay a fee to the clerk’s office to retrieve the case for you. When you make your request to the clerk’s office, the fee will be identified.
Click here for instructions on ordering from NARA.
Access to Bankruptcy Rules and Procedural Practices
Where do I Obtain a Copy of the Local Bankruptcy Rules?
The Central District of California has its own special rules for bankruptcy cases and adversary proceedings administered in this district. These rules are called “Local Bankruptcy Rules” for the Central District of California” (“LBR”). The Local Bankruptcy Rules can be downloaded from this website free of charge, or they may be viewed at all divisional clerk’s office locations.
Click here to read and download from the court website.
For addresses of clerk’s office divisional locations, see FAQ Before Filing#27.
Where do I Obtain a Copy of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure?
a) Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure – There are procedural rules that apply in every bankruptcy case filed in the United States. These rules are called “Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (F.R.B.P.).” The Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure are not available for viewing or purchase from the clerk’s office. However, they may be purchased from legal bookstores and may be viewed at law libraries.
Click here to read the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure online.
b) Interim Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure – In some years, Interim Rules are promulgated and made effective in the midst of a calendar year. These rules still apply in all bankruptcy cases.
Attorney Admission and Practice
How do California Attorneys Get Admitted to Practice in the Bankruptcy Court?
To represent clients in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, an attorney licensed to practice in California must also be admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Central District of California. For procedures on becoming admitted to practice in the District Court, contact the District Court at (213) 894-2085. Click here for information on the District Court website.
How do Non-California Attorneys Apply to Appear Pro Hac Vice?
Per Local Bankruptcy Rule 2090-1, an attorney who is not a resident of, nor regularly employed, nor engaged in business, in the State of California, may request to appear in a specific bankruptcy case or adversary proceeding by filing an Application of Non-Resident Attorney to Appear in a Specific Case (pro hac vice). The procedure is:
a) Obtaining Court Approval to Appear Pro Hac Vice:
1) Obtain an application. Click here for form F 2090-1.2;
2) File the pro hac vice application, either via CM/ECF or in person at a bankruptcy court intake window;
3) Take a conformed copy (or copy with a Notice of Electronic Filing) to the intake window of the District Court for the Central District of California and pay the fee required by District Court Local Rule 83-2.8.2 and noted on District Court Form G-64. Click here to download this form. While it is not necessary to fill out and file Form G-64, the form contains the current fee;
4) A clerk at the District Court will stamp the conformed copy with a receipt of payment; and
5) Take the “receipt” stamped copy back to the bankruptcy court intake window and file a copy along with lodging an Order Approving Request to appear Pro Hac Vice; OR, file via CM/ECF a declaration re payment of fees, and lodge via LOU an Order Approving Request to appear Pro Hac Vice.
b) Planning Ahead, Especially if the Attorney Intends to Appear by Telephone – Many judges require telephonic appearance requests to be made several days before a hearing or adversary conference, and many judges will not consider a request to appear by telephone until the attorney establishes that permission to appear pro hac vice has been granted by the court. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO COMPLETE THIS PROCESS.
How Can an Attorney Appear by Telephone?
Many judges allow appearance by telephone if an attorney follows the judge’s procedures for requesting a telephonic appearance. However there are many situations in which an appearance in court is required.
Click here to learn about the requirements for requesting and making a telephonic appearance.
Who do I Call if an Attorney Will be Late for a Hearing?
It is unwise to be late for a court hearing, and there is no guarantee that the court will delay the hearing. However, in an emergency an attorney or party must immediately contact the judge’s chambers and the opposing party as soon as they realize that they will be late for a hearing. Click here for phone numbers of judge’s staff. Before placing a call to the judge’s staff, be prepared to give the following information:
a) Name of debtor; d) Reason for being late;
b) Name of attorney and client; e) How many minutes late the attorney will be; and
c) Time of hearing; f) Confirm that you have called the opposing party.
Where do I Check Tentative Rulingsin advance of a court hearing?
Many judges post “Tentative Rulings” about upcoming hearings. These “Tentative Rulings” give the parties information such as whether attorneys or clients need to appear in court, whether a motion is granted, whether a hearing is continued, etc. Judges vary on how far in advance these tentative rulings are posted and what information is provided in the tentative ruling. To access tentative rulings at no cost:
a) Personal Computer – Click here for a free link or go to the main page of the court’s website and click on the “Tentative Rulings” link.
b) At the Roybal Courthouse in Los Angeles – In the main lobby of the Roybal Building, there is a monitor with direct links to Tentative Rulings.
c) At a Court Hearing – Most judges have printed copies of hearing calendars outside and in the courtroom.
What is CM/ECF PACER and Where do I Get More Information About It?
CM/ECF PACER stands for Public Access to Court Electronic Records. It is the system used by attorneys and the public to view court dockets and print documents from federal court cases.
Click here for information from this website about fees and registering a PACER account.
Click here for information from the national PACER website.
How do attorneys Register for CM/ECF and Get Trained?
Once an attorney has appeared in five or more bankruptcy cases in a calendar year, that attorney is required to file documents electronically using CM/ECF from that day forward, including succeeding years. CM/ECF offers many advantages to practitioners, such as filing documents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from their offices, and receiving same day emails (“Notice of Electronic Filing,” or “NEF”) with a link to a filed document when other parties file documents or the court enters an order or other event on a docket.
a) CM/ECF Training is Mandatory and Essential – An attorney can only use CM/ECF in the Central District after court training, however the training may have been completed in another district. It is essential to be thoroughly trained, as attorneys directly add documents to a case docket, including providing the description of the docket entry that is read by court staff and the public. This means that when a mistake is made, that mistake remains on the docket unless a court clerk becomes aware of the mistake and takes action to correct it. Time is required to become proficient in CM/ECF use, so please be patient and thorough so that mistakes are minimized.
Click here to register to be a CM/ECF user and reserve a training date.
b) It is Very Important to Thoroughly Read and Be Familiar With the CM/ECF Administrative Procedures and LOU Procedures — Specific rules apply when filing particular documents and for promptly delivering one courtesy copy to chambers of all documents filed via CM/ECF. There are special rules about stipulations; most important is that ONLY ONE electronic signature can be filed on any document. To have a stipulation approved by the court, the proposed order approving the stipulation should be lodged electronically via the Lodged Order Upload Program (LOU) AFTER the stipulation is separately filed via CM/ECF (still with at most one electronic signature “/s/” followed by name). For information on filing stipulations and lodging separate orders via LOU, see FAQ General Information #20.
Click here to read and download Administrative Procedures.
Click here to read and download the LOU Procedures.
What about the Court’s Lodged Order Upload Program?
“LOU” or Lodged Order Upload, is a program available for all judges and applies to orders submitted in bankruptcy cases and adversary proceedings. The program is available to all CM/ECF registered users, and orders can be linked to motions, stipulations, plans, objections to claims, adversary complaints (i.e. for scheduling orders), orders to show cause, etc.
a) MS Word Format Only – All proposed orders must be lodged in MS Word format.
b) Mandatory Court Forms Available in MS Word – The court has converted all mandatory forms and form orders from pdf into MS Word format. Click here to access form orders.
c) Instructions for Lodging an Order – Only CM/ECF-registered users are able to lodge an order electronically via LOU. Click here for a Quick Reference Guide.
d) Application of Local Bankruptcy Rules – Local Bankruptcy Rule 9021-1 must still be complied with for orders lodged electronically.
How do I Obtain a Refund of Fees Paid to the Court?
Generally, fees paid to the court are not refundable except when an error has been made on the part of the court. Refunds for approved requests will be made in the form of a check.
a) To Make a Refund Request - Submit a letter to the court with the following information:
a) Name of individual or entity which paid the fee;
b) Name of individual or entity requesting a refund;
c) Address and telephone number of the requesting party;
d) Amount of the transaction, including copies of cancelled checks or other receipt showing proof of payment;
e) Bankruptcy Case Number;
f) Proof of payment;
g) Bankruptcy Case Number of Adversary Proceeding Case Number, whichever is applicable;
h) Brief explanation of the reason for requesting a refund; and
i) Face page of the document that was filed/copied and for which the fee was originally charged.
b) Mailing the Request – Mail the request to:
United States Bankruptcy Court
Office of the Clerk
Edward Roybal Federal Building and Courthouse
255 East Temple Street, Suite 1067
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Attn: Financial Services Department