Reminder re Electronic Filing of Documents with Original Signatures

Release Date: 
Thu, 04/12/2012

The Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington is a mandatory electronic filing court. Local Rule W.D. Wash. Bankr. 5005-1(d)(2) requires the electronic filing of documents that must contain original signatures or verifications (e.g., pleadings, stipulations, orders, declarations, affidavits, the new Mediation Certification, etc.). The original signed document shall be retained by the filer, and the document filed electronically with the court shall reflect the existence of the original signature with the notation “/s/”. For example, if an attorney has a declaration signed by a client that is to be electronically filed, the attorney must maintain the original signed document and will file with the court an electronic version of the declaration with the notation “/s/” in the signature line. The local rule does not provide for the filing of the declaration with a scanned image of the signature.

The court is seeing an increase in the number of scanned PDF documents that are being filed electronically. When a document is scanned it may not be text searchable and may require additional attention in chambers to be processed correctly. Documents filed electronically are to be converted to an electronic PDF format and then uploaded directly into the court’s Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system (CM/ECF) in accordance with the court’s local bankruptcy rules and electronic filing procedures.