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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

Northern District of Texas

Barbara M.G. Lynn, Chief Judge
Karen Mitchell, Clerk of Court

Exhibit Guide

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Submitting Electronic Exhibits for Appeal Purposes

Exhibits admitted during a hearing or trial are not "filed" with the clerk. However, these exhibits, unless ordered to be sealed by a judge, are available for public inspection in the clerk's office until claimed or destroyed. Please contact the clerk's office for information on obtaining copies or to schedule an appointment to view exhibits.

If a case has been appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, each ECF User must transmit copies of the exhibits they offered that were admitted into evidence in the district court case through ECF within 14 days of the date the notice of appeal was filed. (This requirement applies for ALL judges of the Northern District of Texas, including those that permit paper filing or otherwise prohibit electronic filing.) These exhibits are required to be part of the electronic record on appeal per instructions of the Fifth Circuit.  Please note that if you must obtain copies of your exhibits from the Clerk's Office, you must contact the appeals deputy in the appropriate division to make arrangements.  Original exhibits cannot be released from the Clerk's Office absent a court order.

A specific ECF docket event has been created for public exhibits. Once transmitted through ECF, case participants and any member of the public using a public terminal in the clerk's office will be able to view the admitted exhibits.

To provide the required electronic copy of exhibits in ECF, follow the appropriate instructions below:

ECF User

If you have an active ECF login and password for electronic filing, you must follow these instructions, even if you filed all pleadings and motions in paper in the district court case.

CAUTION: Never mix sealed and unsealed exhibits.

For exhibits admitted by a judge as PUBLIC exhibits:

  1. Prepare an index of your admitted exhibits ("Exhibit Index"). 
    List your exhibits in chronological order and clearly reference the exhibit number that was assigned by the district court.  Save the Exhibit Index in a PDF file that does not exceed 35MB in size.
  2. Save a copy of your admitted exhibits in PDF. 
    Convert any non-documentary exhibit into a document format (e.g., substitute a photograph of a demonstrative or oversized exhibit). Ensure that the exhibit number assigned to each exhibit is clearly visible on the face of the exhibit or on a preceding identification page. You may combine multiple exhibits into the same PDF, so long as each file does not exceed 35MB in size.
  3. Docket the Electronic Copy of Admitted Hearing or Trial Exhibit event. 
    Attach the PDF of the Exhibit Index as the Main Document and the PDF(s) of the public exhibits as Attachments.  If all exhibits cannot be attached to this entry (we typically recommend no more than 10 attachments per entry), repeat this step to upload all additional public exhibits.

For exhibits admitted by a judge as SEALED exhibits:

Follow steps 1 and 2 above.

For step 3., use the Sealed Electronic Copy of Admitted Hearing or Trial Exhibit event. Attach the PDF of the Exhibit Index as the Main Document and the PDF(s) of the sealed exhibits as Attachments.  If all exhibits cannot be attached to this entry, repeat this step to upload all additional sealed exhibits.

Non-ECF User

If you do not have an active ECF login and password for electronic filing, you must prepare a CD/DVD that contains all of your exhibits that were admitted into evidence as instructed below.

CAUTION: Never mix sealed and unsealed exhibits.

For exhibits admitted by a judge as PUBLIC exhibits:

  1. Prepare an index of your admitted exhibits ("Exhibit Index"). 
    List your exhibits in chronological order and clearly reference the exhibit number that was assigned by the district court.  Save the Exhibit Index in a PDF file that does not exceed 35MB in size and name the file "Public Exhibit Index.pdf."
  2. Save a copy of your admitted exhibits in PDF. 
    Convert any non-documentary exhibit into a document format (e.g., substitute a photograph of a demonstrative or oversized exhibit). Ensure that the exhibit number assigned to each exhibit is clearly visible on the face of the exhibit or on a preceding identification page. You may combine multiple exhibits into the same PDF, so long as each file does not exceed 35MB in size.  When naming each file, reference the public exhibit(s) contained therein, Ex. "Public Exhibits 1-3.pdf," "Public Exhibit 6.pdf."
  3. Save the Public Exhibit Index.pdf file and all public exhibit files to a CD or DVD. 
    If you also need to submit sealed exhibits, follow the instructions below.  Otherwise, deliver the CD or DVD to the Appeals Deputy in the clerk's office in the appropriate division.

For exhibits admitted by a judge as SEALED exhibits:

  1. Prepare an index of your admitted exhibits ("Exhibit Index").  List your exhibits in chronological order and clearly reference the exhibit number that was assigned by the district court.  Save the Exhibit Index in a PDF file that does not exceed 35MB in size and name the file "Sealed Exhibit Index.pdf."
  2. Save a copy of your admitted exhibits in PDF.  Convert any non-documentary exhibit into a document format (e.g., substitute a photograph of a demonstrative or oversized exhibit). Ensure that the exhibit number assigned to each exhibit is clearly visible on the face of the exhibit or on a preceding identification page. You may combine multiple exhibits into the same PDF, so long as each file does not exceed 35MB in size.  When naming each file, reference the sealed exhibit(s) contained therein, Ex. "Sealed Exhibits 4-5.pdf," "Sealed Exhibit 7.pdf."
  3. Save the Sealed Exhibit Index.pdf file and all sealed exhibit files to the same CD or DVD that contains the public Exhibit Index and public exhibit files.  Deliver the CD or DVD to the Appeals Deputy in the clerk's office in the appropriate division.