New Local Rule 9011-1 – Get Your Clients to Sign the Documents!

This rule goes into effect December 1, 2017.  Short summary:

Anything that is uploaded must have a signature – the holographic signature – in the person’s handwriting – on the form or pleading that is being signed and uploaded.

Exceptions?  Of course:

  • The “filer,” i.e., the person who is uploading the documents, i.e., the person who has the password to get on to ecf can upload a /s/ signature of his or her signature.
  • An “employee” of the filer can sign by /s/ signature – this means the proof of service essentially.

Any other comments?

  • Of course:  If there is no signature at all, the “filer” is treated as if he/she signed the document.
  • You must get the wet copy of the signature after it is signed.
  • You must keep the signatures for five years.

THE ACTUAL NEW RULE IS AFTER THE JUMP.  

LBR 9011‐1. SIGNATURES

(a) Holographic Signatures.
Except as provided below, every signature on a filed document must be handwritten in ink (holographic).  If the document is filed electronically then the filer must scan the signature page and insert it into the electronic (.pdf) version of the document filed with the court.  Nothing in this local rule precludes the filing of a signature page that has been transmitted to the filer by facsimile or .pdf, provided that the filer promptly obtains the document bearing the signer’s original holographic signature and complies with LBR 9011‐1(d) below.  Under no circumstances may a reproduction of the same holographic signature be used on multiple pages or in multiple documents. Each page that bears the signature of a person must actually have been signed by the person whose signature appears on such page.

(b) Electronic Signatures.
A holographic signature is not required only in the following circumstances:

(1) Filer. The signature of an electronic filer of a document (Filer) need not be a holographic signature if the Filer complies with the court’s procedures for electronic filing.  The electronic filing or lodging of a document by a Filer through the CM/ECF, ePOC, CIAO or other system, constitutes a signature on that document by such Filer and shall subject the Filer to the same consequences as if the Filer had signed such document by hand, including sanctions under FRBP 9011 and liability for perjury.  When a password is required to electronically file or lodge a document, the Filer whose password is used to effectuate such filing shall be deemed to be a Filer of the document. If required by the Court Manual, an electronically‐filed document shall include in the signature block an “/s/” followed by the name of the Filer; provided, however, that failure to do so will not invalidate the signature deemed made by the Filer.

(2) Employee of Filer. The signature of an employee of a court‐authorized Filer, or an employee of the same law firm or other organization as the court‐authorized Filer, on a proof of service or certificate of service need not be a holographic signature. The employee may sign a proof of service or certificate of service by typing an “/s/” followed by the employee’s name on the signature line where such signature is required. The employee placing such “/s/” signature on the proof of service or certificate of service, and the Filer whose password is used to file such document, will be subject to the same consequences as if the employee had actually signed the document and the Filer had filed the document, including sanctions under FRBP 9011 and penalties for perjury.

(c) Powers of Attorney Etc. Distinguished.
Nothing in this rule should be interpreted to prevent Filers from signing for non‐Filers in the same manner that they could sign any paper document, such as “[non‐Filer] by [Filer], per power of attorney,” or “[Filer] as authorized agent for [non‐ Filer]” or the like, if permitted by applicable law.
(d) Retention of Original Signatures for Five Years.
Whenever a holographic signature is required, the Filer must maintain the executed original of any filed document for a period of five years after the closing of the case or adversary proceeding in which the document is filed, and must make the executed original available for review upon request of the court or other parties.

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