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What Is New For Attorneys In NextGen?

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois upgraded its CM/ECF system to the Next Generation of CM/ECF (NextGen) on August 23, 2021. This upgrade provides Central Sign-On functionality, which allows attorneys to use one account to e-file in all NextGen courts (appellate, bankruptcy, and district) in which they practice, and to log in to PACER nationwide.

What do you need to use NextGen?


  1. Obtain your own PACER account.
    Each attorney MUST have their own individual PACER account to use NextGen. Shared PACER accounts cannot be used for filing.

    If you already have your own individual PACER account, proceed to step 2 to verify that it is an upgraded PACER account.

    If you do not already have your own PACER account, go to and click on "Register for an Account."

    Firms may set up a PACER Administrative Account (PAA) to help manage attorney accounts and have those individual accounts centrally billed for PACER access fees. To register for a PACER Administrative Account, please visit For more information regarding PACER Administrative Accounts, visit

  2. Upgrade your existing PACER account if it is a "Legacy" account.
    "Legacy" PACER accounts (accounts issued prior to August 11, 2014) must be upgraded before they can be used to e-file in NextGen CM/ECF courts. If your PACER username is 6 characters long, it is a "Legacy" account and must be upgraded. If your PACER username is at least 8 characters long, it is already an upgraded account.

    To upgrade your "Legacy" PACER account, go to, click Manage Your Account, Manage My Account Login, and log in with your current PACER credentials. If the Account Type shows "Legacy," click the Upgrade link and enter the required information.

    For questions regarding your PACER account, contact the PACER Service by email at or by phone at 800-676-6856.

    Note to CJA Attorneys: CJA attorneys only need one PACER account for filing and viewing in NextGen. If you previously had a separate exempt CJA PACER account, once that account was upgraded, those exempt privileges should have been added to the upgraded account and the previous exempt account should have been canceled. Contact the PACER Service Center for more information if you suspect your upgraded account has not received exempt status.

  3. Make sure you know your CM/ECF login and password.
    Each attorney must know their current CM/ECF login and password used to e-file. This information is needed to facilitate your account upgrade that will allow you to use NextGen.

    If you do not know your current CM/ECF password, please use the password reset feature on the CM/ECF login page at to reset it.

    If you do not know your current login name, please contact the Clerk's Office by phone at 866-867-3169 (East St. Louis) or 866-222-2104 (Benton), or by email at

  4. Link your old CM/ECF account to your upgraded PACER account.
    Attorneys must link their existing CM/ECF account to their upgraded PACER account before logging in the first time. Attorneys will not be able to e-file in NextGen until this linkage has been completed. Click here for instructions on linking your accounts.

Questions about NextGen CM/ECF?

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information on the improvements and the upgrade process, please visit

For assistance with PACER accounts, contact the PACER Service Center by phone at 800-676- 6856, or by email at

For assistance with an existing CM/ECF account, or for general questions, contact the Clerk's Office by phone at 866-867-3169 (East St. Louis) or 866-222-2104 (Benton), or by email at