HOW CAN I VIEW A CASE FILE THAT HAS BEEN ARCHIVED OR GET COPIES OF DOCUMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN ARCHIVED?
Our Court's files are shipped to the National Archives (NARA) in Lee's Summit, Mo. The fee to have the court retrieve a file on your behalf is $45.00. To do so please contact the Clerk's Office in any vicinage.
You may also fax your request to NARA directly. For more information click here for the NARA Request For Copies form. To fax your request directly you will need file information such as transfer, box and location numbers. Please contact the Clerk's Office for this information.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT INFORMATION ABOUT AN OPEN CASE?
There are several ways to obtain case information:
PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) - Complete docket information and images of documents, (including basic information relative to archived cases) may be viewed and/or printed by using PACER The cost is .8¢ per page. To utilize Pacer you must first register with the Pacer Service Center. For more information please contact the Pacer Service Center:
Pacer Service Center
P.O. Box 780549
San Antonio, TX 78278-0549
Telephone: (800) 676-6856
Web site: www.pacer.gov
COURTHOUSE ACCESS - Public computers are available in each clerk's office to view or print imaged documents, docket sheets or forms. The fee for printing from our public terminals is 10¢ per page. We will accept cash for printing fees. Actual case files may also be viewed unless they are being reviewed by a staff member at the time of the request or if they have been shipped to the National Archives. A valid 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 or car keys are not acceptable forms of identification.
TELEPHONE ACCESS - VCIS is a free service that provides limited case information over the telephone including debtor name, case number, judge, filing date, chapter, asset/no asset designation, attorney, trustee and current case status. To access this service, call toll free at 866-222-8029 and, after the initial greeting, enter the New Jersey court code: #88.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CREDIT COUNSELING AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT COURSES? ARE THEY MANDATORY AND IF SO, WHEN SHOULD I TAKE THEM?
All individual debtors must obtain credit counseling BEFORE filing for bankruptcy. Click here to access a list of approved credit counselors.
To be eligible for a discharge, all individual debtors must attend a Financial Management Course WHILE THE CASE IS PENDING. Click here to access a list of approved Financial Management Courses.
WHO GETS A COPY OF MY DISCHARGE?
All creditors and parties in interest in your case will receive a copy of the discharge. You may obtain a list of recipients using the methods of accessing case information indicated below.
WHAT DEBTS WILL BE DISCHARGED?
HOW DO I GET TO THE FIRST MEETING OF CREDITORS?
If the Meeting is being conducted at one of our courthouses and you need directions, use the links in Number 1 above. Use the links below for directions to other locations:
MUST I ATTEND THE MEETING OF CREDITORS?
Yes, debtors must attend the Meeting of Creditors. This meeting is also referred to as the First Meeting, First Meeting of Creditors or the Section 341(a) Meeting. It is conducted by the trustee and may be held at a location other than our courthouse. Please see below for more information on those locations. For more information on Section 341(a) meetings, click here for our Filing Without An Attorney page, or here for the booklet, Bankruptcy Basics.
DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY TO FILE BANKRUPTCY?
While it is possible to file a bankruptcy case pro se, that is, without the assistance of an attorney, it is extremely difficult to do so successfully. Hiring a competent attorney is highly recommended. If you are unable to afford an attorney, you may qualify for free legal advice or representation. For more information regarding these services, please click here for a Schedule of Legal Resources. The Court and members of the Clerk's Office staff cannot recommend a lawyer.
WHAT IF I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO PAY THE FEE?
Individual debtors may request permission from the Court to pay the filing fee in installments. Payments may be made in no more than four (4) installment payments and the final installment must be made within 120 days after the filing of the petition. If the debtor fails to pay any installment when due the case may be dismissed. Click here for an Application and Order to Pay in Installments.
Chapter 7 debtors who meet certain requirements may request that the court waive the filing fee. Click here for an Application for Waiver of the Chapter 7 Filing Fee.
WHAT IS THE FILING FEE AND MAY I PAY THE FILING FEE IN CASH?
The fee to file a bankruptcy petition varies depending upon the chapter filed. For a list of current filing fees click here. Filing fees may not be paid in cash. They must be paid in the form of business or attorney check, money order or certified check.
The court accepts cash for the payment of in-person copy requests and public printing fees ONLY. You must present exact change.