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Rules and Procedures

Administrative Procedures Manual

The Administrative Procedures Manual provides guidance to individuals and entities authorized to use the court Electronic Case Filing (ECF) system, which is the court’s electronic case management system.  The manual includes instructions on ECF registration, case filing, service, and document access, maintenance, and verification.

Bankruptcy Basics

Bankruptcy Basics is a publication of the Bankruptcy Judges Division of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. It provides basic information to debtors, creditors, court personnel, the media, and the general public on different aspects of federal bankruptcy laws. It also provides individuals who may be considering bankruptcy with a basic explanation of the different chapters under which a bankruptcy case may be filed and answers some of the most commonly asked questions about the bankruptcy process.

Code and Rules

The Code and Rules page contains information for the following: Title 11 of the U.S. Code; the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure; the FJC Bankruptcy eReference, Local Bankruptcy Rules for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Ohio; Local Civil Rules for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio; Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Rules; and Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Manuals.

Filing Requirements

Specific rules govern how and when documents must be submitted to the court.  As a result, filing requirements can pose a challenge for anyone filing documents with the court without the assistance of an attorney (pro se parties).  Mistakes or misapplication of the law may affect a filer’s rights.  The Filing Requirements provide detailed instructions for any person or entity seeking to file documents with this Court.

Glossary of Bankruptcy Terms

Most debtors who file a bankruptcy petition, and many of their creditors, know very little about the bankruptcy process. This glossary on bankruptcy terminology explains, in layman's terms, many of the legal terms that are used in cases filed under the Bankruptcy Code.

Local Bankruptcy Rules

The Local Bankruptcy Rules (LBRs) for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Ohio, control the conduct of proceedings in this court. LBRs apply to all parties, attorneys, cases, proceedings, and matters pending in this district.

It is important that all parties familiarize themselves with the LBRs that are relevant to their case.

Interim Bankruptcy Rules Implementing the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (SBRA)

On August 23, 2019, the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (the SBRA) was enacted into law. The SBRA makes many substantive and procedural changes to the Bankruptcy Code and requires changes to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure to implement those changes. However, the February 19, 2020 effective date of the SBRA occurs long before the Bankruptcy Rules can be amended under the three-year process required by the Rules Enabling Act. Accordingly, the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules (the Advisory Committee) drafted, published for comment, and subsequently approved interim bankruptcy rules (the Interim Rules) for distribution to the courts. The Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure approved the Interim Rules, and the Judicial Conference authorized distribution of the Interim Rules to courts for adoption locally to facilitate uniform implementation of the changes mandated by the SBRA.