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I will be filing a bankruptcy petition in the united states pro se.

I have instructions for filing electronically via PACER, which indicate forms do not need to be signed as the user account used to submit takes the place of a signature: https://pacer.uscourts.gov/help/faqs/how-will-signature-documents-be-handled-documents-filed-electronically?page=9

I also see temporary instructions for filing via email due to COVID, which states "You must sign your document by either signing the document before you scan it or typing “/s/ [Your Name].” The Court will accept typed signatures in this format."

In this case, would it be a problem to file both ways, or would there be no point and would it cause problems?

If filing electronically does a physical copy signed in ink still need to be mailed or filed in person, or would that also just cause confusion?

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    Can you hedge your bets by typing /s/ Name on the form which you upload to PACER? Aug 18 at 18:18
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    This is asking about legal procedure. It is not a request for specific legal advice, and should not be closed as such. Aug 19 at 1:54
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would it be a problem to file both ways, or would there be no point and would it cause problems?

File only once. Duplicate filing is likely to cause recurrent confusion and annoyance because everyone else will be uncertain as to whether both filings differ on anything other than the signature.

If filing electronically does a physical copy signed in ink still need to be mailed or filed in person, or would that also just cause confusion?

Filing electronically precludes the need for filing a physical copy. Even if filing a physical copy is allowed, it would impose on the clerk the needless burden of scanning and processing the physical copy.

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  • Thank you for that clarification. Do you happen to know if documents still need be be signed with ink and scanned before uploading to PACER? Aug 18 at 21:11
  • @JasonFeignman No need for ink [hand-written] signature. Based on the "temporary instruction" you quote and common practice since long before the Covid mess, you can choose the option of "typing “/s/ [Your Name]" instead of scanning a "hand signed" version. That being said, make sure you "retain copies of certain paper documents, such as affidavits or bankruptcy petitions, containing original signatures of third parties, for a set period of time" (per the link you posted). Aug 18 at 23:17
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    the instructions for typing /s [your name] come from a temporary setup to allow submissions via email due to covid, they are not the instructions for PACER so I wasn't sure I could use that for PACER. PACER says the account is used as the signature but it still seemed off to me to leave the field blank. I wasn't sure if forms have to be printed, signed, scanned and then submitted electronically also. thank you for your assistance. Aug 18 at 23:21
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    @JasonFeignman "it still seemed off to me to leave the field blank." That's understandable, but it's not that you would leave the field blank. Without knowing which form in particular you are using & will upload, I presume that that field is where you would type "/s/[your_name]". Aug 18 at 23:28
  • The problem is the instructions to use "/s/[your_name]". only apply if filing via email, not via PACER. Those instructions are explicitly for submitting via email, there are no such instructions for PACER. Meaning, seemingly, the correct thing to do when filing via PACER is either to leave the field blank or scan signed copies. Not to use "/s/[your_name]" since that doesn't apply to PACER. So that's my worry, if I use PACER meaning I can't use "/s/[your_name]"., is it then supposed to be the case that the form is blank? The PACER faq states the account is used for the signature. Aug 18 at 23:34

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