How to Flatten a Document
Reminder for electronic filers: We have come across a few documents filed in CM/ECF that were created using fillable PDF forms and in which the information entered into the fillable fields can be edited, once the document is downloaded and saved to a computer. The image stored in CM/ECF cannot be changed once it has been filed; however, the best practice is to file PDF's that cannot be edited. Certain versions of Adobe Acrobat and other PDF editing software allow the user to save a fillable form after data has been entered, and edit that information at a future date. If a form with saved data is filed electronically, (by someone with internet filing privileges in CM/ECF), the data can be easily extracted. To prevent the extraction of data from any forms that you file, you must "flatten" the document before filing it in CM/ECF (to make the field data indistinguishable from the rest of the text in the form).