The "Magic Number Bug," and How You Can Fix It

When you integrate your ECF account with DocketBird, the Court will send new filing notification emails to DocketBird. DocketBird will then attempt to download your filings for free, using your "Free Look."

All of this is made possible by a special "magic number" that the Court embeds in its emails. The "magic number" is needed to ensure that DocketBird can download your filings at no charge.

Unfortunately, a few courts (like the Northern District of Georgia and the Southern District of New York) have a bug in their system that sometimes results in magic numbers being omitted from their emails. When that happens, DocketBird cannot download your filings for free. Accordingly, DocketBird will send you a notification email of the new filing, but the email will not include the PDF attachments.

We realize that this can be frustrating, but unfortunately we are at the mercy of the courts' ECF systems. 

If you'd like, we can configure your account to go ahead and download these documents, even when they are missing magic numbers. The catch is that you will incur the typical PACER fees when that happens. If you would like us to do so, please email us at