On December 8, 2016, an employee of defendants’ counsel logged onto the district court’s Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) system, uploaded a notice of appeal document, and used a credit card to pay the appellate filing fee. The uploaded notice of appeal document, however, was not docketed because the employee prematurely exited the CM/ECF system before completing the third and final step in the online filing process. The third and final step requires a user to click or press a button in order to submit the uploaded document to be docketed.
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[C]ontrary to defendants’ arguments, there is no basis to conclude that their notice of appeal was delivered to or received by the clerk of the district court on December 8, 2016. To conclude otherwise would turn the district court’s clear and unequivocal electronic filing rules into mere suggestions, and would effectively allow a pleading to be "filed" without the pleading being docketed and, in turn, without the district court’s clerk or the opposing party knowing about it.