The PACER System offers electronic access to case dockets to retrieve information such as: A listing of all parties and participants including judges, attorneys, and trustees A compilation of case related information such as cause of action, case number, nature of suit, and dollar demand A chronology of dates of case events entered in the case record A claims registry A listing of new cases each day Appellate court opinions Types of documents filed for certain cases Many courts offer imaged copies of documents History[ edit ] PACER started in as a system accessible only by terminals in libraries and office buildings. All registered agencies or individuals are charged a user fee. The per page charge applies to the number of pages that results from any search, including a search that yields no matches with a one-page charge for no matches. The charge applies whether or not pages are printed, viewed, or downloaded. Courts must find that parties from the classes of persons or entities listed above seeking exemption have demonstrated that an exemption is necessary in order to avoid unreasonable burdens and to promote public access to information. For individual researchers, courts must also find that the defined research project is intended for academic research, and not for commercial purposes or internet redistribution.
Dockets, Court Documents, Transcripts, and Recordings: PACER
PACER - Dockets, Court Documents, Transcripts, and Recordings - LibGuides at Loyola Law School
A pending lawsuit could help tear that wall down. The costs of storing and transmitting data have plunged, approaching zero. By one estimate , the actual cost of retrieving court documents, including secure storage, is about one half of one ten-thousandth of a penny per page. But the federal judiciary charges a dime a page to use its service, called Pacer for Public Access to Court Electronic Records.
PACER allows anyone with an account to search and locate appellate, district, and bankruptcy court case and docket information. You may also conduct nationwide searches to determine whether or not a party is involved in a federal case. This database updates at midnight each day. Access federal case documents in real-time if you know the specific court the case was filed in by logging into PACER. Paper Case Files Most cases created before are maintained in paper format only.
This was hardly a convenient system, especially if you lived in a far-flung rural area or lacked the resources to travel to a nearby courthouse for the task. But it was still an impressive one. The interface has not evolved with the times. Now a medley of legal advocacy groups, media outlets, and former politicians and judges are asking the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals to rein in excessive PACER fees. Some of the organizations argue that the current payment structure violates federal e-government laws that prohibit unnecessary fees.