Wednesday, 2 February 2022

More on free PACER:

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports on Legislative efforts to increase access to PACER:
"On December 9, 2021, the Senate Judiciary Committee favorably ordered reported the Open Courts Act of 2021, S. 2614. At the markup session, the committee ordered to be reported, by voice vote, the bill with an amendment in the nature of a substitute. It is one of two legislative proposals introduced this Congress to eliminate the U.S. Courts’ current user fee structure for searching and accessing federal court filings on PACER. While S. 2614, as amended in committee, would make PACER free for the general public, each federal agency would be charged an annual fee equal to the total PACER fees paid by the agency in 2021 (adjusted for inflation). In addition to removing PACER user fees for the general public, both the Senate Judiciary Committee and House-introduced versions of the Open Courts Act of 2021 (S. 2614 and H.R. 5844) require the AO to modernize PACER’s technical functionality, including the additions of full-text search capabilities and “widely accepted common data elements.” Meanwhile, the AO has been independently weighing recommendations of 18F—the U.S. government technology and design consultant group—to improve functionalities of the public-facing PACER and underlying CM/ECF systems."

Not just free PACER, but PACER with a user-friendly interface! 

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