Proposed House Bill Would Eliminate Downloading Fees for Federal Court Documents and Filings

Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) recently proposed the Electronic Court Records Reform Act, which, if passed, would eliminate the fee structure of PACER, the federal court filing database. PACER presently charges users up to 10 cents per page and a maximum of $3 per document for these public record documents. The bill would also improve public access to federal court filings by requiring that documents be posted to PACER within five days of being filed in federal court.

Core to Justia’s mission is improving the public’s access to court dockets and filings, and this bill would go a long way to furthering that mission. Justia Dockets & Filings is a free service by which the public can access some federal court filings for free without having to pay for them on PACER, and Justia absorbs the cost of this free public service. Other services, such as RECAP, have also helped improve public access to court documents.

Additional Reading

Proposed Legislation Would Eliminate PACER Fees, ABA Journal, September 18, 2018