The $1.66 trillion omnibus spending bill, advanced by the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, December 20, 2022, excludes the Open Courts Act of 2021.
The United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 8235: the Open Courts Act of 2020 on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. The bill seeks to provide free access to federal court documents filed on PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records). The federal judiciary opposes the bill, citing "devastating budgetary and operational impact on the Judiciary."
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.