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Retired Federal Judges Argue PACER Should be Free

Posted Feb 5, 2019

A group of retired federal judges has filed an amicus brief in a federal circuit case arguing that PACER access should be free. PACER is an electronic service that was established by Congress in 1988 to make case and docket information for federal appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts accessible to the public. According to the brief , “the tragedy of PACER’s paywall is that the courts appear less legitimate, that neither the Judiciary nor outside researchers can effectively identify or address certain systemic problems in our justice system, and that pro se litigants are disadvantaged.” The New Republic reports that although operation costs for PACER were only $3 million in 2016, revenues exceeded $146 million. See NY Times, LAC Group.