WASHINGTON, D.C., August 6, 2020 – Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled unanimously that the PACER system charges fees in excess of what the law allows to access federal court documents. PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) is often the only way for many in the public sphere to access court documents like decisions and amicus briefs. That puts a financial burden on journalists, advocacy organizations, legal researchers, and others who are trying to obtain information about what’s happening in the court system.
Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron issued the following statement:
“Transparency in our government is just as important for our judicial system as it is for our other branches. Alliance for Justice joined with those challenging PACER’s excessive fees because they create a barrier to that transparency. With 200 of Trump’s extremist judges now sitting on the federal bench, it is more important than ever to track exactly what’s happening in our court system. Reporters and court watchers shouldn’t have to pay exorbitant fees or hope someone posts a PDF just so they can scrutinize a document for themselves. Hopefully the resulting changes to PACER’s fees will enable far more coverage and analysis of the many inner workings of our courts.”