Is It Time for Federal Court Records to be Free to the Public?
A federal database containing court records has been lauded and criticized by legal experts. On the one hand, Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) provides any American with complete access to docket text, opinions, and all documents filed regarding court cases. PACER has been described as “a tremendously useful tool” by its supporters.
But there is a big drawback to PACER. Users must pay for downloading, viewing, and even searching for case materials.
“This limitation unfortunately forecloses a great deal of democracy-enhancing activity,” wrote Steve Schultze, associate director of the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton.
Meanwhile, a project at Princeton has sought to make some PACER records freely available. RECAP uses crowd-sourcing to collect court documents purchased by PACER users and provide them without cost to the public.
To Learn More:
Pacer, Recap, And The Movement To Free American Case Law (by Stephen Schultze, Legal Information Institute)
U.’S RECAP Project Seeks To Broaden Public Access To Federal Court Documents (by Catherine Ku, Daily Princetonian)
Open Public Access to Court Electronic Records Act of 2013 (U.S. House of Representatives)
Why was Aaron Swartz Threatened with More Prison Time than a Bank Robber or Child Pornographer? (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)
- Top Stories
- Unusual News
- Where is the Money Going?
- U.S. and the World
- Appointments and Resignations
- Latest News
- Congress’ NSA Bulk Surveillance Reform Bill: Much Ado about Little
- Legal Justification for Bush Torture Program Relied on Secret Support of American Psychological Association
- Why is Budweiser Allowed to Partner with National Park Service despite Anti-Alcohol Advertising Policy?
- U.S. Cuts back its Watchdogs after Billions Lost and Billions More to be spent on Escalating Afghanistan War
- Algeria’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Madjid Bouguerra?