Changes to Online Access to Federal Court Records

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Last week PACER (the federal judiciary’s “Public Access to Court Electronic Records” system) made some big news by announcing that it was disabling online access to selected court records for several Circuit Courts of Appeal (and one bankruptcy court). The full announcement is available through the PACER website.

The change, which PACER reports is due to an upgrade in their database system, means that documents from the following cases will no longer be available online through the PACER system:

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit Cases filed prior to January 1, 2010
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit Cases filed prior to January 1, 2008
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit Cases filed prior to January 1, 2010
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Cases filed prior to March 1, 2012
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California Cases filed prior to May 1, 2001

According to the individual courts, documents from these older cases will still be available by contacting the courts directly, though substantial fees may apply to obtain copies. It also seems to be the case that these dockets will generally not be available through Bloomberg, Westlaw, or Lexis, except for files that have already been uploaded by those services. As we learn more about availability for these dockets, we will provide updates through this blog and through our Court Records and Briefs Research Guide.


Posted by David R. Hansen (Dave) on Wed. September 3, 2014 10:42 AM
Categories: Uncategorized


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