A long-running complaint of many users of the PACER system may finally be reaching an end. The Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system is run by the Judicial Conference of the United States. For most services, PACER users pay $0.10 per page with a cap of $3 per document.
Reuters reports that
the U.S. government has agreed in principle to resolve a class action lawsuit brought by a group of nonprofits alleging the federal judiciary overcharged the public for access to court documents through its PACER system.
The tentative settlement was disclosed in a status report filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., on Monday, more than a year after an appellate court concluded the judiciary improperly covered some of its expenses with PACER fees.
Terms of the potential deal were not disclosed. Lawyers with the U.S. Justice Department and for the plaintiffs said the deal still needs to be finalized and that they hoped to provide an update by Jan. 20.
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The lawsuit was brought as a class action on behalf of anyone who paid PACER fees from April 2010 to April 2016. The judiciary collected $923 million in PACER fees during the fiscal years 2010 to 2016, according to court filings.
Case: National Veterans Legal Services Program v. U.S., U.S. Dist. Ct., D.C. No. 16-cv-745.