Every now and again people hit a wall; a pay wall.
“The federal judiciary charges 10 cents per page to pull up court files from its online record repository. The fees can add up quickly, and users must consider whether each click to view a public record is worth the cost.” That’s the lead for a story in the Washington Post yesterday. Should the public pay a dime for access to court records?
Several nonprofits, led by the National Veterans Legal Services Program, have teamed up to challenge the PACER fee structure, the fees that are established to access federal court documents. The plaintiffs have noted that the PACER fees are being used to pay for all sorts of things unrelated to court record access, like flat-screen TVs for jurors.
A three-judge panel of the Federal Circuit in D.C. heard the case yesterday and a decision is likely in a few months.