$350 (More or Less) Could Be On Its Way to Your Law Library (From PACER) . . .

Litigation that began back in 2016 focusing on the amount and use of PACER fees collected by the federal judiciary settled last week (the settlement still needs to be approved by a federal judge).  The class action, filed in the federal district court for the District of Columbia, claimed that PACER fees were excessive and were used, in part, for unauthorized purposes (e.g., technology improvements for the federal courts).  Thanks to the settlement, PACER users will receive a refund of up to $350 of PACER fees paid from April 2010 to May 2018.  For those who incurred more than $350 in fees during that time, additional funds may be distributed after the initial refunds (of up to $350) have been made.  The settlement applies only to payments made in the past and does not affect current or future PACER fees. 

That said, apart from the litigation (but likely encouraged by it), the judiciary has eliminated some PACER fees since the lawsuit was filed and proposed legislation winding its way through Congress would make PACER cost-free.  That would mean that the judiciary would lose about $150 million in annual fees; reports have suggested that it costs around $64 million to update and maintain PACER annually. 

The following sources provide more information on the litigation and the settlement . . . and I am sure that the court filings are all available . . . . on PACER . . . .





Washington Post



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