Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER)
PACER is a fee for use service offered by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. It offers electronic access to records of most federal district, appellate, and bankruptcy courts. The types of records available electronically will vary from court to court. In almost all jurisdictions docket sheets may be accessed. Most documents electronically filed in civil cases may be viewed over the Internet by using PACER.
When you access docket sheets or other documents over the Internet using PACER, there is a fee of $0.10 per page. This fee applies regardless of whether you simply view the document or download and save it. There is a maximum charge of $3.00 per document.
When a PACER user accesses a document for the first time via the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF), the user will not incur fees for accessing the newly filed document, but access to any hyperlinked document from within the original document will incur a fee. When a PACER user accesses a document after the first look, or accesses it from a docket sheet, the user will be charged for the original document and any documents displayed when using a hyperlink. If documents filed in the same transaction contain hyperlinks to each other, the free look will be available from the document number hyperlink displayed on the NEF document submenu, not from the hyperlinks in the documents themselves.
If a PACER user does not have his/her PACER login already linked to the user’s ECF login, the user will be prompted for the PACER login for the first document the user tries to view. For information on how to register for a PACER account go to www.pacer.gov.
CM/ECF Accounts and PACER Accounts are Different
A CM/ECF account allows you to file documents electronically and provides you with email notification of docket activity in any cases where you are counsel of record or have signed up for electronic notification. It does not allow you to view docket sheets or court documents except through the one-time link in the email notification. Only attorneys may have CM/ECF accounts.
A PACER account allows you to view docket sheets and documents which have been filed electronically. You cannot file any documents using a PACER account. Anyone can sign up for a PACER account.
When you go to this Court’s electronic filing site, you may enter either your CM/ECF login and password or your PACER login and password. Because the accounts allow you to do different things, the options on the main menu bar are different. If you are logged in with your CM/ECF login and password and click on an option that requires a PACER account such as viewing a docket sheet, the system will prompt you to enter your PACER login and password.
Some documents have added security which allows them to be viewed only by case participants. In this situation, when the NEF is received the recipient must login using the CM/ECF password then the PACER login to view the document. This is a security feature so that PACER recognizes the user as a case participant.