Bill Would Make Online Access to Federal Court Records Free

By KAYLA GOGGIN: For More Info, Go Here…

House lawmakers introduced a bipartisan bill Wednesday that would remove online paywalls and make federal court records free to the public.

ACER, as the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system is otherwise known, currently charges between 10 cents and $3 for most searches, page views and PDF document downloads.

That would change under the Electronic Court Records Reform Act, which is sponsored by Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., and Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill.

In addition to making federal court records free of charge online, the bill would improve document accessibility the PACER website, while also requiring online access to audio and visual court records. The website upgrades would include new technology to enhance security.

Collins, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, called the current paywall system unreasonable.

“Courts represent a cornerstone of our democracy,” Collins said in a statement Wednesday. “We expect them to deliver justice in public, open for any and all to inspect, and this goal can’t be achieved when case filings and other documents are shrouded behind a paywall.”

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