PACER

21 Jun 2014

I follow several legal cases, most related to animal welfare, climate, the environment, or agriculture and food. Like others, I have a PACER account, which gives me access to most court documents at the federal level, but at a price. I'm not overfond of the cost, as I've noted in the past, but I am, at least, grateful for such simple access to the documents.

I also re-publish the documents for access by all, and that includes discovery material and and evidence exposed during a trial. If it's posted by PACER, it's public domain. When I pay for PACER I'm paying for access to the system, not the documents. So far, no cease and desist letters, knock on wood.

21 Aug 2013

I was reminded of another valuable resource for accessing court documents: Justia. I've used the site many a time, and it's helped me discover cases related to one entity or another more than once.

You can search for a court case for free at Justia, and once you've found the case, you can then directly access the PACER court documents from the returned result. Using Justia you can save on the dime-a-page query forms that PACER provides.

As an example, when I searched on "Front Range Equine Rescue" and New Mexico, I found the listing for the court case I'm currently following related to horse meat plants and USDA inspections that has been on fire with activity today. Yes, I still need to use PACER to access the docket and court cases, but I've saved from a dime to a dollar just finding the case.

Hey, every penny counts.

20 Aug 2013

Thanks to tweets from John Hawkinson (@johnhawkinson), I'm now aware that there is a way to access detailed daily transactions.

There is a link to a form that provides this, though the link is not available (as far I can see) from the primary Manage My Pacer page at PACER. The link is available at some district courts ECF systems, via the Utilities submenu. Only some of the courts, though. For instance, it's available from the Massachusetts district court.

Utilities page at Massachusetts district court

But it's not available from the Idaho district court's ECF page.

Utilities page at Idaho district court

Regardless, it works for all courts...once you can find the link. And now we have the link. Hurrah!

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