PACER Fee Increase To Take Effect April 1
An increase in the electronic public access (EPA) fee, from eight cents to 10 cents per page, will take effect on April 1, 2012.
Earlier this month, the Judicial Conference of the United States authorized an increase in the federal judiciary’s electronic public access fee in response to increasing costs for maintaining and enhancing the electronic public access system.
The change is needed to support and improve the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system, and to develop and implement the next generation of the judiciary’s Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system.
The EPA fee has not been increased since 2005. As mandated by Congress, the EPA program is funded entirely through user fees set by the Conference.
The Conference was mindful of the impact such an increase could have on other public entities and on public users accessing the system to obtain information on a particular case. For this reason, local, state and federal government agencies will be exempted from the increase for three years. Moreover, PACER users who do not accrue charges of more than $15 in a quarterly billing cycle would not be charged a fee. (The current exemption is $10 per quarter.) The expanded exemption means that 75 to 80 percent of all users will still pay no fee.