U.S. Courts aims to make records more accessible with PACER redesign


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The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts plans to launch a redesigned website for understanding its electronic records system Sunday.

A portal to Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) applications, the website hasn’t been updated in a decade.

New features will help users navigate PACER easier and find the records they seek faster with fees for downloads clearly explained.

“We are pleased to release this new version of the PACER website that will enable the public to not only access and use it more easily, but also have a better understanding of the electronic public access services that the judiciary offers,” Jane MacCracken, programs division chief of the Court Services Office, said in an announcement.

The redesign will improve website accessibility for people with disabilities while providing the office with data on what information users are seeking to inform future updates.

Users can also expect new:

  • Graphical aids,
  • Simplified instructions for registering for PACER,
  • Mobile-friendly design,
  • Search directions for finding specific records,
  • Easier access to free judicial opinions,
  • Fee exemption guidance,
  • Tools for people with disabilities to adjust text size and contrast or use a screen reader, and
  • Searchable information on courts.

Established more than 30 years ago, PACER lets the public search online for case information from federal district, appellate and bankruptcy courts. The system contains more than 1 billion documents filed by the court or parties in cases.

While this is the first major upgrade to the PACER website in a while, the Electronic Public Access Public User Group plans to meet Monday via teleconference to discuss next steps.

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Administrative Office of the United States Courts, Public Access to Electronic Court Records (PACER)