Frequently Asked Questions
Browse FAQ Topics
Click on topic categories to view relevant FAQs.
Access to case information costs $0.10 per page. Depending on format, billable pages are calculated in two different ways. For HTML-formatted information, a billable page is calculated using a formula based on the number of bytes extracted (4,320 bytes = 1 billable page). For PDFs, the actual number of pages is counted (1 PDF page = 1 billable page).
The cost to access a single document is capped at $3.00, the equivalent of 30 pages for documents and case-specific reports like docket report, creditor listing, and claims register. The cap does not apply to name search results, reports that are not case-specific, and transcripts of federal court proceedings.
NOTE: If you accrue $30 or less of charges in a quarter, fees are waived for that period. 75 percent of PACER users do not pay a fee in a given quarter.
The $0.10 per-page charge is based on the number of pages that result from each search and accessing each requested report or document online. The charge is not based on printing that search or document. Read some examples of how charges are generated:
Enter party name "johnson, t" and receive two pages of matches. The charge is $0.20.
Enter case number 01-10054 and select Docket Report. The docket is 10 pages, so the charge is $1. You may enter a date range to limit the number of pages by displaying entries for the date range rather than all entries in the report.
Select a link within the docket report to view a document. The PDF document is five pages, so the charge is $0.50.
This charge applies to the number of pages that results from any search, including a search that yields no matches (a charge of $0.10, one page, for no matches).
In 1988, the Judiciary sought appropriations from the U.S. Congress to provide electronic public access to court records. However, Congress did not provide the funds and instead directed the Judiciary to fund the initiative through user fees. As a result, the program relies exclusively on fee revenue.
The Judicial Conference of the United States approved a measure in September 2019 stating that a user will not owe a fee unless their account accrues more than $30 of usage in a given quarter effective January 2020. If a user accrues $30 or less, those fees are waived for that quarter.
Learn about how PACER fees work.
“In forma pauperis” status does not automatically give you free access to PACER. You must petition the court separately to request free access.
Use the Court CM/ECF Lookup to find the contact information for an individual court.
Yes. Individuals working on defined research projects intended for scholarly work can request a PACER fee exemption from multiple courts. Each court reviews and approves requests at their discretion. Read more about this process and what form you need to complete to make a request.
There are fees associated with filing a case in federal court, or for filing specific types of documents, but those are filing fees that apply whether the filing is done electronically through CM/ECF, or by filing with the court in paper.
Yes. There is a fee for retrieving and distributing case information:
$30 per search (even if no results are returned), plus $0.10 per page per document delivered electronically, up to five documents. The $3 maximum (30-page cap) charged for any document applies.
If you want printed copies, the fee is $30 plus $0.50 per page (30-page cap does not apply) instead of $0.10 for electronic copies.
Search fees must be collected before any documents are delivered.
Get started with a request (pdf).
Learn about how PACER fees work.
Federal government agencies that wish to enter into an IAA for the use of PACER and payment of PACER fees incurred by its users should submit a 7600A Form and a 7600B Form to the PACER Service Center and acknowledge agreement to the PACER Policy and Procedures.
When completing the 7600B Form, in addition to the other required fields, the requesting agency should select “Other” from the dropdown menu for Box 17 - Statutory Authority Fund Type Code. The requesting agency also should input “28 U.S.C § 1913 (note)” in Box 19 - Statutory Authority Fund Type Citation.
If your agency requires additional or different documentation to establish an IAA for the use of and payment for the PACER service, the processing of the IAA may be delayed.