PACER Pricing: How fees work
Access federal court records electronically via the PACER service. Registered users may be charged a fee based on the amount and type of information accessed in a calendar quarter.
Cost for Accessing PACER
$0.10 per page:
Document, such as a docket, motion, order, judgement or brief in a case. You won't be charged more than $3 per document.
PACER Search Results – Anytime a search is performed you are charged a fee based on the number of pages generated in the search, even if the search displays “no matches found.” There is no maximum fee for these searches.
Reports that are not case-specific, such as the cases report. There is no maximum fee for these reports.
Transcript of court proceedings are added to PACER 90 days after they are produced. There is no maximum fee for transcripts in PACER. Learn more.
$2.40 per audio file:
Audio Files are provided as .mp3 files for some hearings as part of the court record.
Billing: Users are billed on a quarterly basis if they accrue more than $30 in the previous quarter. You will receive an invoice via mail or email.
Tips for limiting fees
Search by case number rather than by party name so you will go directly to the case without a charge. Otherwise, if you search for a case by a party name that is fairly common, that may yield a high number of pages.
You may limit the amount of information listed on the Docket Report by using the filters provided. Depending on the options made available by the court, you may have the ability to toggle the inclusion of “Parties and Counsel” and/or “Terminated Parties,” if that information is not necessary to you. Typically, these options are enabled by default. You also have the option to filter the docket to include filings/entries by date range. Entering a date range prior to running the docket report will display filings or entries within that range. For example: if you last checked the docket on 08/23/19, the next time you search for case updates enter a date range of 08/23/19 to present and unchecking “Parties and Counsel” and “Terminated Parties.” This will avoid pulling docket entries and party information you may have already accessed or do not need.
If you know what court the case was filed in and you know the case number, login to PACER to search directly using the Query option.
The PACER Case Locator is a nationwide index that searches all federal court case records in one central location. If you are unsure where the case was filed and/or you do not have a case number, you can use the PACER Case Locator to find it. You can search nationwide or you can limit your search criteria to a specific state to locate your case.
For example, if you know your case was filed in Texas, but are unsure which district in Texas, you can search for the case in the PACER Case Locator in multiple districts at once, instead of manually searching in each one individually.
Spend $30 or less on court records in a quarter and fees are WAIVED…
When is PACER Free?
- You are a party in a case and receive a Notice of Electronic or Notice of Docket Activity (one free copy) from a court.
- You view case information at any federal courthouse.
- You are an individual or group who was granted a fee exemption.
- Court opinions are always free.
Courts may exempt individuals or groups, such as indigents, pro bono attorneys, academic researchers, and non-profit organizations from paying a fee, upon request to the court. Learn more about fee exemptions for academic researchers. Learn more about fee exemptions for other eligible parties.
The PACER Service Center can find your court records
$30.00 per name or item searched plus $0.10 per page per document delivered electronically, up to five documents. The $3 maximum for any document applies.
Delivered by U.S. Mail
$30.00 per name or item searched plus $0.50 per page for paper copies of documents.
Get started with a request. (pdf)
The PACER Service Center can answer your questions about the best ways to search for a case for free.