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Pricing: How PACER fees work

Electronic public access to federal court records is available via the PACER service to anyone registered with an account. Based on the amount and type of information users access in a given quarter, they may be charged a fee. However, if usage in a quarter is $30 or less, their PACER fees are waived. 

Cost for Accessing PACER

When you search for or look at an online court record you will be charged the following fees:

$0.10 per page in a:

  • Document (but no more than $3 per document)
  • Transcript of federal court proceedings
  • Non case-specific report (such as cases reports)

$0.10 per PACER search results page (including no matches)

$2.40 per audio file

There is no maximum fee for name searches, reports that are not case-specific, and transcripts of federal court proceedings. Transcripts of federal court proceedings are added to PACER after 90 days. Contact the federal court where the case was heard to find out about accessing transcripts newer than 90 days.

Usage is billed on a quarterly basis. If you access more than $30 worth of court records within a quarter, you will be charged for all usage within that quarter.

Fee Exemptions

Courts may exempt individuals or groups, such as indigents, pro bono attorneys, academic researchers, and non-profit organizations from paying the fee. Learn more about fee exemptions for researchers. Other parties should contact the court.

When is PACER Free?

  1. You access $30 or less worth of court records within a quarter.
  2. You are a party in a case and receive a Notice of Electronic or Notice of Docket Activity (one free copy) from a court.
  3. You view case information at any federal courthouse. 
  4. You are an exempted individual or group
  5. Court opinions are always free.

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.  

 

The PACER Service Center can find your court records

Delivered Electronically

$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)

Need Help

The PACER Service Center can answer your questions about the best ways to search for a case for free.  

Phone: 1-800-676-6856

Email: pacer@psc.uscourts.gov