From D.C. Open Gov Coalition: Claim of Excessive PACER Fees May Be Adjudicated After Years of Complaints

A class action lawsuit in federal court in the District of Columbia could mean refunds for millions – anyone who paid fees to access federal court records using the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system in the last six years.

Plaintiffs are three nonprofit organizations—National Veterans Legal Services Program, National Consumer Law Center and the Alliance for Justice–who used the system but say the ever-increasing fees are excessive, far beyond what the law allows.

Congress in the E-Government Act of 2002 authorized the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AO) to establish PACER fees “as a charge for services rendered” but “only to the extent necessary” “to reimburse expenses incurred in providing the services.”