What’s New in Civic Tech: White House Removes Open Data Info, Internet Archive Offers to Host PACER Data

The White House has removed all of the information that was previously available through its open data portal, posting a message that encourages visitors to “check back soon for new data.” The old data, however, is still available through President Obama’s archive page, albeit in a format where some of the links are not functioning properly.

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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.

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Why PACER removed access to case archives of five courts

If you want to download court records in the United States, your first stop is probably PACER, the oft-maligned digital warehouse for public court records. Maintained by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the system charges 10 cents per page of search results within its archive, and 10 cents per actual page of court documents that are officially in the public record. It's a useful tool for attorneys, but often difficult for the average citizen to navigate and understand.

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