PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) has received a lot of negative press lately for not providing free public access to federal court docket information. Well, that isn’t true anymore . . . anyone with Internet access can now retrieve Pacer dockets 100% free from Courtport, LLC.
With the announcement of RECAP last Friday, Courtport, LLC opted to announce today the launch of its free federal court docket retrieval site, Free Court Dockets.
What's the difference between RECAP and Free Court Dockets?
The difference is simple -- RECAP is a plug-in for the Firefox web browser that makes it easier for users to share documents they have purchased from PACER, the court's pay-to-play access system. With the plug-in installed, users still have to pay each time they use PACER, but whenever they do retrieve a PACER document, RECAP automatically donates a copy of that document to a public repository hosted at the Internet Archive; however, with Free Court Dockets, the user bypasses PACER entirely and hass access to full court dockets from any U.S. district civil, criminal, or bankruptcy court, as well as from the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Claims, and the U.S. Court of International Trade.
For full details about Free Court Dockets, please read the press release here.