Report: Federal Judiciary Misused PACER Fees, Judge Says in Class Action Ruling
The federal judiciary misused millions of dollars in fees derived from an electronic public web portal for court documents to fund certain programs that federal law did not allow, a Washington judge ruled on Saturday.
U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle said the United States is liable for certain improper expenses that violated the E-Government Act of 2002. The ruling came in a class action that alleged the judiciary’s administrative office set fees too high for the online portal Public Access to Court Electronic Records, commonly known as PACER.
Huvelle turned down the challengers’ argument that PACER fees must be restricted solely to the marginal cost of running PACER itself, and she dismissed the government’s position that the judiciary has latitude to spend PACER fees on broad programs that might benefit some members of the public but not all.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.