PACER and Online Legal Research

PACER stands for Public Access to Court Electronic Records. It is an Internet based service that lets a legal research professional or anyone else to have access to case and docket information from District and Bankruptcy courts, the U.S. Party/Case Index and the Federal Appellate. Being a service of the US judiciary, the PACER service center offers links to all US courts and the different data bases that are maintained by each one of them. It is also a very quick and easy service and one can get many important case details at PACER. What are the types of details available?
Day wise listing of cases

Case record dates and details

Claims registry

Cause of action/ money demanded etc

List of all judges, attorneys trustees etc


Case document type details

Copies of documents

Court opinions

The United States Congress has given the Judicial Conference of the United States the authority to collect a fee for electronic access to information on a case. Thus all the individuals or agencies who register are charged a user fee. This paid service offered by PACER is very useful for the litigators, legal research and law communities. Instant registration can be done online on the official pacer website. During legal or litigation research, services like PACER are very convenient because it is an inexpensive method of accessing precedent database that is for ever growing.

Each court maintains its own databases with case information and a small subset of information from each case is transferred to the U.S. Party/Case Index that is located in San Antonio, Texas at the PACER Service Center, server on a daily basis. How are the records sent? Records are submitted to individual courts using the (CM/ECF) system (Federal Judiciary’s Case Management/Electronic Case Files) and usually accept the filing of documents in PDF Format through the courts’ electronic filing system.