What is PACER: Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) is an electronic public access service that allows users to obtain case and docket information from Federal Appellate, District and Bankruptcy courts, and from the U. S. Party/Case Index. Electronic access is available for most courts by registering with the PACER Service Center, the judiciary’s centralized registration, billing and technical support center.
The PACER System offers an inexpensive, fast, and comprehensive case information service to any individual with a personal computer (PC) and Internet access. The PACER system permits you to request information about a particular individual or case. The data is displayed directly on your PC screen within a few seconds. The PACER system is available days, nights, and weekends. You can verify all updates to active and recently closed cases without having to make repeated trips to the court to review paper records.
Securing a PACER Account: All Eastern District of Virginia Bankruptcy Court CM/ECF registered users and non-registered query-only users must enter an assigned PACER login and password to access ECF documents in the Court’s database. If you do not have a PACER login and password, please contact the PACER Service Center to establish your account. You may register online at http://www.pacer.gov/ or call the PACER Service Center at (800) 676-6856 or (210) 301-6440.
You are strongly encouraged to register for a PACER account over the Internet, as this is the quickest way to set up an account. The PACER Service Center offers free instant registration for Public Access to Court Electronic Records. To register instantly, the user will need to visit the PACER Service Center web site (through the link provided above), and click on the Registration icon. The user must fill out the online registration form and provide a valid e-mail address. By providing credit card information, an account is established immediately. Within a few minutes an e-mail notification is provided, with a link back to the PACER Service Center web site, which is used to retrieve the login and password. For security reasons, logins and passwords cannot be e-mailed, faxed, or given over the phone. For those users who do not wish to provide a credit card number, the online registration form is otherwise completed and the user receives the login and password via U. S. Mail.
The Judicial Conference of the United States (Judicial Conference) prescribed a per-page fee, which commenced on July 1, 2001, to access, view and/or retrieve information and documents from the CM/ECF System. Effective April 1, 2012, this fee increased from $.08 to $.10 per page. There are seven (7) exceptions to this fee requirement, as follows:
- Effective April 1, 2012, the user will not be billed or required to pay a fee until the user’s fee accrues more than $15.00 worth of charges in a quarterly billing cycle. If the user does not accrue more than $15.00 worth of charges in a quarterly billing cycle, all balances will be waived. Once the balance due exceeds $15.00 in a quarterly billing cycle, the user will receive a statement, by mail, which includes all charges accrued in the cycle.
- No fee is charged for access to judicial opinions.
- Local, state and federal government agencies will be given an exemption from the increase for a period of three (3) years from the effective date of the increase, April 1, 2012.
- The user may access and view information or documents without charge at public access computer terminals located at the Alexandria, Norfolk, Newport News and Richmond divisions of the Court. The Judicial Conference, however, has prescribed a fee of $.10 per page for copies of documents printed from public access computer terminals located in the clerk’s office. This fee is payable at the clerk’s office.
- If the user has established an automatic e-mail notification regarding documents filed in a case or adversary proceeding, the user will have one opportunity to view, retrieve or download the document, without charge by accessing the document directly from the e-mail hyperlink. This one-time opportunity expires 15 days after the document was filed electronically and the e-mail notification was sent.
- A user who has obtained an order of the Court exempting the user from payment of the fee will not be charged to access, view and/or retrieve information or documents from the CM/ECF System.
- The Judicial Conference has placed a cap of $3.00, the equivalent of 30 pages, on the $.10 per page charge for all case documents, including docket sheets and case-specific reports, with the exception of transcripts of federal court proceedings (Effective April 1, 2012, the prescribed fee cap increased from $2.40 to $3.00 ($.10 x 30 pages.). The cap applies to all PACER, RACER, and CM/ECF sites. For example: previously, a 50-page document cost $5.00 at $.10 per page. This same document now only costs $3.00. Users will receive the entire 50-page document but only be charged $3.00. Each attachment in CM/ECF sites is considered a separate document. Therefore, the cap will apply to each attachment over 30 pages separately.
In addition to the above, as directed by Congress, the Judicial Conference has determined that the following fees are necessary to reimburse expenses incurred by the judiciary in providing public access to court records, effective October 1, 2012:
- For every search of court records conducted by the PACER Service Center, $30 per name or item searched.
- For the PACER Service Center to reproduce on paper any record pertaining to a PACER account, if this information is remotely available through electronic access, $.50 per page.
- For a check paid to the PACER Service Center which is returned for lack of funds, $53.
Support representatives from the PACER Service Center can assist you with problems accessing PACER, answer general questions or accept suggestions. All questions are answered in the order received. For faster service, please be sure to include in the message, your: Name, login ID, area code and telephone number, e-mail address and name of our Court (Eastern Virginia Bankruptcy Court). Do NOT include your password. Click this link to: e-mail PACER Service Center.
Effective March 11, 2008, the Judicial Conference determined that any fee schedule reference to dial-up access be eliminated, since the current versions of CM/ECF and PACER no longer provide direct dial-up remote access.
Please see Attachment A for additional PACER Service Center services that are available to the Public.
Filing Documents Electronically: Attorneys admitted to practice in the Eastern District of Virginia, and Out-of-State Attorneys, governmental units and institutional entities may file documents electronically in the Eastern District of Virginia. In order to do so, a CM/ECF login and password must be obtained. To effect this, please visit the Eastern Virginia CM/ECF – Getting Started page and complete the appropriate registration form. Attorneys admitted to practice in the Eastern District of Virignia complete the Full Participant Registration Form. Out-of-State attorneys and other eligible entities complete the Limited Participant Registration Form. All forms are forwarded, for processing, to the address as shown on the form.
PACER Service Center Services Available to the Public
- The PACER Service Center offers automatic billing each quarter. Users who request instant registration are automatically enrolled in the automatic billing program. However, automatic credit card billing is not just for new users. All PACER users will have the option of signing up for automatic credit card billing via the web site.
- The PACER Service Center offers online password retrieval for those customers who lose or misplace their PACER password. However, customers who have not previously done so, will need to provide the PACER Service Center with a valid e-mail address, security question, and date of birth prior to using the online password retrieval service.
- Billing logs are available to customers via the Internet web site. The PACER Service Center collects billing logs from each CM/ECF site on a monthly basis. Shortly after collection, the billing logs are loaded on the PACER web site where customers can view them. The PACER Service Center web site has the ability to sort the logs in a number of ways to allow customers to easily track charges. The PACER Service Center sends quarterly invoices to all customers with outstanding charges over $15.00.
- The PACER Service Center Internet site is an excellent source for information. An entire section of the site (http://www.pacer.gov/cmecf/) is focused on CM/ECF. There are links to all CM/ECF court sites, CM/ECF training modules, and documents that provide general information about the CM/ECF project and its implementation status.
- The PACER Service Center manages the U.S. Party/Case Index – a national locator system for cases filed in federal courts
- PACER offers electronic access to case dockets to retrieve information such as a listing of all parties and participants in the case, a chronology of case events entered in a case record, a claims register, a listing of new cases each day, appellate court opinions, judgments or case status, types of documents filed for certain cases and imaged copies of documents.
- The PACER system is available days, nights and weekends.
- The PACER Service Center can assist the public by: addressing browser issues; troubleshooting connection issues; providing information on installing and using Adobe Acrobat; providing information on creating documents using Adobe Writer; helping users while navigating the CM/ECF sites; and informing users about chargeable items.
- The PACER Service Center Internet site provides links to Federal Appellate, District and Bankruptcy courts across the country.
- The PACER Service Center provides a listing of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and their answers.
- The PACER Service Center provides information and instruction on requesting a credit when the user experiences problems with receiving a ‘free look’.