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PACER Fee Exemption Information

Searching with PACER can help you find and view case summaries, docket entries, and copies of the documents filed in each case.

If you cannot afford PACER fees, read below "If I cannot afford PACER fees, what do I do?" on how to apply for a PACER fee exemption. Self-Represented Litigants (SRL), especially, may wish to apply for a PACER fee exemption.

What is PACER?

The Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service provides electronic public access to federal court records. PACER provides the public with instantaneous access to more than 1 billion documents filed at all federal courts.
Registered users can:

How much does it cost to access a document using PACER?

Access to case information costs $0.10 per page. This charge applies to the number of pages that results from any search, including a search that yields no matches (a charge of $0.10, one page, for no matches).  View the PACER website for additional information about billing.

If I cannot afford PACER fees, what do I do?

Visit Options to Access Records if you Cannot Afford PACER Fees | PACER: Federal Court Records (, and complete the Court’s application for a PACER Fee Exemption form. Please allow two weeks for a response from the Court.

For more information on PACER access, view the “Free Access and Exemptions” information, also highlighted below:

  • No fee is owed for electronic access to court data or audio files via PACER until an account holder accrues charges of more than $30.00 in a quarterly billing cycle.
  • Parties in a case (including self-represented or pro se litigants) and attorneys of record receive one free electronic copy, via the notice of electronic filing or notice of docket activity, of all documents filed electronically, if receipt is required by law or directed by the filer.
  • No fee is charged for access to judicial opinions.

Application Form for PACER fee exemption

What is the Criteria for a PACER Fee Exemption?

  • Courts may exempt certain persons or classes of persons from payment of the user access fee. Examples of individuals and groups that a court may consider exempting include: indigents, bankruptcy case trustees, pro bono attorneys, pro bono alternative dispute resolution neutrals, Section 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations, and individual researchers associated with educational institutions.
  • In considering granting an exemption, courts must find:
    • that those seeking an exemption have demonstrated that an exemption is necessary in order to avoid unreasonable burdens and to promote public access to information;
    • that individual researchers requesting an exemption have shown that the defined research project is intended for scholarly research, that it is limited in scope, and that it is not intended for redistribution on the internet or for commercial purposes. A request is limited in scope if the amount of exempt access requested is narrowly tailored to meet the needs of the defined research project.
  • If the court grants an exemption:
    • the user receiving the exemption must agree not to sell the data obtained as a result, and must not transfer any data obtained as the result of a fee exemption, unless expressly authorized by the court; and
    • the exemption should be granted for a definite period of time, should be limited in scope, and may be revoked at the discretion of the court granting the exemption.

Should you have questions, please contact the Help Desk at (855) 460-9641 or the Court’s online chat M-F between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm.