PACER Finally Agrees To Put Back Court Documents That Were Deleted
from the wasn't-so-hard,-was-it? dept
Sooner or later this had to happen. Back in August, with no warning, the PACER electronic court document system, overseen by the Administrative Office of the judicial system, announced that as part of an “upgrade” it had deleted a bunch of cases. Once this started getting some attention, officials gave a weak, nonsensical “explanation” for why no one could figure out how to take some PDFs and move them to the new system. As for why it couldn’t work with many, many public-service oriented archivers — who all offered to host the deleted works — no answer was ever given. Recently, however, Congress started to ask questions, and then all of a sudden the Administrative Office decided to wake up to the fact that this was a bad idea. The missing documents will soon be back.
“The Administrative Office is working to restore electronic access to these cases by converting the docket sheets in these cases to PDF format which will allow us to make them available in PACER,” said David Sellers, assistant director for public affairs at the AO, in a statement to the Washington Post. “This process will be completed in the four appellate courts by the end of October. We are also working to provide a similar solution for the dockets on the legacy system in the California Central bankruptcy court.”
Of course, still nothing is being done to actually make the PACER system more accessible to the public and dumping the ridiculous 10 cents/per page fee the system charges (which almost certainly breaks the law). Maybe if Congress started asking questions about that travesty as well, we’d finally start to see some real improvements.