Georgia Republican introduces legislation to kill PACER, the outrageous paywall around the US justice system


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/09/17/150-mil-for-pdf-hosting.html


#2

Well he’s not long for the GOP…


#3

I’ve used PACER. I didn’t think of it as a paywall. But if there are people that want to access it without a cc or debit card than I suppose it could be.

They give you a yearly amount of views/downloads for free enough to view a case with some of the associated documents.

But it does require name, address, phone, reason-ish, and cc/debit.


#4

A Republican is pushing this forward?

Is this an Onion piece?


#5

Hmmm… too late for him to be primaried.


#6

As much as I dislike Nathan Deal and the GA GOP, they have been moving ahead with some criminal justice reform - this is one case, another is working to eliminate bail. These changes are critical and I’ll welcome them no matter who pushed them through.


#7

As long as they don’t change its actual functionality.


#8

My thought exactly. Do away with PACER, and how do we access court documents? Bribe the clerk?


#9

Didn’t the bill specify features to be added? That doesn’t really strike me as an intention to getting rid of it. Just improving access.


#10

The public has a right of access. You may request any single page by number. You may examine it in a closed room, without any electronic device nor means of note taking. There will be a $25 charge per page to cover the cost of a clerk retrieving the document. The index to the pages is not itself part of the official record and may not be consulted by members of the public at any time.

(I’ve lived in counties where that is the actual policy with respect to the property tax plats and register of deeds.)


#11

On top of everything else, the PACER interface is terrrible


#12

Is there a “beware of the leopard” notice, too?


#13

This is what happens when you ask the Koch brothers for support and they turn you down because it looks like you’ll win without it.


#14

This bill would mean no access at all.

Two years to develop a completely new system that will satisfy every type of court (bankruptcy,district,appellate,national, and supreme) as well as state court needs? And no funding until states sign on and pay some undefined fee sometime in the future?

This bill would end public access to court electronic records. It’s poorly considered and its effects are not at all understood by anyone who wants actual “free” access. It shows a complete lack of undersytanding of budgeting, software development, court processes, and the difference among the federal courts — let alone the differences between state and federal court requirements.

There may be a way to do it, but it’s not by gutting the system and allowing no time to build a new one up or the funding to do it.


#15

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