You can rack up charges on PACER, and it’s still free.

Hunting down the decision discussed in this post about Hulu and the federal Video Privacy Protection Act cost me about $2.50 using the federal court’s PACER web service. Every time I use PACER, I get anxious as I see the $0.10/page charges add up with every click. I was looking for an Order, which should be an opinion and therefore available at no cost, but every time I searched for the case or the document it cost me $0.10/page!

I also forget that I probably won’t be paying those charges every time I use PACER. According to § 8 of the Electronic Public Access Fee Schedule [PDF Warning], a user must accumulate more than $15.00 in use charges in a quarter before the user is billed for use of the web service. So, as long as I don’t hunt down more than five or six more decisions before July, I should be in the clear.

Remember that, if used in moderation, PACER is free. Now, I should really review this decision and write a blog post on the revival of the Video Privacy Protection Act, so that $2.50 wasn’t a waste of money . . . . Oh yeah, I probably won’t be paying it!

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