Are you ready? PACER Fees Increase April 1, 2012

February 22, 2012

No, sorry, it’s not an April Fool’s jokes –

The per page rate will be increased from 8¢/page to 10¢/page. The good news … the powers-that-be have increased the payment exemption from $10 to $15 per quarter.

Seriously though, who can keep their PACER costs that low? That limits you to no more than 150 pages viewed per quarter. Let’s see, that would be

  • 4 10-page dockets;
  • 6 4-page orders;
  • 1 40-page pleading (with exhibits);
  • 4 2-page notices; and
  • 1 38-page bankruptcy petition and schedules.

Think about it, a series of Chapter 11 First Day motions will throw you right out of the free zone.

Yes, there is still a 30-page cap on fees per document – although you often lose that ‘benefit’  when a pleading has multiple, separate attachments. Of course, you still get ‘one free look’ – but that only applies to pleadings noticed electronically to you by the court. Remember, if anyone else is receiving that notice under your login, and they pull the document first, you’ll get hit for the charge when you open the link.

So, what can you do to control or minimize your costs?

  1. Designate someone to open and save a copy of every ‘free look’ document that you need.
  2. Track your PACER use and pass the cost through to your clients.
  3. Use the “Client Code” box every time you log in.
  4. Change the client code when you begin a task for a different client.
  5. Unlink your PACER and ECF logins.
  6. If you use Firefox, download the RECAP extension to capture the documents in their archive.


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