Judge Grants Class Certification for PACER Users
On Jan. 24, 2017, U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle of the District of Columbia certified a class of people and entities that have paid fees for court records from PACER, a federal court records service. The class action was filed in April 2016 by three nonprofit groups that allege the PACER fees were excessive.
The three nonprofits — the National Veterans Legal Services Program, the National Consumer Law Center and Alliance for Justice — are represented by Motley Rice and co-counsel Gupta Wessler PLLC and bring the lawsuit on behalf of all individuals and entities who paid PACER fees between April 21, 2010 and April 21, 2016. The class could consist of hundreds of thousands of members, according to the plaintiffs’ motion.
In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that PACER’s fees, which had increased twice since 2002, were in violation of the E-Government Act because the revenue from the fees exceeded the costs needed to maintain the service and provide public access to court records.
Read news reports on the class certification order: Politico, Law360, National Law Journal.