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November 2011

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This article is in the news archives --- for current news go to the Third Branch News.


Free PACER Training Offered Online

Are you interested in learning how to access federal court records online, or want to sharpen the record-searching skills you already have? A free-of-charge website offers training for the federal Judiciary’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service.

Users can search the database to find cases to explore.

The site, which launched in mid-September, features data from real cases in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York filed over a six-month period in 2007. The training site can be accessed via “What’s New With PACER” on the PACER website home page, www.pacer.gov.

No registration is required, and a login and password are posted on the training site’s Welcome Page.

Users can search the database to find cases to explore. As searches are conducted, a transaction receipt display will explain what charge would have been accrued on the PACER service. Reviewing the receipts will help users manage their PACER charges.

It is strongly recommended that users of the training site also read the PACER Service Center User Manual. And questions about using the training site can be posed to PACER customer service representatives at 800-676-6856 or pacer@psc.uscourts.gov.

Because each federal court maintains its own version of the federal Judiciary’s Case Management/Electronic Case Files system, a court’s “live” database may display information, selection of events, and choice of reports slightly differently from the training database.