Skip to Content

Free Expression, Open Internet

CDT Joins Advocates of Court Transparency and Judiciary in Letter Supporting the Open Courts Act

A segment of the letter is pasted below:

The Open Courts Act funds a means to move from an aging and difficult to navigate CM/ECF system to one that is modern and user-friendly. The legislation also funds a way to store, upload and access the static PDFs that largely comprise CM/ECF and requires that the new structure be implemented in a reasonable amount of time.

The judiciary often notes the potential financial burdens of not collecting fees from the public to retrieve court records. The Open Courts Act, however, provides a “pay-for,” where the judiciary will be fairly compensated while keeping documents free. It is a victory for both the public and federal judiciary. Further, because of your own fiscal responsibility, any unforeseen expenses can be supplemented by the judiciary’s rainy-day fund, as was disclosed to Congress in April. We are confident that between the financial mechanisms in the bill and your resourcefulness, a move to free PACER would not be burdensome.

Read the full letter and list of signatories here.