I’m currently at the American Association of Law Libraries‘ annual conference in Washington, DC. One of the things speakers have been talking about is lobbying being done to make PACER more accessible. The PACER service from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts provides on-line access to U.S. Appellate, District, and Bankruptcy court records and documents. The petition, through the care2 petitionsite website (http://www.thepetitionsite.com/) reads as follows:
We ask the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to improve PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) by enhancing the authenticity, usability and availability of the system.
We the undersigned, urge the Administrative Office of the US Courts (AO) to make the following changes to the PACER system:
- For verification and reliability, the AO should digitally sign every document put into PACER using readily available technology.
- PACER needs to be much more readily accessible if it is to be usable for research, education, and the practice of law. Improved accessibility includes both lowering the costs for using PACER and enhancing the web interfaces.
- Depository libraries should also have free access to PACER.
Put together by “a small band of law librarians who believe in improved open access to government information” the petition currently has 330 signatures. Their goal is 1,000 signatures.