The Government Printing office has been exploring the possibility of offering the U.S. Courts’ online service, PACER, to federal depository libraries for no fee access. In September The Judicial Conference of the United States approved the creation of a pilot project with 15 such libraries to evaluate the feasibility of providing such a service through the Federal Depository Library Program. Sometime in the near future a decision will be made about whether to expand the service to all approximately 1300 federal depository libraries.
( See : Update on Getting PACER Into FDLP )
The Judicial Conference also voted to make transcripts of federal district and bankruptcy court proceedings available online through the Judiciary's Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system. Under the new policy, transcripts created by court reporters or transcribers will be available for inspection and copying in a clerk of court’s office and for download from PACER 90 days after they are delivered to the clerk. Individuals will be able to view, download, or print a copy of a transcript from PACER for eight cents per page.
This second development could considerably enhance the value of the access to PACER court documents at depository libraries. They will have to await the evaluation of the pilot project to see if this important source of judicial documents becomes available at depository libraries.