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Documents Removed from PACER

The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has recently updated its online notice regarding removal of documents from the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) database.  According to the notice, the new PACER system is incompatible with older case documents from several courts; these documents have been removed from the PACER system.  The affected courts are:
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit (cases filed prior to January 1, 2010 have been removed)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit (cases filed prior to January 1, 2008 have been removed)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit (cases filed prior to January 1, 2010 have been removed)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (cases filed prior to March 1, 2012 have been removed)
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California (cases filed prior to May 1, 2001 have been removed)

Legal researchers lacking access to databases other than PACER can still access the removed cases by contacting the individual courts, albeit more slowly and at increased expense.

This move has been controversial as the removed documents include a number of notable civil rights cases.
Training on using the new PACER system is available online.

Update: as of 9/19/14, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has announced plans to restore these documents to PACER.  Details are available here.

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