PACER Billing Tips
Tips for Ensuring that Counsel of Record Get Their One Free Look
Counsel of record are entitled to one free look at the documents filed in their cases. In order to minimize your PACER bill it is important to understand how the one free look works.
The free look DOES NOT apply to searches or docket sheets--even if you link to the docket sheet directly from the email Notice of Electronic Filing. The free look also DOES NOT apply if you link to a specific document from the docket sheet.
The free look applies to counsel of record ONLY IF you link to the document directly from the email Notice of Electronic Filing AND ONLY IF it is the first time that you have done so. The opportunity for a free look expires after 15 days. In addition, to obtain your free look, you MUST log into the system using the proper login sequence--failure to use the proper login sequence will result in the system being unable to identify that you are entitled to a free look. Enter the CM/ECF login and password provided to you by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio first, then if you are subsequently prompted for another login and password, you should enter the login and password provided to you by the PACER Service Center. The system uses the CM/ECF login and password to identify whether you are entitled to a free look. The PACER login and password determine which PACER account will be billed. The system will be unable to determine whether you are entitled to a free look if you enter the PACER information first--it will treat you as if you are just any member of the public because the system which determines whether you are counsel of record on the case has no knowledge of your PACER account. You can link your PACER account to your CM/ECF account to minimize the number of times you need to enter the PACER information by checking the appropriate box on the login screen, BUT you must remember to always use your CM/ECF account to access the information; if you enter the PACER login and password instead, the system will still fail to recognize that you may be entitled to a free look.
You can review your billable transaction history on the PACER website (http://pacer.psc.uscourts.gov/). Click on Account Information, enter your PACER login and password, and click on Review Transaction History.
For information regarding PACER, including fees and billing, contact the PACER Service Center at:
PACER Service Center
P.O. Box 780549
San Antonio, TX 78278