Pacer deletes older case files for four appeals courts; compatibility issues cited

Be prepared to jump through some hoops if you would like to access older, closed court records for patent appeals or cases in federal appeals courts based in Chicago, Atlanta and New York.

On Aug. 10, the federal courts announced that older court records were being deleted from Pacer for federal appeals courts for the Federal Circuit, and the 2nd, 7th and 11th Circuits, report Legal Times, the Washington Post blog the Switch and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog. Older bankruptcy cases in the Central District of California were also removed. The files were deleted Aug. 11.

Spokespersons for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts told the Switch and the Law Blog that the deleted documents were no longer compatible with Pacer, which is being overhauled for the Next Generation of the Judiciary’s Case Management and Electronic Case Files System.

The dates of deleted files range from cases filed before 2001 in the California bankruptcy court to cases filed before March 1, 2012, in the Federal Circuit. All open cases will be available on Pacer, however, along with new filings, a spokeswoman told Law Blog.

Those who want to obtain the deleted records will have to request them from the relevant court. In the 2nd Circuit, a request must be made in writing or by email, according to Legal Times. The court will email the entire case file for $30.

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