Suit claims Pacer is overcharging for docket reports because of counting error

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A would-be class-action suit filed in federal court in Tacoma, Washington, late last month claims Pacer is overcharging for some docket reports.

The suit filed by Bryndon Fisher alleges that the systemic error overcharges users by overcounting bytes on longer docket page captions, counting those bytes five times instead of just once, TechDirt and Courthouse News Service report.

Fisher alleges he was overcharged $37 for accessing 184 docket reports in the last two years.

Pacer charges 10 cents per page, but caps the amount at $3 for access to any case document or docket sheet, according to its online information. PDFs are charged by page count, but pages of docket reports, which are in HTML format, are estimated based on the number of bytes extracted. The Pacer user manual has specifics: 4,320 bytes count as one billable page, the suit says.

Experts retained by Fisher’s lawyers found that case captions on docket pages that are longer than 850 characters are overcounted by five times. That results in an overcharge for users, unless they reached the maximum $3 charge regardless of the miscount, the suit says.

Hat tip to How Appealing.

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