A federal district court heard arguments Friday on whether the federal courts are inappropriately overcharging for public access to court documents to fund certain projects.

U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle is considering a class-action lawsuit, filed by the National Veterans Legal Services Program, the National Consumer Law Center and Alliance for Justice, that alleges the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts overcharges for online access to dockets and documents via the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system. The judge appeared skeptical of both parties in Friday’s hearing, which centered on whether the courts can fund only PACER, or broader public access programs, with the fees.

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