A three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Monday wrestled with a class-action lawsuit over the use of PACER fees, posing a number of hypotheticals about when people should be charged for accessing digital information on the federal judiciary.

The case is up on an interlocutory appeal from a ruling by U.S. District Senior Judge Ellen Huvelle of the District of Columbia, who found in 2018 that the federal judiciary misused millions of dollars collected in PACER fees. But she also disagreed with the argument brought forward by the class action that PACER fees should only be dedicated to running the online service.

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