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Paying too much for PACER? You could get an email notice later this spring to join a class action that seeks refunds for several hundred thousand people who allege the electronic court service has charged excessive fees.

A federal judge for the District of Columbia granted class certification this week in the case, which alleges that the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system, managed by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, overcharges for online access to court dockets and documents, often using the revenue to pay for other expenses such as audio systems and flat screens for jurors. The case, brought by appellate attorney Deepak Gupta on behalf of three Washington nonprofit organizations, alleges that the U.S. government has violated the E-Government Act of 2002, which allowed the federal judiciary to charge fees for PACER “only to the extent necessary.” PACER charges 10 cents per page for court records, with a maximum of $3 per record. There is no charge for judicial opinions.

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