Courts to restore deleted archives, may fix much-maligned PACER system

Gigaom

PACER, the federal courts’ online record system, works about as well as healthcare.gov, and is about as popular. Still, even the most jaded users were aghast to discover in August that PACER had abruptly purged years of digital records, including documents from important appeals courts and the bankruptcy court in Los Angeles, and suggested that users could obtain paper copies from courthouses instead.

Now, after an outcry in the legal community and demands for an explanation by the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy (D-Va), PACER’s overlords say they will make it right — sort of.

On Friday, a spokesman for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts told the Washington Post that the agency plans to restore the missing archives by October, and that “a new user interface also is planned, and further improvements are being made in searchability of data.”

This will provide some comfort to the lawyers, scholars, journalists and others who rely on PACER…

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