News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Archive for October 28th, 2011


Free PACER Training Site for Federal Court Dockets

The federal court docket system, PACER, normally charges 8 cents a page for access, which will  increase to ten cents a page on April 1, 2012.  For students who want to play around on the system and see how it works, there is a free PACER training site which contains cases filed in the New York Western District Court between 1/1/2007 and 7/1/2007.   You can type in a last name, retrieve dockets and pull up the full text of documents.

Additionally, you can set up a PACER account to access everything on PACER and you will not be billed if you stay under $10.00 per quarter.  This exemption will increase to $15.00 a quarter starting April 1, 2012.

These actual filings can serve as examples to guide you when you need to draft a pleading or motion.  PACER does not have full text searching of the documents.  You can search by party name,attorney name, type of case and case number.  You can try looking for a relevant case in a case law database first, and then go to a docket such as PACER.  For Ohio examples, try the Summit County docket which allows you to search by document type (eg. complaint, notice of bankruptcy, writ of habeas corpus, etc.) and case type, as well as party name and case number.