Those who rely on online public court records from the federal government will soon be forced to pay 25 percent more to gain access, Ars Technica reports.
The federal courts stated that it would be raising its fees from 8 cents per page to 10 cents, forcing those in legal and other fields to devote more of their budgets to pay for access to the PACER website . According to the courts, the fee hikes - which haven't been increased since 2005 - will result in an additional $100 million of revenue each year. However, some critics think that charging the public any amount of money for access to public court records online
will hurt the flow of information. "Congress needs to consider funding PACER out of general appropriations," Harlan Yu, an open government expert at Princeton, told the news source. "It's really shutting people out from being able to learn the laws that they need to abide by in our society." On the state level, some places have been moving to the digital sector as well. The Associated Press reports that courts in Oklahoma are spending $27.4 million to make all documents available on the internet.