Summary: H.R.8235 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House (12/08/2020)

Open Courts Act of 2020

This bill requires the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to establish a single electronic system for all public court records that is publicly accessible for free. Under the existing Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system, users are charged fees for accessing court documents.

To fund the development of the new consolidated system, the Judicial Conference must temporarily establish a progressive schedule of additional fees for persons, other than government agencies, that are higher-volume users of PACER.

To fund the operations of the new system, the Judicial Conference shall collect an annual fee from federal agencies based on the amount of PACER fees paid by the agencies in 2018.

The Judicial Conference may also establish reasonable filing fees based on specified factors, including the extent of a person's use and the interests of justice.

The bill specifies various reporting requirements related to the new system, including for the Government Accountability Office.