My friend was recently contacted by a man in another state who I know to be a scammer--upon searching for his name on the internet I found a write up that was published by the SPLC. I planned to use PACER to show evidence of the man's legal history. However, after reading the billing plans for PACER I now understand that I will be charged $.10/page up to a certain cap for every case file that displays in the search results, regardless of whether or not I view or download the files. I am certain this man has been involved in numerous court cases, so I'm worried that a single search could end up costing me an excessive amount. Is there a way to see a preview of search results within PACER, or a place where I can use PACER at a lower cost?
The federal courthouses in your state may offer PACER access onsite. This is true in Vermont last time I checked and it may also be true in Maine. Try calling the United States District Court and asking the clerk.
Environmental / Natural Resources Lawyer
Call the USDC Maine Clerk's office and ask for the ECF / PACER help desk. They are great and will explain . . . . and confirm whether its worth your drive to Portland to run a search possibly for free.