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Using PACER

Lewiston, ME |

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?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. 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.


  2. 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.

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