Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) is a website that allows people to get case information online from federal courts. You can learn more information on PACER's homepage.
To use PACER, you need to register for an account. Anyone can have a PACER account. You do not need to be a lawyer to use PACER.
With your PACER account, you can access your bankruptcy documents anywhere, anytime, as long as you have internet access. Examples of information you can find on PACER include the following:
- A listing of all parties and participants including judges, attorneys, and trustees
- Related information such as cause of action, nature of suit, and dollar demand
- Dates of case events
- A claims registry
- A listing of new cases each day
- Appellate court opinions
- Judgments or case status
- Types of documents filed for certain cases
- Images of your documents, like your petition, schedules, and motions
You can set up a PACER account online by visiting PACER's homepage. If you do not wish to complete the online form, you may contact the PACER Service Center for a registration form at (800) 676-6856. There is no charge for registration.
If you want immediate access to PACER, you will need to enter a valid credit card or debit card number when you register. PACER will then send you an email confirmation with your username and password.
If you can wait, or if you do not have a valid credit or debit card, PACER will send you a confirmation in the mail with your login and password. It should reach you within just a few days.
You will be charged $.10 per page to access the web based PACER systems . You are not charged per minute of use. The charge applies whether or not you print out pages, view, or download them. The cost to access a single document cannot be more than $2.40, about 30 pages.
If you accrue a total of less than $10 worth of charges in any given quarter, fees are waived for that quarter and your balance will be reset to $0 for the next quarter. If you exceed $10 worth of charges, you will be billed on a quarterly basis for your transactions.
For most users, PACER ends up being a free service.
Go to the PACER site for the Bankruptcy Court where the case has been filed. Illinois has three US District Courts for bankruptcy. Each one has its own system that you can access with your PACER account:
Once you get to the right site, sign into PACER using your PACER login and password.
To search for a case, click on "Query" toward the top left corner of the window. Use any or all of the search fields provided to find your case. Once you have found and brought up your case, use the "History/Documents" tab to view the documents filed for your case.
Your account will be charged $.10 for every page you view, print, or download. If you accrue a total of less than $10 worth of charges in any given quarter, the fees charged are waived for that quarter and your balance will be reset to $0 for the next quarter. You will only receive a bill if you exceed $10 in charges in a quarter.
If you don't want to be charged again for opening the same document more than once, you might want to print out a copy for yourself before closing the document.