GPO & Federal Judiciary Enhance Public Access to Federal Court Opinions

logosoupThe U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) and the Federal Judiciary are launching a one-year pilot program providing free public access to court opinions through GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys). Staff from the Administrative Office of the United States Courts met with GPO management to explore making opinions available through FDsys. The joint project was approved by the Judicial Conference of the United States and GPO’s Congressional oversight committee, the Joint Committee on Printing.

The public will be able to access court opinions in the next several months through FDsys, which can provide the public with a robust search engine that can search common threads across opinions and courts. When fully implemented, the pilot will include twelve participating pilot courts.

The participating pilot courts are the:

  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Eighth Circuits
  • U.S. District Courts for the Districts of Minnesota, Rhode Island, Maryland, Idaho and Kansas
  • Northern District of New York, and the Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Courts for the District of Maine, the Southern District of Florida, and the Southern District of New York.

Currently, free access to opinions in all Federal courts is available via the Judiciary’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records service (PACER). The Judiciary continually has sought ways to enhance public access to court opinions.

“GPO’s partnership with the Federal Judiciary on this pilot program is another example of how the agency is becoming the digital information platform for the entire Federal Government,” said Superintendent of Documents Mary Alice Baish.  “We are excited to add these important court opinions to our digital repository, providing the public with quick and easy access to the workings of the Federal Judiciary.”

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