Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) says the removal of the thousands of cases from online review is essentially erasing history. The documents were deleted last month from online viewing because of an upgrade to a computer database known as PACER.
“Wholesale removal of thousands of cases from PACER, particularly from four of our federal courts of appeals, will severely limit access to information not only for legal practitioners, but also for legal scholars, historians, journalists, and private litigants for whom PACER has become the go-to source for most court filings,” Leahy wrote Friday to US District Judge John D. Bates, the director of the Administrative Office of the Courts (AO).
A spokesperson for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts said the removals were due to technical differences between the archives maintained by local courts and a new electronic case file system being adopted by the judiciary. The documents are still available on paper but were deleted from online access “without any warning to the public, and without prior notification or consultation with Congress,” according to Senator Leahy.
You can read more in an article by David Kravets in the ArsTechnica web site at http://goo.gl/Y32kOk.