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How can I access court dockets by computer?
You can access copies of cases and documents from the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service which provides electronic public access to federal court records. PACER provides the public with instantaneous access to more than 1 billion documents filed at all federal courts.
Registered users can:
- Search for a case in the federal court where the case was filed, or
- Search a nationwide index of federal court cases.
The PACER Service Center can assist you at (800) 676-6856 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and can be found on the web at www.pacer.uscourts.gov.
My case is closed or archived, what do I do?
There are two ways to obtain copies of documents from a case that has been transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Northeast Philadelphia Federal Records Center (FRC):
Place your copy order directly with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) using the forms and procedures provided at their website. In order to complete your request, you will need case accession information. If you have a PACER account, for case years 2000 to present, select QUERY, and CASE FILE LOCATION, and enter the case number in order to find the accession data. For case years 1999 and older, or if you don’t have access to PACER, please contact our Clerk's Office Help Desk in order to obtain case-specific archive information. Next, complete the applicable civil or criminal copy order form and FAX or e-mail it to NARA. Please note that as of July 1, 2011, the Northeast Philadelphia Federal Records Center (FRC) Research Room was permanently CLOSED to the public.
Place your order with the Clerk's Office, at (570) 207-5600. The current retrieval fee is $64.00 per case and must be paid in advance. It takes approximately 7-14 days for a case to arrive by mail. We will contact you upon receipt of the case, then allow you to view the case documents and place a copy order if desired, at the rate of $.50 per page. When requested, a certified copy (court seal and signature of a deputy clerk) may be obtained for an additional fee of $11.00 per document. For retrievals involving multiple boxes, $39 for each additional box. For electronic retrievals, $10 Judiciary fee plus a $9.90 flat rate pull charge and $0.65 per page collected on behalf of the FRC.
How do I get certified copies of documents?
Certified copies of documents are available directly from the clerk. The cost is $11.00 per certification plus .50 per page for copies. Please specify the name of the document to be certified and the document number.
Should I notify the Court if I move to a different Law Firm?
You no longer need to notify the court of law firm changes or changes of address. Any changes made to your law firm or address need to be updated in your PACER account under the “maintenance tab."
How do I file a complaint without an attorney?
You can get the information and forms from any United States District Court Clerk’s Office, or you may click on the Filing Without an Attorney tab, then look for the Pro Se Information and Forms section, then look for Complaint Filing Instructions.
I need legal help - who do I contact?
The United States District Court cannot recommend any attorney.
In the Scranton Area:
If you wish to speak with a lawyer, you may contact Northern Pennsylvania Legal Services at 570-342-0184. Or if you are looking for a recommendation about a lawyer, you can contact the Lackawanna Bar Association at 570-969-9161.
I think someone is a) Corrupt b) Illegally in the U.S. or c) a Terrorist.
If someone is any of the above, or is breaking the law in some other way, you may want to contact the United States Attorney’s Office. They are the people that can investigate and prosecute a criminal case.
I need information about divorce, child custody, inheritance, real estate, juvenile or traffic violations.
These types of cases are handled by your local county court.