FAQ : DocketBird for Libraries

Q. What is DocketBird?

A.  DocketBird is one of the world's largest repositories of federal court cases and documents. We have millions of cases and documents in our database, including nearly every pending case. DocketBird is trusted by hundreds of law firms, consulting companies, and investment firms to provide up-to-the-minute updates in civil, criminal, bankruptcy, and appellate cases.

Q. How is DocketBird different from Westlaw, Lexis, or Bloomberg Law?

A. There are many differences, but the most significant difference is that DocketBird integrates our clients' accounts directly with PACER, the federal judiciary's system for accessing documents. This enables DocketBird to provide real-time updates to federal court dockets and docket sheets. Our customers often report that federal court materials are available on DocketBird before they are available on our competitors' systems. Also, many materials on DocketBird are simply not available on our competitors' systems.

Q. What courts does DocketBird cover?

A. DocketBird covers federal courts, including, district courts, bankruptcy courts, appellate courts, the US Court of Federal Claims, and the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. DocketBird does not yet cover state courts.

Q. How much does DocketBird charge libraries?

A. DocketBird makes all its materials 100% free for public libraries and educational libraries. We only ask that you provide a link to DocketBird's website from your library's website. Of course, this only covers materials that DocketBird has already downloaded from the courts. If you want to download additional materials, we'll simply pass on the court costs to you. Those costs are 10 cents per page, or a maximum of $3.00 per document or docket sheet.

Q. When library patrons use DocketBird, can they cause the library to run up PACER fees?

A. Not unless you want them to do so. DocketBird enables each library to create a "Shared Patron Account." These accounts are limited to free materials on DocketBird (i.e., court materials that DocketBird has already downloaded from the Court). Libraries typically use Shared Patron Accounts for their public terminals.

Q. What happens if a patron wants to access a document that DocketBird has not yet downloaded?

A. If a patron asks you to retrieve a case or document that is not yet available on DocketBird, you can log in to DocketBird with your library's Master Account. You can then download the case or document from the Court using your Master Account. Then, the case or document will be available for anyone to access at no charge.

Q. If we use our Master Account to download a document, how much does it cost?

A. You'll pay exactly what the federal courts charge: 10 cents per page, at a maximum of $3.00 per document or docket sheet.

Q. Our library already has a PACER account. Can we use that account to download documents using DocketBird?

A. Yes.

Q. Our library does not have a PACER account. How can we pay the court fees for downloading documents?

A. We accept all major credit cards. Again, though, all of DocketBird's existing materials are 100% free to libraries. Libraries would pay only if they choose to download documents that are not already part of DocketBird's repository.

Q. What happens when a user downloads a document using DocketBird?

A. When any DocketBird user downloads a document from the court, we make the document freely available to all of our library users.