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Federal government improperly restricting public access to court records via excessive fees

On September 5th, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and a coalition of 17 media organizations submitted a friend-of-the-court brief to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in the case of National Veterans Legal Services Program v. United States of America. The brief argues that the law requires the judicial system to limit the fees it charges people to access its Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system to the cost of disseminating the information requested. Currently, many members of the media face prohibitive costs when trying to obtain court records to inform the public about what is happening in the judicial system. [more]

Released 9/18/17 | Tags: Class Actions

Federal suit claims government overcharges for court records

Members of the public using the federal court database to access court records may be part of a class action lawsuit, which alleges the U.S. government overcharges for federal court records. Filed April 21, 2016, the suit alleges the cost of producing court records electronically has increased twice since 2002, when Congress passed the E-Government Act of 2002, which sought to cap rising court record costs. NVLSP is one of the plaintiffs. [more]

Released 6/26/17 | Tags: Class Actions

Military Shorts Veterans on CRSC Benefits, Class Action Claims

A retired Marine says the military has been short-changing veterans on retroactive Combat-Related Special Compensation benefits. Plaintiff Simon Soto, who served two tours in Iraq in the Marine Corps, claims branches of the U.S. military have been misapplying a limitations statute to improperly limit veterans’ entitlement to CRSC benefits.The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) filed this class action lawsuit on behalf of Soto. The NVLSP is a non-profit organization dedicated to making sure both veterans and those actively serving in the military get the “federal benefits they have earned through their service to our country.” [more]

Released 3/9/17 | Tags: Class Actions, Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC)

VA denied stay on emergency care claims

The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims has rejected with stunning speed a motion from the Department of Veterans Affairs that it be allowed to stop taking steps toward reimbursing hundreds of thousands of veterans, for the non-VA emergency care costs they have paid, until higher courts rule on VA’s appeal. [more]

Released 2/23/17 | Tags: Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

Groups trying to help veterans with PTSD get proper care

Many military veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, but if they are discharged with anything less than an honorable discharge they cannot get the mental-health treatment they need. The Department of Veterans Affairs said that 20 percent of veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq could have PTSD. [more]

Released 2/22/17 | Tags: Discharges

Adequacy is Adequate: DC District Court Certifies Pacer Fee Class

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia certified a class of all individuals and entities who paid fees to obtain court records though the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system. The proposed class representatives, three nonprofit legal advocacy organizations, overcame the government’s primary challenge to class certification, which was that they were not adequate class representatives. The National Veterans Legal Services Program, the National Consumer Law Center and the Alliance for Justice, all nonprofit entities that paid fees to obtain court records from PACER, filed suit to recover the allegedly excessive fees charged by the government for PACER access. [more]

Released 2/16/17 | Tags: Class Actions

Veteran Article

There are approximately 4.5 million veterans in the United States. These men and women, our family, friends, and neighbors, risked their lives to keep us safe at home. Many of them suffer, physically and emotionally, long after they have left the fighting behind. Thankfully, there are organizations available to help veterans, active duty military and their families overcome the hardships they may face. [more]

Released 2/8/17 | Tags: Veteran's Benefits

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