Notice Requesting Comments Regarding Proposed Availability of Digital Audio

Release Date: 
Friday, October 29, 2010

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NOTICE REQUESTING COMMENTS REGARDING PROPOSED AVAILABILITY OF DIGITAL AUDIO RECORDINGS OF COURT PROCEEDINGS VIA PACER

In March, 2010, the Judicial Conference of the United States endorsed a proposal from the Committee on Court Administration and Case Management to allow district, bankruptcy and magistrate judges who use digital audio recordings as the official means of taking the record to provide at their discretion access to digital audio recordings of court proceedings via PACER. This recommendation came at the conclusion of a two year pilot program in several courts to include digital audio recordings of court hearings in CM/ECF case files, and to make those recordings available to the public through PACER. The pilot program demonstrated that audio files from the federal court digital audio recording systems can be loaded into CM/ECF and made available through PACER without adversely affecting the performance of those systems. The pilot program also demonstrated that there is a significant level of public interest in accessing these files via PACER, and that this method of obtaining and recording of a court proceeding is a vast improvement over obtaining it through the Clerk’s office. The Judicial Conference has endorsed a fee of $2.40 to download each digital audio file to help recoup the cost of providing this service.

The Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan is considering whether to load digital audio recordings of court hearings in CM/ECF case files and to make those recordings available via PACER. The Court has created a project team to study this resource in more detail. By this notice, the Court solicits the views and opinions of all interested parties regarding whether the Court should make digital audio recordings available; who would be the likely users of this resource; whether the Court should consider making all or just some of the recordings of Court proceedings available; and what guidelines, if any, the Court should consider adopting regarding the availability of this resource. Each comment will be distributed to the Judges of the Bankruptcy Court, and will be given full consideration. Please submit all comments in writing to : Katherine B. Gullo, 211 West Fort Street, Suite 2100, Detroit, Michigan 48226.

Comments may also be submitted by email to: digitalaudio@mieb.uscourts.gov

The deadline for submitting comments is November 22, 2010.