Personalized @recap.email Addresses Provide CM/ECF Notification Handling for All

Michael Lissner

Earlier this month, we introduced archive@recap.email. We explained that by adding this email address to your CM/ECF account, you could automatically contribute your cases and filings to our public archive of federal court filings.

Today, we unveil the next stage of the system: Personalized @recap.email addresses for all our users.

As of today, every CourtListener user has a new email address as part of their account. This email address can be used to open up the PACER system and to make your processing workflows more reliable and efficient.

Why is this useful for me or my firm?

Once you add your personalized @recap.email address to your CM/ECF account, a number of things happen:

  1. You can forget about the notification emails you get from PACER. Instead, we'll start sending you emails with simple, reusable, shareable links to the documents.

  2. You feel good. You're contributing your cases and filings to the RECAP Archive, so that the rest of the American public can access and benefit from those cases. By using @recap.email, you're strengthening the democratic process by making the judicial system more transparent.

  3. We make all the documents in your cases full-text searchable. Even if the filings are scanned, we'll extract the text for you. Now you can search your cases, whether your team or your opposing party wrote the filing.

  4. You can update your document management processes to just link to our system. No need to download the docs by hand and store them on your end. We've got this!

  5. You and your clients save money. You'll never again buy a document that we have, even if your free-look email expires or is already used.

  6. You'll have better email reliability. Our notification system can handle full inboxes, faulty email servers, and much more. The CM/ECF system might give up if your inbox is full. We'll retry for as long as possible, and highlight the problem for you in CourtListener, so you can address it.

Give it a try. If you don't like it, it's as easy to stop as it is to start.

How does this work?

It's pretty simple. In the CM/ECF system, you can add secondary recipients to your account.

Use that system to add your personalized @recap.email address to your CM/ECF account. When you do, we'll start receiving notifications from PACER on your behalf. That's it. (Don’t worry, you’ll still also receive the official notifications.)

Get Your @recap.email Address

If you haven't set up secondary recipients before, it's a bit wonky — we're talking about PACER after all — but it's not too bad. We timed it, and it only takes a minute or two.

Our help docs have more information:

Setup Instructions

Just remember, you'll have to do this for every jurisdiction where you are a party or a filer (sorry!).

How and why is this free?

We're happy to accept donations from those using this service, but the reason @recap.email is free is that we believe open legal data is key to a functioning democracy. When you use this system, you contribute to a better country. That's why this service is free.

We're able to make this free for individuals by charging organizations for specialized services, like the system described below.

Can this be used for automation in my firm?

Yes, soon.

In a few weeks, we will launch a system for firms to reliably connect their servers to @recap.email. This will allow firms to convert a notification from the CM/ECF system into an event their servers can act on.

For example, firms could add the document to their filing system, route an email to the appropriate attorneys, flag the filing for issues, or any number of other activities. Your imagination is the limit.

We will be blogging more about this soon, but until then, we are seeking beta users for this system. If you are a tech-forward solo or a small- or medium-sized firm, we'd love to hear from you.

I have more questions.

We thought you might! We have a help page with more details:

@recap.email FAQs

And of course, we welcome your comments and questions.

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