RECAP adds several features to that improve the experience of using PACER without changing your workflow.
As you browse PACER, RECAP will upload docket files and PACER-downloaded PDFs to the Internet Archive for others to download. This happens transparently and adds nothing to your PACER fees. You will see a small notification box after each upload, which you can turn off if you wish. By simply installing RECAP, you are contributing to this growing public domain legal library.
On each docket page, RECAP will tell you whether a free version of each document is already available from the archive. If so, it will display a small “R” icon next to the document link, which allows you to download the public-domain document for free. Over time, this can save you considerable fees.
You may have noticed that PDFs from PACER often have a default filename like “98723421.pdf”. Not very informative! You might also occasionally get the even more frustrating filename “show_temp.pl” (which might not even open in your PDF viewer). RECAP intelligently names your PDFs in a way that includes the PACER court id, PACER case id, and docket entry number — or in “Bluebook” style.
In some courts, there is the option to include a helpful “header” at the top of each page of PDFs that you download. This header lists the court, case, and other information. Unfortunately, this option is sometimes not checked by default, and it is easy to forget to do so. RECAP automatically checks this option for you, although you can disable this feature in the RECAP Preferences if you prefer.
We’d like your ideas for other RECAP features. Let us know.
The diagram below shows the flow of RECAP working with Firefox to upload case dockets and documents that you have paid for to the public archive, and notifying you when free versions of documents are already available.