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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined federal courts' distribution of copies of judicial opinions and other court documents to the public, focusing on: (1) court practices for providing access to documents; (2) court fees for photocopying documents; and (3) how the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals provided copies of its decisions through subscriptions.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Administrative Office of the United States Courts 1. The Director, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC), should determine the range of options courts are currently using to provide access to their documents. With this expanded information on the courts' current practices, the Director, through the Judicial Conference of the United States, should inform courts of the options available and encourage each court to adopt the one, if any, the court clerk believes is best. An option should be adopted only if it does not increase the burden on the courts' staff, does not degrade the service the court currently provides, and does not increase the cost to the requester.
Closed - Implemented
As a result of a survey conducted by the Court Administration Division, various copy alternatives are being publicized in the monthly Court Administration Bulletin and a section in the Clerk's manual makes reference to copy reviews.

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