How to find a Federal Indictment
November 14, 2012 2:42 PM   Subscribe

I want to download and read the full unsealed indictment written about here. The PACER website gives me a headache and I'm not clear if I'm allowed to use it. What's my best course of action?
posted by Bookhouse to Law & Government (9 answers total) ?
posted by slater at 2:54 PM on November 14, 2012

have you googled it? people post stuff like this all the time.
posted by facetious at 2:54 PM on November 14, 2012

I've tried Googling it, but have only found links to articles about the indictments, not the whole indictments themselves.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:58 PM on November 14, 2012

Justia/Google/Slideshare are good sources if the data's been out awhile - but Pacer is absolutely available to the public and you can use the same account to access info for all states/jurisdictions. They charge per page, so you need to give them a credit card, but it's pretty cheap and they warn you on the price before you download. Registration page is here:
posted by jenh at 2:59 PM on November 14, 2012

Ah, wait, here you go:

Magic words were a few of the names from the article and "filetype:pdf" in Google.
posted by jenh at 3:06 PM on November 14, 2012

jenh has a pdf of the indictment, but in case you want more information (e.g. via PACER) the case is US v. Terry Glenn Sillers et al, 4:12-cr-00272 (S.D. Tex. May 9, 2012).
posted by jedicus at 3:08 PM on November 14, 2012

There are 89 entries on the docket sheet for USA v Sillers, 4:121-cr-00272. (However, there are no actual documents or events on the docket associated with numbers 31-85 inclusive, which is something I've never seen, but I have no practice in the federal criminal courts, only the federal civil courts).

Documents pertaining to the unsealing start at entry #86. Both the motion and the order are uninteresting. The motion (.pdf) states in its entirety: The United States, through its undersigned attorney respectfully requests the Court enter an order directing the Clerk of the Court to unseal the superseding indictment in this case. And the Order merely does so.

A later order (.pdf) indicates everything except document 23, which is not identified in the docket, has been unsealed. I suspect document 23 is the Presentence Investigation report, as it is filed on the date specified as the due date for the PSI in Docket entry #30:

ORDER as to Terry Glenn Sillers. Final PSI due by 3/14/2013. Objection to PSI due by 2/27/2013. PSI Completion due by 2/6/2013. Sentencing set for 3/21/2013 at 03:00 PM in Courtroom 9B before Judge Sim Lake. (Signed by Judge Sim Lake) Parties notified. (aboyd) (Entered: 08/08/2012)
posted by crush-onastick at 3:50 PM on November 14, 2012

Um. Oops. preview fail. Document 23 is NOT the PSI. Document 23 was filed on 6/28/2012 which was the date set for re-arraignment, per docket entry #21.
posted by crush-onastick at 3:53 PM on November 14, 2012

For future reference: The first response properly linked to RECAP.

PACER is a paywall set up by the Federal courts to provide access to electronically filed documents. It charges 0 for some items and 8 cents per page for others. There are arguments for and against this approach.

The idea behind RECAP is that these are public records. Once they have been downloaded and the fare has been paid, there is no reason that the next 1,000 people who want the same document should have to pay the same fare. This works very well for the items that have a high level of public interest.
posted by yclipse at 4:50 AM on November 15, 2012

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