Bankruptcy Filings Are Public Records

bankruptcy, PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records)

When a bankruptcy case is filed, it becomes a public record. The petition and any subsequent filings are public records. These records are available online and at the local United States Bankruptcy Clerk of Court’s Office through PACER—Public Access to Court Electronic Records, an online storage and organization service.

In 1988, computers began transforming America into the digital age. From 1987 to 1989, PC sales tripled in the U.S., and somewhere Al Gore was inventing the World Wide Web. While the federal courts were still storing paper documents and accepting paper filings at this time, change was in flux within the federal court system.

In September 1988, the Judicial Conference of the United States approved PACER. Access to case information would be unprecedented as attorneys and the public could access information from the convenience of their home or office on their computer without having to make a trip to the clerk of court’s office.

In 2019, all federal courts utilize PACER to electronically organize and store documents. A bankruptcy case is considered public information, and anyone may access almost any filing related to the case online. Computers are available for the public to use at the courthouse.

Online bankruptcy case records are updated daily by the clerk of courts. Copies of court documents in pending or recently closed cases may be obtained by anyone from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Utah.

Generally, the information that is obtainable from PACER includes the following:

  • Case number;
  • Name(s) of debtor(s) or principal parties;
  • Date the case was filed, whether a voluntary or involuntary petition was filed, and the chapter under which the petition was filed;
  • Name and phone number of the debtor’s attorney;
  • Trustee’s name;
  • Name of the assigned Judge;
  • Discharge and closing dates;
  • Whether it was a no-asset case;
  • Case status; and
  • Case disposition.


The filing of the petition is the first entry on a case’s docket. Subsequent entries, such as the filing of the debtor’s schedules and any motions or objections by creditors, are assigned a docket number in the order that they are filed. Anyone with access to PACER may review these docket entries as, like the petition, they are public records.


Talk to the Morrison Law Group about how you may qualify for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. Call 801.456.9933 today to schedule a FREE consultation. We have locations in Ogden, Logan, Sandy, and St. George to serve the residents of the counties of Weber, Cache, Salt Lake, Utah, Morgan, Davis, Washington, and surrounding areas.

Theron Morrison

Theron Morrison

Utah’s top bankruptcy and consumer protection attorney.