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CHICAGO (AP) - There are now new ways to read thousands of Illinois court opinions for free.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois is putting opinions online using the Federal Digital System.

The website collects opinions from appellate, district and bankruptcy courts from across the country. Opinions are text searchable across the courts. The court opinions are uploaded each night and available for free. The website has thousands of court opinions available online.

Those wanting access to opinions from the Northern District of Illinois previously paid a fee.

Chief Judge Rubén Castillo says free access is necessary for the public to understand courts. He calls this an improvement to accessibility.

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