How to access for free? Consider using Justia.com. They are compiling federal district court dockets and associated documents in many recent civil cases. Here is their portal to federal district court filings.
How to utilize this resource? Two ways come immediately to mind:
1. Justia.com allows the researcher to browse by type of case and to limit the field of cases to a particular jurisdiction, even a particular judge. If you want Social Security disability insurance cases for the Southern District of New York its easy to do - just click on the categories to limit your search.You will have to be a little inventive. There is no full text searching for these filings using either PACER or Justia.com. Yet.
2. Find a recent case (the Justia database only goes back a few years) you think applies to your case. Determine the case name or docket number and then search to find the filings in that case.