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How to Find Current Court Cases

Updated February 21, 2017

Court cases and specific court information have become accessible due to advances in technology. Before the computer age, searching for court cases meant calling the courts or visiting them in person. While that it still one way to find current court cases, start out with the Internet. There are a vast number of resources online to help you find current court cases. In fact, some larger courts allow you to view case information online.

Search for current court cases online. If the cases are federal, civil or criminal cases, start with Pacer.gov. First sign up for an account. There is a nominal fee for viewing and printing each page.

Start by choosing the court that you are searching. Once the court is selected, search by party name, date range or the counsel in the case. Specify whether the cases being searched are criminal or civil cases. Once you have searched using the parameters selected, there will be a list of cases given. Most cases will have a docket sheet available for viewing, while others that are older, more than 10 years old, may only provide skeletal case information.

Search for state and county court cases on Brbpub.com. As it lists all of the state level courts in the country, broken down by county and type of court, it's an easy place to locate court websites all on one site. Choose the state and court using drop-down menus on the website. If there is a link to the court website, click on it and look for a place to search for court records.

Plug in the search information on the section of the website for searching court records, if there is one. Depending on whether or not you are looking for civil or criminal cases, the information required to search varies from court to court. There may be a fee for printing any pages and even for searching.

Go to the courthouse in person. This may only be possible if you live in the area. Depending on the court, either speak with the clerk and ask to run a search, or run the search yourself on the public terminals. The court clerks will help you with finding current court cases if you need assistance.

Warning

Depending on the court, there may be restrictions on viewing criminal cases unless you are a party to the case.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet access
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About the Author

Yvonne Van Damme is a freelance writer based in Seattle. She has been writing for several years with a focus on criminal justice and legal topics. In addition to various websites, she has been published in several academic journals. Van Damme holds a Bachelor of Arts in law, society and justice and sociology from the University of Washington.