How to find my court hearing date

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Finding your court hearing date is not as hard as it may seem, but you will need to know this important date in advance so you can plan for your appearance. Many courts enter this information online, so your court hearing date becomes right at your fingertips.

Conversely, some courts may not be as Internet savvy, so you will have to rely on conventional methods for finding your court hearing date.

Review your court paperwork. If you are the plaintiff and decide to file a small claims action, the court clerk may assign the hearing date upon the initial filing. When the lawsuit is served on the defendant, the hearing date may already be written into the cover page of the summons. In some jurisdictions, the hearing notice is mailed to both parties. With traffic tickets, the police officer may write the court hearing date on the ticket or citation. However, some jurisdictions have a process where you may plead "not guilty" by mail or by phone. In those traffic courts, a notice for your hearing date will typically be mailed to you.

Visit the court's website. Go to the federal or county's website where the action is filed and click on the court docket information. If you have the case docket number, that is a helpful search term. If not, type in your name or the other party's name into the search parameters. Find the name of your case, such as Jones v. Smith. Click on the link and pull up the case history. The case information should include the court hearing date.

Contact the court by telephone. Information about an upcoming court hearing date can generally be found through the clerk of courts. If you receive a voice prompt, the recording may initially direct you to the court's website. You can continue through the prompts until you reach a live person. Identify yourself and ask for the date of your hearing.

Visit the court clerk in person. Many courthouses have a security gate, which you must pass through first before entering the main part of the courthouse. Ask the security guard to point you to the office of the court clerk, and explain you are there for the purpose of getting your court hearing date.