Judiciary Case Records
Legal cases can be hard to keep track of when you’re involved in one. Later on, you may need to go back to get your own records in order to clear up misunderstandings or simply take care of any ongoing legal matters. Performing a judiciary case search can be confusing and a lot of people simply don’t know where to start.
Performing a judiciary case search doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. You don’t have to wait for months and months to obtain official court documents unless you really need them either. Use this guide to learn more about how you can find information on a judiciary court case that has been resolved. It may take a little research on your part, but it is something you can tackle fairly quickly in most cases.
What is a Judiciary Case Record?
The term judiciary case search might sound official and a little bit daunting for a lot of people, but in reality, a judiciary court case is simply a court case. This could include any case that occurred at a federal or state level. It could also include a case that took place in a lower court like family court.
While obtaining judiciary case records might sound confusing, there are some ways that almost anyone can do it. Getting judiciary case records may also help you with ongoing legal trouble or provide essential insight when doing legal research.
How to Perform a Judiciary Case Search
- Find judiciary records online using the PACER system. PACER, which stands for public access to court electronic records, contains many judiciary case records recorded after 1999. This is an ideal place to start when searching for judiciary case records. Use the PACER case locator here.
- Call your state or local court system to obtain records. They may be able to help you get court records via mail or in-person.
- Get paper records in person. Cases recorded before 1999 may only be available in a paper format. You can check the Federal Records Center archive in a number of cities to try and find any paper-only records you need. Fees are typically associated with obtaining paper records.
- Get historic records from the National Archives. Available in digital and paper formats, historic records go back many years. They’re typically used for legal study or case precedent.
- Use a third-party search app. Third-party apps can’t help you get authentic copies of documents for court use, but they can give you the information that you need. Low-cost or free options are available in some cases.
Types of Judiciary Case Records
- Federal criminal court case records.
- State criminal court case records.
- Federal civil court case records.
- State civil court case records.
- Traffic court case records.
- Family court case records.
- Immigration court case records.
- Bankruptcy court case records.
These are just a few of the most common types of judiciary court case records. You may be able to find other court judiciary case records online through PACER, in-person or through a third-party site.
Different types of cases exist, so narrowing down your judiciary case search before you begin is a must. In most cases, you’ll likely already know where any case you’re looking up took place.
Information Included in Judiciary Records
What is contained in a judiciary record tends to vary by jurisdiction. For example, the information that you may find in a federal record could be different than what you’ll find in a state record. Smaller courts like family and traffic court records may be different still. Here are a few of the most common things you’ll find in any judiciary case record:
- Where the case was decided. This will likely include the state, city and any specific information like whether the case was held in another division like traffic or family court.
- When the case was on the docket and in front of the judge. Any trial dates should be present in the court record.
- Who was involved in the case. This should include the plaintiff and defendant.
- The outcome of the case. In many cases, only a portion of these court records will be available. For example, a civil case judgment that was settled for a financial reward may not disclose the amount.
Getting judiciary records from a federal or state court can be a confusing process. Just the simple act of calling them and waiting on hold for 20 minutes to be passed around from employee to employee can be frustrating. You do have other options for getting the records that you’re looking for.
In many cases, using online search tools like PACER will give you the results that you’re looking for in a timely manner. If you can’t use PACER, a third-party search tool may be the best option if you’re looking for information quickly. For court-approved records, contacting the court may be your best option if PACER does not pan out the way you’d hoped.