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Accessing Court Records, Dockets, and Transcripts

Before You Search

It is best to have as much information at hand as possible before you embark on your search for any court documents. 

Case name or citation

It is best to have the case name or full case citation for searching precision. Having the citation will help disambiguate between cases from different court levels, and from cases with similar names.


Knowing which court the case was or is being tried in front of is absolutely necessary, as often, each court has a separate system for accessing their court documents. This is also worth knowing because it can give you some idea of if there will be an associated cost (i.e. shipping) with your searches, or the feasibility of getting particular items that have not been digitized.

Subject matter

It is important to be aware that the subject of your search may create obstacles to accessing related court records. Information about cases in particular areas of law are off-limits to the public. For example, trial court level criminal, family, bankruptcy and probate files, and any files subject to a publication ban, are not generally accessible.