How Do You Access a Directory of Court Cases?


Quick Answer

The Public Access to Court Electronic Records service provides access to court cases from a broad range of courts in the United States. PACER offers centralized service and allows 24-hour access to court documents from federal appellate, bankruptcy and district courts.

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How Do You Access a Directory of Court Cases?
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Full Answer

The public can access court cases via PACER by establishing a PACER account. Go to Pacer.gov and click Register on the top menu. Click Start and choose View to create an account where you can search, view, download or print case and docket information from the site. Once registered, log in to your account and click Find a Case on the top menu. You may use the PACER case locator to find a specific case from a district, appellate or bankruptcy court.

Civil and appellate courts allow users to search by nature of suit, while bankruptcy courts allow searches by Social Security Number. If searching all courts, use the basic search option to filter the results by region and case number, or try the advanced search to narrow it down to the date the case was filed and closed. Both the basic and advanced searches offer a Party Search that allows users to enter the last or first name of the business or parties involved in the case. PACER also provides a link to individual court websites, allowing access to court documents manually from the court where the case was originally filed.

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