Description: The article is about pacer login. The article shows a website called Pacer. You can use this website to find particular law cases and files. You will have the access to the details of those law cases but it is not totally free for everyone.
This article is about finding dockets and court filings. We’re starting out on a research guide that can point you in the right direction when you’re doing this research. Our guides are freely available, you’ll be able to consult them after you graduate. If you type in BC law dockets in Google, this one comes up at the top of your results list.
It’s broken down by jurisdiction, it points you to the resources that are best for you to use, law students might not be the ones that you have access to when you’re out in practice. You have access to some of the ones we recommend. I want to point out an example of a docket sheet for those of you who haven’t seen one before, this is an excerpt, the docket sheet provides the basic case information, this is the information about the parties and attorneys.
It’s a list of what has happened in the case. Sometimes, depending on the platform and the availability of electronic records, the actual filings might also be hyperlinked so that you can easily access the full text of the document. Dockets searching is a great way to find actual text of complaints answers, motions briefs and other court filings.
You might need to access a docket or court filing. If you’re following a particular ongoing case that’s relevant to your work, you need to be aware of what’s happening in the litigation and dockets, you need to find the place to look for that information.
Second, you can search dockets for cases that are similar to yours, you can look at the pleadings motions briefs, you can mind those for good ideas on potential causes of action defenses and other legal arguments. You can also get a sense of how these documents should be drafted.
Third, if you need to find out what litigation a particular individual or company is involved in, a good docket search is a great way to go about that. I’m going to finish out this article by introducing you the docketing system for federal cases, it is called pacer. This is the free pacer website, the acronym stands for public access to court electronic records, it’s something that you’re likely to see in practice or hear about. I think it’s important to you.
Even though it’s a publicly available site, you have to pay 10 cents a page for the content, it’s easy for the school to rack up a large bill. It’s a last resort that a librarian can look at on your behalf if you can’t find what you need elsewhere. We’ll talk about the resources that are better suited for you as law students. It’s a good thing to see.
There are two main things that I want to point out. One is the e file tab. A lot of filings and federal cases these days have to be done electronically. If you’re a practicing attorney and you need to file your answer in a federal case, you can file that answer through this tab on pacer.
On the other hand, if you’re researching a case to find a docket, this find a case tab is the place to go. There are two basic methods for finding cases, Pacer case locator allows you to search across jurisdictions. I’m going to work off of this main tab, you can limit to particular types of cases such as finding a appellate civil criminal.
If you don’t know what court the case was filed in or if you want to get a general sense of the litigation that a particular company or individual is involved in, you can use this tab. For example, we could search Facebook and get an overarching sense of the litigation that the company is involved in. This is covering all the different courts. We’ll back up and take a look at other links, this one is called search individual court websites.
This one allows you to do a more targeted search in a particular court. Let’s go and take a look at the federal district court for Massachusetts. These are generally very sparse web pages, sometimes it’s difficult to navigate. You can click on this document.
There aren’t many options, it’s going to be this one. I’m going to pause and put in our password. Most of the pacer court sides are set up with the taskbar across the top, you’ll generally choose to run a query. The search interface is not great, sometimes it requires some sifting. It is one of the reasons why we point you towards other resources.
You can see an example. We need to find a trademark case involved in Facebook. I’m going to fill in the information that I know. We’re going to scroll through and choose taskbar, the business name is Facebook, I am going to run our query.
In this instance, we’re only getting one result, this one presided over by Judge young, sometimes you’ll have multiple results, on the left you can choose what you want to look at, for our purposes, we want to look at the docket report.
I’m going to choose the default settings, you can amend those and run the report. We’ll get the docket sheet, you can see the parties and attorneys, you can see the list of what has happened in the case all the way from the complaint to the final order.
If someone asked you to find this memorandum of law which is document number 18, it might not be available in your Westlaw or Lexus subscription so you would click on the hyperlink number 18 and access the full text of the document.
You’ll be charged ten cents a page. For older federal cases, you will not have the filings available electronically, we’ll discuss that in those instances, you’ll need to consult a research guide or a library to learn how to access the information that you need.
If you are a courier, you might need to visit the court directly. If you’re looking for briefs, you can maintain microform collections of older appellate briefs filed in their jurisdiction. For some immigration and criminal cases, the filings are automatically sealed for everyone except the parties.
On the next articles, we will discuss how to find dockets and court filings on Bloomberg law and Westlaw since they’re readily available to you as law students, they are often more easier to navigate.