State courts vary widely on trial court access and information. Some states call their trial courts district courts, supreme courts, superior courts, or even have multiple levels of trial courts. Some states have docket information available for free online (see below).
Westlaw: Westlaw has integrated their Dockets product into both Westlaw Classic and WestlawNext. State coverage varies in both states and counties covered, and which case types are included (civil & criminal). You can check Westlaw Dockets coverage using this reference guide.
- In Classic,
- STATE-BRIEF-ALL, briefs from the state appellate courts
- XX-SCT-BRIEF and XX-APP-BRIEF, (xx) stands for the postal abbreviation for the state. Individual state supreme and appellate court briefs.
- Dockets on WestlawNext are easy to find and use.
- Some documents are available, some will tell you that Access is Denied. You can also check the “Filings” tab when you find a docket to see if any of the case documents are available.
LexisNexis: In Classic Lexis you must navigate to “Legal > Court Records, Briefs and Filings ” to locate court documents, although this does not exclusively include dockets. Includes: All State Briefs and Motions, Combined.
- Lexis also offers dockets from a separate product called CourtLink. This includes full coverage of Federal Court dockets (same data from PACER).
- Lexis Advance includes dockets searching. Select “Dockets” from the “All Content Types” menu on the home screen. This integrates the data from CourtLink into one search platform.
- Simply select “Dockets” from the top menu when log in to search their dockets.
- Links that are blue indicate a document is available to download. Green links mean a document is not available.
Transcripts are usually not available to the public. If the case has been appealed by one of the litigants, they will sometimes request a transcript from the court reporter, which may then appear in the docket. To determine whether a transcript is available, the best option is to contact the clerk’s office and ask for assistance. Use one of our Judicial Staff Directories for more information.
Connecticut Specific Information
Supreme Court of Connecticut:
- Print Briefs (1874 - 1986): Location: UES Top Shelves, call number KFC3645.9 .C66
- Microfiche Briefs (1986 – date) Use the fiche guide for cabinet information.
- Court Website: http://www.jud.state.ct.us/external/supapp/
Appellate Court of Connecticut:
- Microfiche Briefs (1975 – date). Use the fiche guide for cabinet information.
- Electronic Sources: 2002 – date: Classic Westlaw: CT-APP-BRIEF. Select coverage.
- Court Website: http://www.jud.ct.gov/external/supapp/appellate.htm
Other State Courts:
Florida: Florida State University has a Supreme Cout Records & Briefs, with the goal of collecting briefs dating from 1846. The projected date for completion of the Project is 2012. This site contains opinions issued in Florida Supreme Court cases decided since August 1984 and the briefs filed in those cases. Briefs for cases decided without an opinion are not included. To request briefs for older cases, click here.
Idaho: This search page allows you to look up a case and see if a library in Idaho has a copy of it.
Kentucky: Northern Kentucky University’s online archive contains briefs submitted to the Kentucky Supreme Court in cases decided since January 1999 and Kentucky Court of Appeals in cases decided since October 2005.
Massachusetts: Since September 2007, briefs filed in most cases scheduled to be argued before the Supreme Judicial Court will be available on this website shortly before the sitting. Webcasts of oral arguments are available in realtime and archived at the Suffolk University Law School.
Minnesota: Beginning with 2005 (cases reported in 705 N.W. 2d) full text PDF copies of select civil case briefs.
Mississippi: Mississippi College School of Law has video archive coverage from 2004 - present and brief archive coverage from late 2007 - current (most).
Missouri: Briefs since 1998 are located with the docket sheet for the court, filed according to when the case was scheduled to be argued before the court.
Montana: Court documents filed after October 2007 will be available for viewing on this site, but in cases where documents were filed prior to October 2007, only the docket entry description will be available.The State Law Library scans and publishes on its website all Montana Supreme Court opinions and the briefs that are submitted by the parties for those cases. Currently, you can access cases dating back to the 1980s. In addition, the law library publishes online selected Supreme Court orders. You can search all of these Supreme Court documents by entering keywords docket number, party names, topic, etc.) in the searchbox located here.
New York: Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division: Second Judicial Department
Briefs are available for appeals calendared between January 2004 and approximately 6 months prior to the present date.
North Carolina: Contains Briefs from 1999 forward. From the main page, under the link for Library click on Browse.
Ohio: Most documents that were filed in Supreme Court cases after December 1, 2006, are scanned.
Oregon Supreme Court and Appellate Court Briefs: This collection contains unofficial copies of Oregon Supreme Court (SC) and Court of Appeals (COA) Briefs and Opinions. Briefs coverage begins approximately May 2007, continuing to the present. (COA Briefs start with 212 Or. App 488; SC Briefs start with 342 O.R. 1) The long-term goal is to include Briefs back to the mid 1980’s. Opinions coverage is 1998 to present.
Texas: Contains briefs dating back to 1999, although only a limited number of briefs are available from 1999 and 2000.
Virginia: The University of Richmond’s Muse Law Library Case reporters and records and briefs sets are available for use in the Muse Law Library. The Library does not lend either case reporters or records and briefs sets. Limited photocopying (generally limited to 20 pages or less) may be requested for a fee. Requests may be submitted by e-mail. In 2006, Virginia Supreme Court briefs became available through HeinOnline, but Yale Law does not subscribe to this collection.
Washington: Website contains an index of cases filed in the municipal, district, superior, and appellate courts of the state of Washington. This index can point you to the official or complete court record.
West Virginia: Supreme Court of Appeals briefs are available from January 2005 to the present.
Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin archives briefs online from November 1992 forward.
Wyoming: Coverage begins in 2008, look up the case by docket number in the case management system.