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Court Dockets and Documents

Sarah G. Mulligan Research Librarian Faegre Baker Daniels, LLP April 2012

Agenda
PACER Federal dockets and court filings Public Access to Court Records Minnesota dockets and court filings MNCIS MN Court Information System MACS - MN Appellate Court Searching State Law Library Opinions & Briefs Hennepin County Law Library - Briefs

PACER
= Public Access to Court Electronic Records Contains federal court records, including dockets and filings Federal District Courts, Bankruptcy Courts, U.S. Courts of Appeals, Judicial Panel on MDL and Court of Federal Claims

PACER
Cost - $.10/page, capped at $2.60/doc Searches = $.10, including clicking new screens Firms may have one shared password or individual passwords for attorneys Firms may charge search costs to clients

PACER
Search options:
Party Name Docket Number Nature of Suit Cause of Action Limit by date SSN or Tax ID (in bankruptcy filings)

PACER National Case Locator

PACER Docket

Searching District of Minnesota

Benefits of PACER
Cost lower cost than West/Lexis for looking at dockets Most court documents not on West/Lexis
Note: Lexis Courtlink does have court documents

Newer cases have most filings online


Exceptions: sealed, grand jury

You can see filing titles and often descriptions

Limitations of PACER
No reporter citations Oldest electronic filings go back to about 2001 Bankruptcy courts were last online some only go back to 2006 Older filings only available from the court or National Archives & Records Administration Searching is limited

Minnesota Docket Resources


MNCIS = MN Court Information System A MN state court docket search website No court filings available online; contact court for copies Free and accessible to the public

Searching MNCIS
http://pa.courts.state.mn.us/default.aspx Basic search functions Party Case Attorney Limit by date or status (open/closed)

MNCIS - Docket view

MNCIS Tips & Tricks


When searching by party add * after name to catch variations State trial dockets are almost never available on West/Lexis Selected dockets go back to the 1970s These are unofficial records go to the court for official filings and official dockets

MACS - Appellate Case Searching


MACS http://macsnc.courts.state.mn.us/ctrack/publicLogin.jsp Free online access to MN appellate dockets Full dockets in cases dated after March 3, 2003 Abbreviated info for selected cases before that date

MACS Searching
Basic search functions
Participant name Case number A-112097 beware the hyphen!

Filters available
Date, status, jurisdiction, case group, case type or case subtype

MN State Law Library


Opinions and briefs - http://search.state.mn.us/lawlibrary/ Opinions from May 2, 1996 forward Briefs issue statements listing from Jan 2002 forward Briefs for published cases from 1864 forward some bound, some online Briefs also at many county law libraries on microfiche

Issue Statement Sample

Issue to watch: copyright in briefs?


Lawyers suing Westlaw and Lexis claiming cant reproduce briefs without compensating authors copyright violation If so can clients claim royalties for their contributions to briefs?

Any questions?
Thanks! And thanks to Abby Walters, Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand, who presented last year and structured the original presentation and slides.