A Quiet Revolution in the Courts: Electronic Access to State Court Records

A CDT Survey of State Activity and Comments on Privacy, Cost, Equity and Accountability

August, 2002

The openness of judicial proceedings has always been a fundamental principle of the state court system in the United States. However, the courts are finding themselves faced with some unexpected consequences of such an open access system as they become increasingly reliant upon the Internet. With caseloads growing each year, the Internet has become a valuable tool for court officials in terms of managing cases in an efficient and timely manner and streamlining document processing. At the same time, courts are using the Internet to give the public electronic access to court records, making judicial proceedings more transparent but also making widely available personally identifiable and sometimes sensitive information that, while legally a matter of public record, used to be practically obscure.

State Courts Move Toward Online Records

CDT recently conducted a nationwide survey of the practices of state and local courts in making information public via the Internet. We found a wide variety of practices and policies. This is attributable partly to our federal system, under which state and local governments are the laboratories of democracy. But even taking federalism into account, the process of putting court records online has proceeded in remarkably disparate ways. Courts have made records available in many forms ranging from statewide services to many instances of single jurisdictions providing access to their records. Some states provide access to both criminal and civil records while others restrict users' access to records that may contain sensitive personal information. And while some states offer free comprehensive access to their court records, many others charge users a range of fees for online access.

On the one hand, this movement to post court information online represents a quiet revolution in citizen access and government accountability, part of the growing reality of e-government. Public access to electronic court records provides a convenient way for the public to monitor the judicial system and ensure the fairness and equality of its operations.

At the same time, a review of current practices indicates that the state and local courts are engaged in a series of difficult and novel balancing acts. One involves the balance between privacy and accountability. What information should be available online? Many states make judicial opinions at the appellate levels freely available online but do not offer online access to trial court proceedings, which generally contain more detailed and sensitive evidence. Others offer access to trial court dockets and a variety of other information at the trial level. Should a distinction be drawn between civil cases and criminal cases? Another set of issues concern cost: Is it appropriate to charge for online access? Does a subscription or fee-based system appropriately limit dissemination to professionals such as lawyers or does it exclude ordinary citizens? Questions like these pose a significant challenge to states attempting to design access systems without the benefit of precedents, rules or established standards and help to explain why the states' policies and practices differ so dramatically.

Efforts to Develop Guidelines

While it appears that some states are not addressing these issues systematically, many others are forming committees and proposing initiatives to establish statewide rules and policies regarding electronic access to court records in order to make the information the state provides uniform, consistent, and user friendly. Costs, the privacy of sensitive information, and uniformity are all issues that the states must address when granting online access to their court records. The issue of privacy provides a particularly difficult challenge since many jurisdictions made decisions about what should be public long before the Internet and without anticipating the kind of widespread availability it represents.

Recognizing the need to reconcile competing privacy and access interests, a variety of national organizations have begun to study the ways in which courts can implement electronic access systems while safeguarding privacy. Several organizations that work in and fund initiatives in the nation's state courts developed a project entitled Developing a Model Written Policy Governing Access to Court Records. The State Justice Institute has funded this project since January 2002, staffed by the National Center for State Courts and the Justice Management Institute, to develop a policy for dissemination to and review by the nation's state courts. The SJI-funded project, staffed by NCSC and JMI, has its own project Advisory Committee, but has provided project updates to the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA), Joint Court Management Committee, throughout the life of the project. Some individuals are members of both the project Advisory Committee and the CCJ/COSCA Court Management Committee.

The model policy project sought public comments on a February 2002 draft policy between mid-February and the end of April 2002. All comments received can be viewed on the project web site. During three project advisory committee meetings during 2002, the committee agreed to shift the focus from the product as a model policy to guidelines for local policymaking. The renamed project product, Public Access to Court Records: Guidelines for Policy Development by State Courts seeks to outline the issues that local jurisdiction must address in developing their own rules, and provide sample language developed by the project committee or by other jurisdictions. The project does not aim to provide standard implementation and operating guidelines for state and local courts. The project developed a draft in July 2002 that was submitted to CCJ and COSCA for their endorsement. Both conferences voted for a resolution endorsing the guidelines and commending them to the states. Detailed information about the project process, early drafts of the guidelines, all comments received during the public comment period, and related documents are available on the project Web site. A final version of the Guidelines, incorporating edits and changes made during the July conference, will be available as part of a project final report to be released in October on the project Web site http://www.courtaccess.org/modelpolicy.

The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics (SEARCH), in conjunction with the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), has also examined the issue of privacy and electronic access to court records. In addition to issuing several studies on privacy and the collection and public distribution of court records, SEARCH in conjunction with BJS sponsored the National Task Force on Privacy, Technology and Criminal Justice Information http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/rntfptcj.htm. Composed of state and federal law enforcement officials, academics, privacy advocates and other experts, the task force studied laws and policies regarding criminal records information and produced a report in August 2001. The task force's report outlined 14 recommendations including:

However, it seems there has been little follow-up and there is no indication of whether its recommendations are being followed by the states.

At the federal level, there have been some efforts to help coordinate state and local efforts. In particular, the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs (OJP) has issued three excellent guides on justice information systems:

OJP's Public Access Guide included a succinct outline of the issues that any government agency must confront in putting records online:

The Guide details many different approaches to answering these difficult questions.

In 1998, OJP formed the Global Advisory Committee (GAC) to identify challenges to the formation of justice information sharing networks as well as to define standard requirements for data sharing. http://it.ojp.gov/global/index.html The GAC includes a working group on Privacy and Data Quality, which focused on issues related to criminal history records, criminal intelligence information, juvenile and civil justice information and privacy issues involving justice sharing information networks. The OJP web site includes information on how to establish and maintain a successful network while addressing competing interests such as privacy. The web site also cites numerous state case studies that can be used by interested parties to establish working networks. Also part of the OJP, the Integrated Justice Information Systems Industry working group is currently working with local and state officials in many states including Nevada, Connecticut, and Colorado to implement and update various case management and sharing networks.

Within the states themselves, several, including Maryland and New York, have established independent committees to determine the best way in which to provide electronic access while preserving privacy. Some states such as New Jersey have actually curtailed their efforts to make records available electronically due to both budgetary constraints and privacy concerns. And while the states' practices and policies on access to electronic court records may differ, they all grapple with the same issues and concerns regarding privacy, cost, and sensitive information. Thus, coordinated efforts to share best practices and establish some standard guidelines to address these issues will not only ensure the effective and consistent implementation of public access systems, it will also help the states avoid the difficult balancing acts between interests that they must now confront.


The increased use of the Internet to make court records available demands attention to complicated policy considerations including privacy, cost and equality. Several important activities are beginning to address these concerns. These issues deserve to be supported by court officials, legislators and the public interest community. CDT hopes to continue to work state and local officials and other interested parties to achieve our shared vision of an open judicial system that appropriately balances public accountability with privacy and other democratic values.

The Survey

The table provides a state-by-state summary of the type of electronic access provided as of July 1, 2002. Our starting point in compiling this table was a July 2001 report by a subcommittee of the Maryland Advisory Committee on Access to Court Records. http://www.courts.state.md.us/access/states7-5-01.pdf The National Center for State Courts keeps a list focussing in more detail on each state's current policies http://www.courtaccess.org. We used this list as a resource in compiling data on each state and then we wrote to each state contact to ask for updates. State names that appear in italics have reviewed, revised and/or changed their policies regarding electronic access to court records over the past year. We have also added contact information and Web site addresses from the original Maryland document.

Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | District of Columbia | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming


Alabama employs an online access program called Alalinc. The user can download appellate court opinions, Supreme Court Opinions and various legal resources. The service is subscription only, for an annual fee of $200. Public access terminals are also available in every county. Court dockets are also available online.

County Records are available online; however, there is a fee.

Administrative Office of the Courts
Judicial Building
300 Dexter Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36104-3741
Phone: 334-242-0300
Fax: 334-242-2099
[email protected]


Docket Information

County Records


Alaska Court Case Management System allows users to search for appellate cases, rules, and docket information online. The Fairbanks Trial Courts has a selective listing of closed civil cases, civil cases that have been filed within the past 30 days, probate estate cases that have been filed in the past 3 months, dissolutions/divorces granted in the past 3 months, forcible entry and detainer cases filed in the past 3 months, and probate guardianship conservatorship case statuses.

The Alaska Trial Court Name Index Database allows users to search for case information by entering the party's name. This database does not display the case information, but rather gives users the information they need to request copies of the documents. Case information is not available online, and all requests for copies of case information must be made in writing. Email requests are not accepted.

Chris Christensen
Staff Counsel
820 W. 4th Ave
Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: 907-264-8228
[email protected]

Alaska Court Case Management System

Alaska Trial Court Name Index Database


The Arizona Judicial Branch offers electronic public access to court case information from 137 out of 180 courts in the state.

The Superior Court of Maricopa County and the Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts offer their own services, including searchable dockets, as well.

Arizona Judicial Branch
Arizona Supreme Court
1501 W. Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: 602-542-9310

Public Access to Court Case Information

Superior Court, Maricopa County (rulings)

Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts (case and docket information)


Electronic access to docket information, appellate and Supreme Court Opinions, and rules is provided free of charge. The state is working on a project to electronically integrate all of the state and district courts in an automated system. The Arkansas Court Automation Project (ACAP) focuses not only on effective case and document management but will eventually include electronic filing as well as the eventual broadening of public access to case dispositions electronically.

Timothy N. Holthoff
Director, Arkansas Court Automation Project
501 Woodlane Drive, Suite 303
Little Rock, AR 72201-1026
Phone: 501-683-4030
Fax: 501-683-4036
[email protected]

Arkansas Court Automation Project

Access to case info, dockets, and rules


On December 18, 2001, the Judicial Council of California approved statewide rules that expanded public access to electronic trial records. The new California rules allow for widespread electronic access to civil records while limiting remote electronic access to criminal records and various cases that may contain personally identifiable information.

The new statewide rules took effect on July 1, 2002. Several jurisdictions previously provided web access to civil and/or criminal case information, including:

The California Courts Website offers users access to case information from the Supreme Court as well as the Courts of Appeal.

Superior Court Civil, Probate, and Family Law Case Information is available via remote dial-up access. The cost is $100 per year per user.

Christopher Smith
Information Services Division
Administrative Office of The Courts
455 Golden Gate Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94102
[email protected]
Phone: 415-865-4942

Superior Court Remote Dial-Up Access:
Stephen Yap, Court Information Technology Officer
Kathy Ridgeway, Systems Manager
628 Escobar Street
Martinez, CA 94553
Phone: 925-646-2546
Fax: 925-646-2766

Press Release by the Judicial Council of California

Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal Opinions

Court Rules

Appellate Case Information

Alameda County Court

Solano County Superior Court

Ventura County Civil Case Index

Ventura County Criminal Case Index

Superior Court of Fresno County

California Courts

Superior Court Remote Dial-Up Access Information

Orange County Superior Court

Riverside County Superior Court

Sacramento County Superior Court

San Francisco County Superior Court Electronic Information Center

San Joaquin County Superior Court

Siskiyou County Superior Court


The Connecticut Judicial Branch offers the public remote access to civil, family and housing cases. This access permits users of the system to inquire directly into the civil and family case records contained in the Superior Court's database and to review the status of computerized court records.

An electronic bulletin board that allows the transfer of court/case information to the user's personal computer is also available for a subscription fee.

Information Technology Division
Administrative Office of the Courts
Two Riverview Square
99 East River Drive
East Hartford, CT 06108
Fax: 860-282-6401

Donald Turnbull
Supervisor Web Unit
Phone: 860-282-6405

Lynne Athas
Supervisor of User Support Services
Phone: 860-282-6577

Bruce Borre
Director of Management & Policy Analysis
Phone: 860-282-6507

Case Information

Information on the Electronic Bulletin Board System


Colorado's CoCourts.com allows users to search both open and closed cases. Arrest records were recently added to the site. Sealed cases as well as probate, mental health, and juvenile records are not available on the site. Additionally, certain information within each case is restricted such as social security numbers and mailing addresses.

There is also a free but separate, searchable database for marriage and divorce records.

Linda Bowers
Public Access Manager
Phone: 303-837-3617
[email protected]

1301 Pennsylvania Street
Suite 300
Denver, CO 80203


Marriage and divorce records


Court documents are available online utilizing Virtual Docket, a fee based service that publishes court documents online for several different states. Delaware has certified correspondence, motions, pleadings, and orders online for the Bankruptcy, Claims, Chancery, District, Superior and Supreme Courts. The Chancery Court has selected published and unpublished opinions, motions and briefs currently available on its website.

Delaware was one of the first states to use eFiling and electronic docketing systems for civil cases. Public access to this information is provided in computer terminals in the Prothonotary's office. Remote access requires a subscription through Lexis-Nexis. Civil and Criminal Superior Court Decisions and Orders as well as Supreme Court Opinions and Orders are available online free of charge.

[email protected]
Phone: 302-577-2400
Fax: 302-577-2836
Web Site

Virtual docket

Chancery Court of Delaware

Superior Court of Delaware

Civil & Criminal Superior Court Decisions and Orders

Supreme Court Opinions and Orders

District of Columbia

The Superior Court of the District of Columbia, as of May 1, has implemented an eFiling pilot program, in which parties file electronically with the Superior Court using the CourtLink eFile service.

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has Opinions, MOJs, and calendar information available on its web site.

Superior Court of the District of Columbia
Executive Offices and Administrative Divisions
Phone: 202-879-1700
[email protected]

eFiling Project

Courts of Appeal


Electronic access is authorized by statute, but is not uniform statewide. Users can search for court records in most Florida counties using a service called MyFloridaCounty.com. Not all counties are online yet, but the web site suggests that more counties will be brought online in the near future.

The Leon County Clerk of Courts web site offers access to many searchable databases, including all public records. The Osceola County Clerk of Courts also has an electronic database of civil and criminal records. Brevard County Clerk of Courts web site links to a searchable database of court case information as well.

The Sixth Judicial Circuit Court, Pasco & Pinellas Counties has an online searchable database of court records. The First and Second District Courts of Appeal have opinions and calendar information available electronically via their web sites.

Mignon U. Beranek
Deputy State Courts Administrator
500 South Duval Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1900
Phone: 50-922-5079
[email protected]

Leon County Clerk of Courts:
Clerk of Circuit Court
P.O. Box 726
Tallahassee, FL 32302-0726
Phone: 850-577-4000

Osceola County Clerk of Courts:
Clerk of Circuit Court
2 Courthouse Square, Suite 2000
Kissimmee, FL 34741
Phone: 407-343-3500

Brevard County Clerk of Courts:
Information Systems
Mike Wolford, Domain Technical Contact
[email protected]
Mike Hare, Domain Administrative Contact
[email protected]

Sixth Judicial Circuit, Pasco & Pinellas Counties:
[email protected]


Leon County Clerk of Courts

Osceola County Clerk of Courts

Brevard County Clerk of Courts

Sixth Judicial Circuit Court, Pasco & Pinellas Counties

First District Court of Appeal

Second District Court of Appeal


The Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Georgia both have opinions, rules and calendar information online.

The Georgia Superior Court for Cobb County has court records, calendars and docket information available online. The Gwinnett County Courts have a civil and criminal case index, searchable by party name as well as court calendars available online.

Rita Haynes
Administrative Division Manager
Phone: 770-528-1351

Superior Court for Cobb County

Courts of Appeal

Supreme Court

Gwinnett County Courts


Program titled Ho'ohiki' is Hawaii's online public records access system that allows users to search for case information by case name or case number. Court pleadings, sealed records, and confidential information are not available online. Ho'ohiki' has a detailed disclaimer which must be read before proceeding to the program.

Jodie Hagerman
Staff Attorney
417 S. King Street, Room 209
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: 808-539-4956
[email protected]

Marsha Kitagawa
Public Affairs Director
417 S. King Street, Room 206C
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: 808-539-4911
[email protected]



The Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals in Idaho have opinions, hearing and calendar information as well as Court rules online. The 1st Judicial District Court of Kootenai County provides downloadable opinions and schedule information on its web site. However, it does not appear that other state courts offer electronic access to their records.

Supreme Court and Court of Appeals:
Administrative Director of the Courts
PO Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0101
[email protected]

Kootenai County:
Diana Meyer, Court Services Director
[email protected]

Supreme Court and Appellate Court information

1st Judicial District of Kootenai County


The Supreme Court provides electronic access to its opinions and docket information. The Appellate Court also has opinions online.

Several other jurisdictions in Illinois (Cook, Jackson, Jefferson, Ogle & Macon counties) offer electronic access to civil and/or criminal court records. Champaign County offers users access to specific case information via a subscription service called P.A.S.S. The subscription fees vary depending on who is requesting access and the number of people who will be using the system.

Cook County:
Internet Court Call Help Line:
[email protected]

Jackson County:
Cindy R. Svanda
Phone: 618-687-7300

Jefferson County:
[email protected]

Macon County:
[email protected]

Ogle County:
[email protected]

Champaign County

Cook County

Jackson County

Jefferson County

Macon County

Ogle County

Supreme Court

Appellate Court


The Indiana Supreme Court, Tax Court and the Indiana Court of Appeals provide a searchable online dockets database. The Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals have opinions, rules, and oral arguments online as well.

The city of Indianapolis, Marion County has an online service called CivicNet that allows users to access some civil and criminal records. CivicNet is a subscription service in which the cost varies. When searching for a criminal case record there is a flat fee of $4.50; however, depending on the search method, the cost for obtaining a civil case record varies from free to $5 a case.

The Tippecanoe County Government web site allows users to search for court records electronically free of charge. The Delaware County Courts currently have criminal records available for the public to access online via the Muncie Library's database. Other records will be put online shortly.

In 1999, the Supreme Court of Indiana formed the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee (JTAC) to look into preparing and posting court records on the Internet, eFiling, developing standards for judicial technology and all related court technology.

Kurt Snyder
[email protected]

Lilia Judson
Executive Director
Division of State Court Administration
Indiana Supreme Court
[email protected]

Tippecanoe County Court:
County Clerk
[email protected]
Phone: 765-423-9326


Supreme Court & Courts of Appeal


Tippecanoe County Court Records

Delaware County Court Records


As part of the Iowa Courts Information System (ICIS), the Iowa Courts Online website allows all users access to current court records, historical data, individual case financial information, document events filing, appellate case information, and probate records. The site will eventually have a section in which users will have to pay a fee to obtain records; however, only the free portion of the site is up and running now. The system connects all 99 counties in Iowa.

Online Contact Form

Iowa Courts Online


In addition to general docket/case information online, Kansas has a fee based subscription service called Information Network of Kansas which offers electronic access to district court records from four counties. The District Court of Shawnee County, while maintaining records on the Information Network of Kansas, allows users to search for case information free of charge on its web site.

The Appellate Court also has a case inquiry system online in which users can check the status of appellate cases as well as get case information.

Information Network of Kansas:
534 S. Kansas Avenue, Ste. 1210
Topeka, KS 66603-3434
Fax: (785) 296-5563
Call toll-free at: 800-4KANSAS
In the Topeka area call: 785-296-5059
Or, send an e-mail to:
[email protected]

Help Center direct line:
Or, send an e-mail to: [email protected]

Appellate Court and Supreme Court:
Ron Keefover
Education-Information Officer
301 W. 10th
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1507
by mail or E-mail at [email protected]

District Court of Shawnee County:
Court Administrator
Phone: 785-233-8200, ext. 4018

Information Network of Kansas

Appellate Court Case Inquiry Database

Supreme Court Opinions and Docket Information

District Court of Shawnee County

Courts of Appeal Opinions and Docket Information


There is a county by county listing of docket information, and Hardin County will soon have available an online records search of their electronic documents.

The Supreme Court of Kentucky also offers electronic access to its opinions, rules, and oral arguments calendar. Circuit and District Court rules are also available on the Supreme Court's website.

Cicely Jaracz Lambert
Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts
100 Millcreek Park
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: 502-573-2350
[email protected]

Ed Crockett
Assistant General Manager
Pretrial Services
Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts
100 Millcreek Park
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: 502-573-2350
[email protected]

Carol Ullerich
General Counsel
Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts
100 Millcreek Park
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: 502-573-2350
[email protected]

Supreme Court website

County by County docket information listing

Hardin County


The Civil District Court for the Parish of New Orleans offers access to its electronic records for an annual fee of $250. Users have unlimited usage access to all of its online civil records. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals of Louisiana as well as the Baton Rouge City Court permit users to search for docket information or retrieve a specific case. The 19th Judicial District Court of East Baton Rouge Parish offers online access to case information via a subscription service.

Court Public Information Officer
Louisiana Supreme Court
1555 Poydras Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: 504-568-5747
[email protected]

Civil District Court for the Parish of New Orleans
421 Loyola Avenue
Room 402
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: 504-592-9100
Fax: 504-592-9128
[email protected] or
[email protected]

Baton Rouge City Court
233 St. Louis Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Phone: 225-389-5279
Fax: 225-389-7656
TDD: 225-389-7623
[email protected]

19th Judicial District Court of East Baton Rouge Parish:
Public Information Office
Room B278
Government Building
222 St. Louis Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Civil District Court of the Parish of New Orleans

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

Baton Rouge City Court

19th Judicial District Court of East Baton Rouge Parish


The Judicial Brach of Maine's web site includes an index of administrative orders as well as Supreme Court Opinions.

Administrative Office of the Courts
Phone: 207-822-0792

Opinions and Orders


Maryland provides a remote dial-up access system in which most cases are searchable by party name or case number. Access is available for a fee. Complete case information is somewhat restricted and limited to docket information with some exceptions. Case files that contain the complete case information are not available through the database and are not readily available in electronic form. However, a pilot program in the Baltimore City Circuit Court are underway to explore this.

There are also electronic access terminals located in all courthouses, which are available for both the public and court officials to use.

[email protected] or
[email protected]

Judicial Information Systems
Department of Security
2661 Riva Road, Building 900
Annapolis, MD 21401

Dial-up Access System

Committee on Access to Court Records


The Massachusetts Probate courts allow users to order copies of records online but not actually view them online.

Supreme Court opinions and a listing of oral arguments, organized by month, are available on the Supreme Court's web site. Users can also search a database for Supreme Court and Appeals Courts cases via the Trial Courts Law Libraries links page.

On the Federal level, courts are planning to or have already installed a new electronic docketing and filing system called Case Management/Electronic Case Filing or CM/ECF. In preparation for the installation of this system in the federal courts in Massachusetts, a CM/ECF organizing committee was established in July 2001 and continues to meet today. The committee's original goal was limited to the installation of the CM/ECF system in the federal courts; however, the committee has expanded its mission to include the development and implementation of a single, electronic filing system statewide.

Maritza Bond
Acting Director, Information Technology Department
Administrative Office of the Trial Courts
Two Center Plaza, 9th floor
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: 617-742-1400, ext. 287
Fax: 617-742-1404

Supreme Court

Trial Courts Law Libraries Links


Currently, the Michigan Supreme Court's administrative orders as well as existing and proposed rule amendments are available online on the Michigan Courts web site. The web site will soon make available all Michigan court rules (only select rules are presently available online). Supreme Court Opinions are also available electronically.

The Washtenaw County Trial Court has a searchable opinions database, administrative orders, and court docket information online.

In March of 2002, the Supreme Court began soliciting comments on a proposed Cyber Court. The Cyber Court was established in 2001 and has concurrent jurisdictions regarding business and commercial actions including relevant technological areas such as software and the Internet. The proposed court rules include: eFiling; giving testimony over the Internet or via videoconferencing; serving notice via e-mail; and making the Cyber Court's proceedings accessible to the public at large.

Marcus Dobek
Phone: 517-373-8777 or 248-352-8990
Fax: 517-373-7451 or 248-352-8715
[email protected]

The Cyber Court:
Richard McLellan
[email protected]

Steven Liedel
[email protected]
Phone: 517-374-9100

Washtenaw County Trial Court:
Court Administration
101 E. Huron St, PO Box 8645
Ann Arbor, MI 48107-8645
Telephone: 734-222-3270
Fax: 734-222-3077

Michigan Court Rules and Orders

Supreme Court Opinions

Cyber Court

Washtenaw County Trial Court


The Fourth Judicial District Court of Minnesota offers criminal defendant information and civil case information online for a one-time setup fee of $35, a monthly fee of $31, $.10 per transaction and a fee that varies depending on the time of day the user accesses the online services.

Court rules are available electronically, and the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals also have opinions and schedules online.

Michael B. Johnson
Senior Staff Attorney
Court Services Division
State Court Administration
120-D Minnesota Judicial Center
25 Constitution Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55155
Direct Dial: 651-297-7584
Fax: 651-296-6609
[email protected]

Fourth Judicial District Court

Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeal


The Mississippi Supreme Court allows users to do a general docket search by entering the case number, party names, and/or attorney names. The state Supreme Court also has links to all of its rules.

Sample County allows users to search an online database for case information.

Supreme Court:
[email protected]

Docket and Rules Information;
P.O. Box 249
Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: 601-359-3694
Fax: 601-359-2407

Sample County:
John Robertson
Delta Computer Systems P.O. Box 1296 1201 31st Avenue Gulfport, MS 39501
Phone: 228-868-3250

General Docket Search


Sample County


Case.net provides access to the Missouri State Courts Automated Case Management System. Users are able to inquire on case records including docket entries, parties, judgements, and charges in public court. Only courts that have implemented the case management software as part of the Missouri Court Automation Project and only cases that have been deemed public under the Missouri Revised Statutes can be accessed through Case.net. The 16th Judicial Probate Court operates a separate web page although it also uses Case.net.

All circuit, associate and appellate courts are planned to have a uniform justice information system by 2004.

Catherine Nelson Zacharias
Legal Staff Assistant
2112 Industrial Dr.
P.O. Box 104480
Jefferson City, MO 65110
Phone: 573-751-4377
[email protected]

Case.net for Appellate and Circuit Courts

Case.net for 16th Judicial Probate Court


The State Law Library offers a free, searchable database of Montana Supreme Court opinions, orders and briefs. District Court rules are also available online.

Justice Building, 215 N Sanders
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 203004, Helena, MT 59620-3004
Phone: 406-444-3660
Fax: 406-444-3603
[email protected]

Supreme Court Opinions, Briefs, and Orders

Court Rules


The Nebraska Supreme Court has rules and opinions available online as well as Trial Court Rules; but otherwise, no electronic access appears to be provided.

P.O. Box 98910
1220 State Capitol Building
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509
Phone: 402-471-3730
Fax: 402-471-2197

Court Rules and Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Opinions and Rules


Nevada Court Rules and Supreme Court opinions are available online. The Second Judicial District Court uses a free database system called CourtConnect to allow users to search case information on active cases or cases filed after January 1, 2000.

The Eighth Judicial District Courts also allow users to search civil, criminal, family and probate records by entering the party name, case number, or attorney name.

Office of the Clerk
Supreme Court of Nevada
201 S. Carson Street
Carson City, Nevada 89701-4702
Phone: 775-684-1600

Eighth Judicial District Courts:
[email protected]

[email protected]

Supreme Court Opinions and Court Rules

Eighth Judicial District Courts

Clark County District Case Inquiry


New Hampshire

A link on the New Hampshire Supreme Court's web site allows users to search for general information about the Probate, District and Family courts. Users can also search for Superior Court and Supreme Court decisions with some exceptions. Court rules are also online.

Thomas A. Edwards
Sr. Systems Analyst/Programmer
Administrative Office of the Courts
2 Noble Drive
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: 603-271-2521
[email protected]

Court Rules

Probate, District and Family Court and Superior Court and Supreme Court Opinions Search

New Jersey

Supreme Court, Appellate Court, and Tax Court opinions are online dating from September 1995 to the present. The state also has a searchable electronic civil motions calendar.

As of July 1, 2002, the New Jersey Judiciary decided not to expand access to court records on the Internet due to budgetary constraints and concerns that putting court records on the Internet will violate privacy rights guaranteed through New Jersey statute. It is not known when the New Jersey Judiciary will make a final decision regarding electronic access to court records. However, court documents are available to the public via computer terminals at local courthouses.

James Rebo, Chief Information Officer
Hughes Justice Complex
25 Market Street
P.O. Box 984
Trenton, NJ 08625

Supreme Court, Appellate Court, and Tax Court Opinions

Automation Projects

Civil Motions Calendar

New Jersey Judiciary Article Regarding electronic access

New Mexico

Electronic access to case information is provided without a fee. Addresses and phone numbers are not provided on the Internet. Internet access includes case management information on all New Mexico District and Magistrate Courts, except the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court, which requires a password to access its records. Court rules are also available online.

Fern Goodman
General Counsel
237 Don Gaspar
Room 25
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Case lookup

Statute rules

New York

In April 2002, the Commission on Public Access to Court Records was created for the specific task of examining the sometimes competing interests of privacy and open access relating to information in court case files. The findings and recommendations of the Commission will help to shape the Judiciary's policies regarding the availability of court records on the Internet. The Commission's findings are expected next spring. The Judiciary is expected to make more and more docket information and decisions available electronically over the next few years.

Currently, the New York State Unified Court System has an E.Courts initiative that provides docket information by Index Number and Party Name for the Supreme Court (New York's trial level court of general jurisdiction) in all 62 counties, selected decisions online, and a pilot electronic filing program in the New York County Commercial Division.

Noel Adler
Director of the Division of Technology
New York State Unified Court System
[email protected]
Help desk: 1-800-622-2522

New York Unified State Court System Public Inquiry


Commission on Public Access to Court Records Press Release

North Carolina

North Carolina has an electronic calendar, which can be searched by county, court type, or last name of defendant. There is also a searchable database of Supreme Court Opinions online as well as Court rules.

The North Carolina Business Court allows users to search electronic records by entering either the case number or parties' names.

Administrative Office of the Courts
P. O. Box 2448
Raleigh, N.C. 27602-2448
Contact Us

Business Court:
The North Carolina Business Court
200 South Elm Street Suite 200
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
Phone: 336-334-5252
Fax: 336-334-5162
[email protected]

Electronic Calendar

Business Court

Supreme Court and Appellate Court Opinions

North Dakota

North Dakota provides a searchable database of Supreme Court decisions and docket information online.

Kurt Schmidt
Director of Technology
Supreme Court
State Capitol
Bismarck, ND 58505
Phone: 701-328-4220
Fax: 701-328-4480
[email protected]

Supreme Court Opinions

Supreme Court Docket Search


In addition to the Supreme Court services, numerous jurisdictions in Ohio offer electronic access to civil and/or criminal records.

Christian Selch, Manager
Technology Policy and Planning
The Supreme Court of Ohio
30 East Broad St.
Columbus, OH 43266
Toll free: 1-800-826-9010 Fax: 614-752-8736

Athens County
[email protected]

Brown County
[email protected]

Butler County
[email protected]

Canton Municipal Court:
Canton Municipal Court Online Case Docket
218 Cleveland Ave SW
Canton, Oh 44702
Phone: 330-489-3204

Cuyahoga County
Cuyahoga County, Criminal Case Docket
Administrative Office
Phone: 216-443-8560

Fairfield County
Fairfield County Clerk of Courts
224 E. Main St., PO Box 370
Lancaster, Ohio 43130

Franklin County:
Franklin County, Probate Division
Phone: 614-462-3244

Geauga County
Denise M. Kaminski
Phone: 440-285-2222, ext. 2380

Hamilton County
Phone: 513-946-5656

Lorain County
[email protected]

Lucas County:
Clerk of Courts
Lucas County Courthouse
700 Adams Street
Toledo, OH 43624
Phone: 419-213-4484
Lucas County, Dockets

Miami County
Office of Court Technology
Phone: 903-332-7029

Stark County
Stark County, Docket Information

Summit County
[email protected]

Trumbell County
Phone: 330-675-2557

Union County
Union County Clerk of Courts
215 W. 5th Street
Marysville, Ohio 43040

Warren County
[email protected]

Allen County

Clermont County

Greene County

Hamilton County, Probate Division

Knox County

Lake County

Lawrence County

Licking County

Montgomery County

Scioto County

Ohio Supreme Court Opinions, Events Calendar, and Rules


The Oklahoma State Courts Network offers users electronic access to an extensive database at no cost. The database includes docket information, rules, and case information from the Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals, Court of Criminal Appeals, Court on the Judiciary, and the Judicial Ethics Advisory Panel.

Oklahoma State Court Network
Administrative Office of the Courts
1915 N. Stiles, Suite 305
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
Phone: 405-521-2450
Fax: 405-521-9688

Oklahoma State Courts Network


The state maintains a statewide court case management application known as Oregon Judicial Information Network. Internet access is permitted for all non-confidential (defined by statute) court cases.

Court rules are also available online.

Carl Ward, CIO Information Technology Division
Office of the State Court Administrator, Oregon Judicial Department
Phone: 503-986-5588
Fax: 503-986-5616
TTY: 503-986-5504

Oregon Judicial Information Network

Court Rules


The First Judicial Court of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) allows users to access docket information free of charge. The Bucks County Court of Common Please allows users access to a variety of county records including criminal case information for a fee of $25 per month. The Mifflin County Court of Common Pleas and the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas both have opinions (civil and criminal) online. The State's Appellate Court gives users access to docket information via the Pennsylvania Appellate Court Management System (PACMS).

[email protected]
Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts
1515 Market Street, Suite 1414
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: 215-560-6300


Bucks County Court of Common Pleas

Mifflin County Court of Common Pleas Opinions

Northampton County Court of Common Pleas Opinions


Rhode Island

There is a searchable database of the Rhode Island Supreme Court Adult Criminal Information Database via CourtConnect. Supreme Court opinions, orders and calendars are available online. Superior Court decisions, administrative and miscellaneous orders are available electronically also.

Administrative Office of the Courts
Administrative Office:
Phone: 401-222-3266
Fax: 401-222-3599
Rhode Island Judicial Technology Center:
Phone: 401-222-3000
Fax: 401-222-2870


Supreme Court

Superior Court

South Carolina

The Judicial Automation Project will be implemented over the next five years and focuses on modernizing the state courts' operations and then opening up access to court records online.

A few counties in South Carolina currently provide electronic access to some court information free of charge. Charleston County Courts provide access to civil, criminal, and traffic cases as well as judgements, case reports and jury lists.

Supreme Court Opinions are also online.

Rosalyn Frierson
SC Court Administration
1015 Sumter Street,
Suite 200
Cola, SC 29201

Mary Schroeder
Deputy Director
SC Court Administration
1015 Sumter Street,
Suite 200
Cola, SC 29201

Judicial Automation Project Information

Charleston County

Supreme Court Opinions

South Dakota

South Dakota Supreme Court Opinions and calendar information is available online and in October 2002 live audio of hearings will be made available. There is no electronic access to circuit court records.

Jill M. Gusso, Director
Division of Public Information and Education
South Dakota Unified Judicial System
Phone: 605-773-3474
Fax: 605-773-5627

Supreme Court Opinions and Calendar


Tennessee Supreme Court and Appellate Court opinions and rules are available online. The Hamilton County Circuit Courts offer users access to its motion dockets online.

In addition to Court Rules, the Nashville Criminal Court Clerk (Davidson County) web site also has case information available electronically.

The Tennessee state court web site also offers users access to real time appellate court dockets. Many states have begun to allow all court fillings online. While outside the scope of this report, this is an important development that could accelerate the computerization of the court system in the near future bringing the benefits and consequences of greater efficiency and openness sooner.

Sue Allison
[email protected]

Hamilton County:
Information Technology Services
115 East 7th Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402
Fax: 423-209-6251
[email protected]
Web Page

Supreme Court and Appellate Court:
Administrative Office of the Courts
511 Union Street
Suite 600
Nashville, TN 37219
Phone: 615-741-2687
Toll-Free: 800-448-7970

Hamilton County Motion Dockets

Supreme Court and Appellate Court Opinions

Nashville Criminal Court Clerk web site


The Texas Judiciary On-line web site offers a link to a searchable database called the Texas Appellate Court Case Information Search. Of the 14 Courts of Appeals, 11 have case and opinion search features, including the ability to view cases set for submission by date.

The Supreme Court has online case searches, opinion searches, and briefs that have been submitted electronically. These 12 courts also have notification features that allow users to sign up to receive information about changes to cases and notification when a court issues opinions.

The Court of Criminal Appeals case information can be accessed through the Texas Appellate Court Case Information Search. Planned revisions to their case management system will provide the ability for this court to offer information comparable to that offered by the 12 courts mentioned above.

Individual appellate court web sites offer links to the Supreme Court's site for rules and procedures. The individual appellate court sites observe the naming convention of court number.courts.state.tx.us For example, the First Court of Appeals would be accessed at http://www.1stCOA.courts.state.tx.us. Each appellate court also provides docketing statement forms online.

The following courts offer online access to docket information, calendars, civil and/or criminal case information:

The Texas Judiciary's web site also has a brief description explaining their open records policy and subsequent committee decisions. The Texas Judiciary's web site links to each appellate court and many trial courts. The web site is updated to add trial court web sites as the information becomes available.

Texas Appellate, Supreme Court:
Office of Court Administration
205 W. 14th Street
Suite 600
Austin, Texas 78701
Phone: 512-463-1625
Fax: 512-463-1648

Denton County:
Michael Donnelly, Justice Information System Manager
[email protected]
Kevin Carr, Director of Information Services
[email protected]

Texas Judiciary web site

Texas Appellate Court Case Information Search

Denton County District Court

Castro, Hale and Swisher District Court

219th District Court of Collin County

14th Civil District Court of Dallas County Docket Information

68th Civil District Court of Dallas County Docket Information

212th District Court of Galveston County

405th District Court of Galveston County

Harris County Docket Inquiry

Civil District Courts of Harris County Case Information

58th Civil District Court of Jefferson County

60th Civil District Court of Jefferson County

136th Civil District Court of Jefferson County

172nd Civil District Court of Jefferson County

410th District Court of Montgomery County

Tarrant County

Travis County

Supreme Court

Information on Open Records Policy and Committee decisions


Utah Court Information Xchange is a comprehensive database of district court case records. A usage contract is required in order to use the system.

Information Services
Administrative Office of the Courts
450 South State
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-0241
Phone: 801-578-3831



The Committee to Study Public Access to Court Documents recently concluded that the state should work to narrow the disparity between records that are available in electronic and paper form. In the future, the committee would like to see no difference between the availability of records online and offline. The committee recommended making available juvenile records on a case-by-case basis. The committee also recommended prohibiting or severely restricting access to the following record types: adoption and relinquishment; sterilization; grand jury proceedings; most juvenile proceedings; inquest proceedings; and mental health and mental retardation commitment proceedings. The committee also recommended that judicial conduct proceedings, lawyer disciplinary proceedings and most criminal proceedings be partially restricted from public access. The committee also recommended restricting access to records that contain sensitive personal information such as medical information.

A 1998 report by the Judiciary Technology Committee identified three areas of high priority for improving Vermont's technology. The three development priorities are 1) electronic litigation; 2) accessible, user-friendly case and data access system; and 3) electronic tools for judges and staff. The Committee also recognized the need to implement new technology on a statewide level and to increase the public's access to most records via the Internet (with some exceptions).

Current electronic access to court records is limited.

Lee Suskin, Esq.
Court Administrator
Supreme Court of Vermont
Office of the Court Administrator
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-0701
[email protected]

Committee to Study Public Access to Court Documents' Report

Judiciary Technology Committee's Report

Supreme Court Opinions and Calendar; Superior Court, District Court, and Family Court calendars; and Environmental Court Opinions


Electronic access is available free of charge for many Circuit and District court records in Virginia via a pilot program called Courts Automated Information System (CAIS).

Users also have online access to Supreme Court calendars, rules, dockets, appeals granted, and opinions. The Court of Appeals of Virginia has calendar and docket information and opinions online.

Steven L. Dalle Mura
Director of Legal Research
Administrative Office
Third Floor
100 North Ninth St.
Richmond, VA 23219
[email protected]


Supreme Court

Court of Appeals of Virginia


Under Washington statute (Chapter 2.68 of the Revised Code of Washington & applicable Judicial Information Systems Committee Rules of the Washington Rules of Court), district and municipal court records can be obtained through a subscription to the state's Justice Information System (JIS). The JIS was recently made available on the Internet, and the Appellate Court Record and Data System (ACORD) will soon be added to the JIS. Supreme Court and Court of Appeals opinions and rules are available on the Washington Courts' web site as well as calendar information.

Pierce County Superior Court allows users to search for case information and review calendar information.

Brian Backus
Manager of Web Support Department
Administrative Office of the Courts
1206 Quince St. SE
P.O. Box 41170
Olympia, WA 98504-1170
Phone: 360-705-5320
[email protected]

Katherine Kuriyama
Data Dissemination Administrator
Administrative Office of the Courts
1206 Quince St. SE
P.O. Box 41170
Olympia, WA 98504-1170
Phone: 360-704-4029
[email protected]

Pierce County Superior Court:
Andra Motyka
Court Administrator
Pierce County Superior Court
Room 534, County Court Bldg.
930 Tacoma Avenue, South
Tacoma, WA 98402
General Information, Phone: 253-798-3654


Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Opinions and Rules

Calendar Information

Pierce County Superior Court

West Virginia

West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals opinions, and docket and calendar information are available online free of charge. High profile case information is also available.

Administrative Office of the Courts
Capitol Complex
Building 1, Room E-100
Charleston, WV 25305-0830
Phone: 304-558-0145

Supreme Court of Appeals


In Wisconsin, all unrestricted cases--excluding juvenile, mental, paternity, and adoption cases--are available on the Internet via Circuit Court Access.

The Municipal Court of Milwaukee also offers users electronic access to case information.

There is also a searchable database of Wisconsin Supreme Court and Court of Appeals opinions. A table of pending cases is also available to the public.

Circuit Court Access:
[email protected]

Staff and District Court Administrators
Director of State Courts Office
16E Capitol Bldg.
P.O. Box 1688
Madison, WI 53701-1688
Phone: 608-266-6828

Supreme Court and Court of Appeals:
[email protected]

Milwaukee Municipal Court Information System:
Milwaukee Municipal Court
951 North James Lovell Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233
Phone: 414-286-3800
Fax: 414-286-3615

Circuit Court Access

Milwaukee Municipal Court Information System

Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals

Pending Cases


In Wyoming, the Teton County Clerk web site offers users free, electronic access to court records dating from 1996 to the present.

Supreme Court opinions, oral argument schedules and court rules are also online.

The Wyoming Judicial Technology Task Force is currently working on improving public access and developing statewide standards.

Holly Hansen
Court Administrator
Wyoming Supreme Court
2301 Capitol Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Phone: 307-777-7480
[email protected]

Teton County

Supreme Court

Wyoming Judicial Technology Task Force


This survey was principally researched by CDT Research Fellow Kathy Roche.

CDT would like to thank all of the state and local information officers who responded to our inquiries. Without their openness and enthusiasm, this report would not have been possible.