Federal, California, and Local Docket Research:
How to locate Case Documents
This web page is designed to allow San Francisco Law Library patrons to access the docket information for cases that are presently active, in Federal, State and Local jurisdictions. Docket information means the list of all the documents filed in a case. This list of documents does not necessarily mean that the documents are available for viewing, although in some cases they are. Please contact the Librarian for information about obtaining particular documents.
The Federal Courts make their dockets available through a system known as PACER, or Public Access to Court Electronic Records. Searches for particular cases can be made in specific Courts, such as the Northern District of California or the Supreme Court, in Federal Appellate and Bankruptcy Courts, or across the entire Federal Court System. PACER is a fee-based service. To find out more, click here.
Some Federal Courts make their data available directly through their websites, for example: United States Supreme Court’s docket page.
Another way to access this data is through a free website called LLRX
, which provides access to court rules, forms and dockets, among other forms of legal information.
The California Courts have made their docket information for the California Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeal available primarily through the Judicial Branch of California’s web page, California Courts.
The California Supreme Court dockets and the California Appellate Courts can both be searched from the same web site, the California Appellate Courts Case Information System.
Additionally, one can go directly to the Appellate District of one’s choice. By clicking here, a web page with a list of all the districts will appear, and the links on that page direct you to each Appellate Districts web site. On these specific sites, you can browse recent Opinions, Calendars, and Minutes, and search for each individually.
San Francisco Courts
The City and County of San Francisco makes docket information available through a website they have created called the San Francisco Superior Court Electronic Information Center.
Search by Case Number or by Party Name.
The following types of cases are available for docket research through this website: Probate, Complex Litigation (including the Providian Credit Card Case and the Microsoft Case), and General Civil.
The San Francisco Superior Court Case Information Page.
Search the Register of Actions, which lists case filings. Use party name or case number to find: selected documents PDFs, parties, attorneys, calendar, and payments. Click here for tips, instructions, and date ranges related to online access of Unlimited Civil, Limited Civil, Probate, Small Claims, and Family Court filings. If you cannot find the information you seek online, check to see whether they are available in print by contacting Civil Records at (415) 551-3802 or Criminal Records at (415) 551-0679.