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CM/ECF User Manual

Section 12 - Queries and Reports

Case Information Sources

Case docket information sources are stored by various media depending on when the case was filed.  The following date ranges are approximate.  Users should contact the Clerk's Office for assistance in locating information for cases filed prior to 1990. 

Access CM/ECF (with PACER interface) to locate civil and criminal cases filed since 1990.  Microfiche is available at the Court's intake counters for civil and criminal cases filed from 1979-1990.  Microfilm is available at the Court's intake counters for criminal cases filed from 1971 to approximately 1983 and for civil cases from 1967 to approximately 1988.

Search Guidelines

To search for a name or party in CM/ECF, you must have a minimum of two characters (alphabetic or numeric). A wildcard (*) symbol may be used in place of a character before the two known or after the two known characters entered. Entry of the wildcard character before the two known characters will generate a very broad search result. The system will view the two known characters as a string and display any names which contain the string.

Alternatively, use of the wildcard symbol following the two known characters will generate a report containing only those names which begin with the two known characters. The addition of known characters will further limit the search results. If more than one case/person meets the criteria, the user must select one from the generated list and then choose what data to view.

Query

The Query main menu option allows users to search for specific case information by name or case number such as docket report, alias, attorney, party, or associated case information. Some options, like the motions report, will involve further selection criteria by the user. Users should note that name fields are not case sensitive and can be for both parties or attorneys. Users may further refine their search for case specific information on the Query sub-menu to reduce PACER charges by selecting the most appropriate item.

Reports

The Reports main menu option allows users to search for district wide information for both civil and criminal cases. Menu selections are predicated upon the user’s access level. In most report selection screens, the following rules apply:

  • If a selection box displays more than one choice, multiple items may be selected.
  • If a selection list includes a blank item, it can be used to select "all."
  • If multiple selection criteria are specified, i.e. judge and office, only those items for which both are true will be retrieved.

(a) Docket Sheet

The Docket Sheet report displays the cover page and selected docket entries for a single case. If a document range is specified, docket entries which do not have an associated document will not be listed. This report is the same as generated via the Query menu option Docket Report. Registered Users will be able to view the Notices of Electronic Filing by selecting Docket Sheet and checking the box to include the links to the Notice of Electronic Filing. When viewing the system-generated Docket Sheet, the user may click on the icon next to the document number to display the Notice of Electronic Filing for that transaction.

(b) Civil Cases Report

This report displays a summary list of cases selected by numerous criteria, including office, nature of suit, cause of action, and jurisdiction.  The report can be sorted by case number or any of the criteria selected.

(c) Criminal Cases Report

This report displays a summary list of cases selected by numerous criteria including office, case flags, or citation and can include pending and/or terminated defendants. The report can be sorted by case number, terminal digit, or office.

(d) Civil and Criminal Selected Reports

(1) Calendar - Events: (See Appendix G) This report displays the selected date range cases which include the calendar items matching the selection criteria.  The report may be sorted by time or divisional office location. The report also generates hearings.

2) Docket Activity: The Docket Activity Report displays a summary of docketed events selected by numerous criteria, including start date, end date, office, category of event, or case number. Each item listed includes a case number hyperlink to a docket report and a link to the related PDF document.

(3) Written Opinions: This report allows the user to view those documents designated as written opinions in the system. There are no PACER charges incurred when viewing written opinions.

Pursuant to the E-Government Act of 2002, a "written opinion" is defined as "any document issued by a judge or judges of the court, sitting in that capacity, that sets forth a reasoned explanation for a court's decision." The responsibility for determining which documents meet this definition rests with the authoring judge. The decision as to whether the document is a "written opinion" is not the same as the decision about whether an opinion should be published.

The definition is expressly intended to cover reports and recommendations issued by magistrate judges at such time as any action is taken by a district judge on the basis of a report and recommendations issued by a magistrate judge, and also includes a summary order by a district judge adopting such a report and recommendations. The definition is not intended to include routine, non-substantive orders such as scheduling orders or rulings on motions for extension of time.

 

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