United States Federal & State Courts


The availability of judicial opinions on-line has increased substantially over the years. Most federal courts, including all circuit courts, and many state courts have Internet home pages sponsored by various educational and commercial entities; however, the databases of these judicial opinions tend only to cover the last few years, negating the possibility of conducting comprehensive research. The exception to the problem of limited availability of caselaw is the U. S. Supreme Court, which has decisions on-line dating back to 1760.

Private Sector

The most extensive Internet databases of judicial opinions at the federal and state levels are available through private fee-based providers such as LexisNexis®, WestLaw®, and VersusLaw. However, in its continuing mission to organize the world's information, Google, through its excellent law-focussed product, Google Scholar (free to use), is well on its way to changing the jurisprudence research landscape. Scholar offers the ability to search state and federal court opinions, hosted on Google's infrastructure and presented in a clear, uniform manner.

Public Sector

The most substantial coordinated government service of judicial opinions is PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records), which allows anyone with an account to access official electronic case information and court dockets.

United States Supreme Court

Freely Accessible Online Archives
U. S. Supreme Court Decisions 1760-Present

Supreme Court Primary Materials

United States Constitution, Article III
28 U.S.C. Chapter 81, Supreme Court
28 U.S.C. § 1251. Original jurisdiction.
28 U.S.C. § 1252. Repealed.
28 U.S.C. § 1253. Direct appeals from decisions of three-judge courts.
28 U.S.C. § 1254. Courts of appeals; certiorari; certified questions.
28 U.S.C. § 1255, 1256. Repealed.
28 U.S.C. § 1257. State courts; certiorari.
28 U.S.C. § 1258. Supreme Court of Puerto Rico; certiorari.
28 U.S.C. § 1259. Court of Military Appeals; certiorari.

United States Supreme Court: Summary of Online Resources

Legal researchers interested in the U. S. Supreme Court have a plethora of on-line options available to them.

FindLaw, Inc., offers a searchable database of Supreme Court decisions dating back to 1890 (U. S. Supreme Court Decisions: 1760-present). This free service from FindLaw allows research by year, U. S. Reports volume number and citation, case title, and full text. FindLaw's Supreme Court database represents the best option for Internet researchers due to its comprehensiveness, powerful search options.

Cornell University's Legal Information Institute has placed the Rules of the U. S. Supreme Court on the Internet.

Supreme Court of the United States
First Street, N.E.
Washington, D. C. 20543

Telephone: (202) 479-3011

U. S. Federal Circuit Courts: Contact & Access

Staff Note: For each circuit court below, more than one web site is available to the public at which opinions may be accessed for download or text searches. The hypertext link located above the physical address for each circuit court represents the more (or most) comprehensive database currently freely accessible via the Internet.

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
U. S. Courthouse
3rd & Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001

Telephone: (202) 273-0310

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
1606 John W. McCormack Post Office & Courthouse
Boston, MA 02109

Telephone: (617) 223-9057

(Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico)

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U. S. Courthouse, Foley Square
40 Center Street
New York, NY 10007

Telephone: (212) 791-0103

(Connecticut, New York, Vermont)

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Independence Mall West
21400 U. S. Courthouse
601 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Telephone: (215) 597-2905

(Delaware, New Jersey, Virgin Islands, Pennsylvania)

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Tenth & Main Streets
Richmond, VA 23219

Telephone: (804) 771-2213

(Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, West Virginia)

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
100 U. S. Courthouse
600 Camp Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

Telephone: (504) 589-6514

(Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas)

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
502 U. S. Post Office and Courthouse Building
5th & Walnut Streets
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Telephone: (513) 584-2953

(Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee)

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
219 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60604

Telephone: (312) 435-5850

(Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin)

United States Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit
511 U. S. Court & Custom House
1114 Market Street
St. Louis, MO 63101

Telephone: (314) 539-3609

(Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North & South Dakota)

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
P. O. Box 547
San Francisco, CA 94101

Telephone: (415) 744-6150

(Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawai`i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, North Mariana Island, Guam)

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
The Byron White United States Courthouse
1823 Stout Street
Denver, CO 80257

Telephone: (303) 844-3157

(Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming)

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
56 Forsyth Street, N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30303

Telephone: (404) 331-6187

(Alabama, Florida, Georgia)

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
717 Madison Place, N.W.
Washington, DC 20439

Telephone: (202) 633-6550

American State Courts

State Supreme Courts

Supreme Court of Alabama
Supreme Court of Alaska
Supreme Court of Arizona
Supreme Court of Arkansas
Supreme Court of California
Supreme Court of Colorado
Supreme Court of Connecticut
Supreme Court of Delaware
Supreme Court of Florida
Supreme Court of Georgia
Supreme Court of Guam
Supreme Court of Hawai`i
Supreme Court of Idaho
Supreme Court of Illinois
Supreme Court of Indiana
Supreme Court of Iowa
Supreme Court of Kansas
Supreme Court of Kentucky
Supreme Court of Louisiana
Supreme Court of Maine
Supreme Court of Maryland
Supreme Court of Massachusetts
Supreme Court of Michigan
Supreme Court of Minnesota
Supreme Court of Mississippi
Supreme Court of Missouri
Supreme Court of Nebraska
Supreme Court of Nevada
Supreme Court of New Hampshire
Supreme Court of New Jersey
Supreme Court of New Mexico
Supreme Court of New York
Supreme Court of North Carolina
Supreme Court of North Dakota
Supreme Court of Ohio
Supreme Court of Oklahoma
Supreme Court of Oregon
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Supreme Court of Puerto Rico
Supreme Court of Rhode Island
Supreme Court of South Carolina
Supreme Court of South Dakota
Supreme Court of Tennessee
Supreme Court of Texas
Supreme Court of U.S. Virgin Islands
Supreme Court of Utah
Supreme Court of Vermont
Supreme Court of Virginia
Supreme Court of Washington
Supreme Court of West Virginia
Supreme Court of Wisconsin
Supreme Court of Wyoming

State Appellate Courts

Alabama Court of Appeals
Alaska Court of Appeals
Arizona Court of Appeals, Division I
Arizona Court of Appeals, Division II 
Arkansas Court of Appeals
California Courts of Appeals
Colorado Court of Appeals
Connecticut Court of Appeals
Delaware Court of Appeals
Florida Court of Appeals
Georgia Court of Appeals
Hawai`i Intermediate Court of Appeals
Idaho Court of Appeals
Illinois Court of Appeals
Indiana Court of Appeals
Iowa Court of Appeals
Kansas Court of Appeals
Kentucky Court of Appeals
Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal
Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal
Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal
Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal
Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal
Maryland Court of Appeals
Massachusetts Court of Appeals
Michigan Court of Appeals
Minnesota Court of Appeals
Mississippi Court of Appeals
Missouri Court of Appeals
Montana Court of Appeals
Nebraska Court of Appeals
Nevada Court of Appeals
New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division
New Mexico Court of Appeals
New York Court of Appeals
North Carolina Court of Appeals
Ohio Court of Appeals
Oklahoma Court of Appeals
Oregon Court of Appeals
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court
Pennsylvania Superior Court
South Carolina Court of Appeals
Tennessee Court of Appeals
Texas Courts of Appeals
Utah Court of Appeals
Virginia Court of Appeals
Washington Court of Appeals
West Virginia Court of Appeals
Wisconsin Court of Appeals
Wyoming Court of Appeals