Q: In the USA (specifically, NY and/or CA), what is the procedure to access court records to research caselaw?
In the USA (specifically, NY and/or CA), what is the procedure to access court records to research caselaw?
Can anyone directly see any court records on the court websites, or is there a different type of procedure to request documents? Do you need some type of credentials to view historical court records, or can even a student request records from a court?
If this process varies across states, I'm specifically interested in NY and CA.
Thank you for your time.
A: There isn't really a formal procedure. A California attorney could advise about the systems used there. In New York, you could access decisions on the website of the Unified Court System. Additionally, there are databases such as PACER where you can find cases. About your other questions, yes, for the most part, anyone can access these records and special credentials are not necessary. Additionally, there are other commercial and educational sites that also inventory court decisions.
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