The official calendar of lawsuits that are pending in a court is referred to as a docket. Formerly, it meant the books where all filings and court proceedings of each case were recorded by the clerks. The docket has in it the names of al the parties, and a minute of all proceedings in the case. Court dockets are a sub-part of public records in the United States. This information now put in a docket enable references for similar cases in the future. Majority of the countries now have an online docket search option. In the US, though there are separate options available for county court dockets and district court dockets but there is a lack of a singular docket database encompassing all its state and federal courts.
Online Court Dockets Search
Previously, the system was not computerised, and thus it would be very cumbersome to get a reference from a docket. Now that with advancement of technology, the databases have not only been computerised but made online, it has become easy and simple to find and verify a court docket. Court dockets search for the federal courts, is done through a system known as PACER. The Supreme court as well as majority of the state courts has their own docket systems. The Supreme Court's docket system helps track any case in an automated manner. It includes pending and decided cases. Information is generally updated following every entry on the docket. For any person searching a particular case can use the docket number to accomplish the task. Online information on any case is easily got by a simple click on the hyperlinks that are there inside the Docket's case summary. Then the user would be directed to a .pdf file which would have the details of the decisions.
One of the most popular state that has taken the biggest step towards online court dockets is Oklahoma. The state has been trying to bring up a comprehensive state wide online docket database which would make information available within real quick time. As the judicial system is bearing the entire cost of this effort, therefore the end user gets free access to Oklahoma's court information. Presently, court information of thirteen counties as well as of all appellate courts of Oklahoma is available. No sooner information is updated by a clerk, it is made available online. Another state that has an online docket system is the Kentucky Court of Justice Docket Information web site. It provides absolutely current information on any particular docket. It is the last updated information.
Apart from the Supreme Court, PACER and other state courts own docket systems, there are also a host of other free websites that contains information on dockets. One such website is the FreeCourtDockets.com that has all Pacer and US Supreme Court dockets in it. There are web directories like Courtport.com that charge fees for such searches. Then there is LexisNexis Courtlink or Westlaw CourtExpress that are commercial service providers, who have incorporated few court docket materials within their legal information databases.