Research Tip: Online Court Case Index and Documents

Many online court case name lookups also have document images. Some court indexes, as in the one provided by Alameda County, California, only have search and retrieval of documents by case number.

The Sacramento County Court Case Management System (CCMS) provides access to case file documents for recently filed Civil and Probate cases.

You can view all documents on Trust and Estate cases initiated after February 5, 2007 as well as all Probate Notes for hearings after February 5, 2007. You can view all documents on Civil cases (excluding Small Claims and Unlawful Detainer cases) for cases initiated after November 13, 2007 as well as Case Management Program Tentative Rulings for hearings after November 13, 2007.

It’s not as seamless as it should be. Ideally, you could conduct a name search in the Sacramento Court Name Index System to retrieve a case number and links to the documents. But the current setup requires searching in two steps, if you are searching by name and then want to get the case documents.

View the tutorial by selecting the orange and blue figures in the lower right corner of the image. Then you’ll be directed to the Slideshare site. Look at the full screen slideshow by selecting “Full” in the lower right corner of the image.

What are the parameters at your local court Web site for viewing document images online?

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