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Obtaining Court Documents When They Aren't Available Online

Although many court documents are available electronically thanks to systems such as CM/ECF (Case Management/Electronic Case Filing) via PACER, not all courts are using this technology.

In those situations, the researcher must make other arrangements to get needed documents. If the court is local, making a trip to the courthouse might be an option. If not, you could try calling the clerk of court. I've had mixed success with this method. A few will send documents right away at no charge. Some will send them fairly quickly for a fee. Others will send them for a fee, but it may take months of waiting and numerous follow up calls. Finally, some clerks of court won't send them at all.

That's why it's useful to know about services such as LexisNexis CourtLink Document Retrieval Service from whom you can order dockets and documents from all federal and state courts dockets.

According to the LexisNexis, for a limited time, you can try the CourtLink Document Retrieval Service and receive $30 off each of your first five individual document orders placed for documents from all federal, state and bankruptcy courts in the United States.