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Pritzker Legal Research Center


MacArthur Justice Center (MJC) Research Guide

Policy on Bloomberg Law Docket Usage

All NLaw Bloomberg Law users are subject to the Policy on Bloomberg Law Dockets Charges by Academic Users. Contact Lisa Winkler, Clinical Services Librarian, if you have any questions about the policy.

 

Accessing State Court Dockets

The process is the same for accessing both federal and state dockets on Bloomberg Law, Westlaw, and Lexis Advance.  However, it is important to note that the actual court filings are only sporadically available for state court cases on each of these services.

 

If the dockets and/or filings are not electronically available for your case on Bloomberg Law, Westlaw, or Lexis Advance, the next best option is to visit the court’s website.  In addition to locating your court’s website via Google, LegalDockets.com (http://www.legaldockets.com) is a helpful, well-maintained resource.

 

Finally, if the above-discussed strategies prove unsuccessful, a visit to the Clerk’s office for your court, either personally or via a courier service, is likely necessary.  Make sure to contact the Clerk’s office in advance to learn of any fees or other logistical considerations before your visit.

Cook County Docket Research

The Clerk of the Cook County Circuit Court provides electronic dockets for cases filed in its Civil, Law, Chancery, and Domestic Relations divisions.  To search these dockets, visit http://www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/?section=CASEINFOPage&CASEINFOPage=2400 and select the Court division you need to search.  Then, enter information in either the case number, name, or filing date field and click "Search Now."  Note: this database provides access to the dockets and not the actual filings.  To obtain filings, you will likely need to visit the Clerk's Office.  Visit http://www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/ for more information.

Accessing Bloomberg Law's Dockets

After visiting http://www.bloomberglaw.com and entering your log-in credentials, select “Dockets” beneath the “Research” header under “Getting Started.”  

 

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Alternatively, visit http://www.bloomberglaw.com/dockets and enter your log-in credentials.

Searching Bloomberg Law's Dockets

First, select the court where the case was filed.  You can do so by selecting “Browse” and then drilling down through the options until you find the court you need.  Alternatively, you can begin typing the name of the court in the “Courts” box, at which point the system will provide you with one or more courts matching your entry.  Note: using either method, you can select multiple courts to search at once.

 

Once you’ve selected your court(s), you can enter identifying information in one or more of the following fields:

 

  • Keywords (e.g., complaint, transcript, “motion to dismiss,” etc.)

    • Click “Search Help” for an explanation of Bloomberg Law’s required Boolean search operators.

  • Docket Number

    • Click “Federal Docket Numbers” for help formatting your docket number search.

  • One or more parties to the case, along with their role

  • Judge

  • Case Name

  • Attorney or Firm

  • Date Range

  • Type (Civil or Criminal)

  • Cause of Action (e.g. Breach of Contract)

 

Note: in addition to being useful for locating specific case dockets and/or filings, Bloomberg Law’s Dockets can be helpful for determining how a particular judge has ruled on a particular type of case or motion.  For example, by selecting “U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois” in the “Courts” field, entering “Castillo” in the “Judge” field, and “Medical Malpractice” in the “Add Cause of Action” field, we can learn more about medical malpractice actions heard by Chief Judge Ruben Castillo.

Ensuring a Docket is Up-to-Date

When viewing a particular docket on Bloomberg Law, make sure to click "Update Docket" beneath the "Docket Currency" header on the right-hand side of the page.  After a few moments, you will receive a notification that the docket has been updated and the "Last Updated on Bloomberg Law" date above the "Update Docket" link will reflect the current date.  Bloomberg Law only updates individual dockets on a periodic basis, so clicking this link will ensure you are viewing the most up-to-date version of the docket.

Viewing Case Filings

When viewing federal case dockets on Bloomberg Law, most filed documents are available for download.  If you need to review a particular document, click the link to either "View" or "Request" that document beneath the "Action" column.  Requesting a document incurs a charge for commercial Bloomberg Law accounts.  However, for academic accounts, up to $1,500 in charges are waived per calendar year.  When a document has become available for viewing, it will appear in your "Downloads" section and you will also receive an email notification.