CourtWeb Help
 
 

CourtWEB provides information on selected recent opinions of those judges of the United States Courts who elect to make information available on this site.

When an opinion is posted to CourtWEB by chambers, the description that appears will typically include the caption, case number, terms relevant to your search, relevancy score, date, judge's name, and a brief summary of the opinion.


Full Text Search

1. The Full Text Search allows you to search the entire text of any and all documents on file. Enter your search words or phrase in the "Search For" field. Note that you may use "and", "or", "+", or   "   " (double quotes around your search terms) in the search field to change how you search the text. Alternatively, you may enter your search terms and choose "All of the Words", "Any of the Words", or "The Exact Phrase". Choosing "All of the Words" will only choose those documents that contain all of your search words. Choosing "Any of the Words" will return those documents that contain any of your search words. If you choose "The Exact Phrase", the search will only return those documents that contain your exact words as you typed them in and also in the order in which you entered them. This would be the same as if you entered your terms with quotes around the entire entry.

2. Court: You may choose "All Courts" which will search the entire directory, or a specific court which will only search the court chosen. If you do not choose a court, all courts will be searched.

3. You may choose whether to organize your results either by date or by relevance to your search terms.

4. If you are unsure how to spell a search term, check the checkbox entitled "I wasn't quite sure how to spell something in my search". The search will look for similarly spelled terms in the documents and return them as found.

5. If you would like to search for a topic or term that is similar to the terms you entered, check the checkbox entitled "Expand my results to include similar topics and words". For example, if you entered the word "cat", the search will look for words like "feline".

6. You may ask for up to 100 results.


Quick Search

1. The Quick Search will not search the entire text of the documents, but rather only for a judge, case number, terms in the caption, or keywords in the document's summary. This search also makes use of a date range in order for you to more easily find a document if you know approximately when the opinion was issued.

2. Court: You may choose either "All Courts", or a particular court to help narrow your search. If you do not choose a court, all courts will be searched.

3. Judge: You may choose a particular judge to narrow your search provided you know the judge that authored the opinion. Otherwise all judges for the chosen court will be searched.

4. If you know the case number, you may enter it in the space provided. You may enter as little or as much of the case number as you know.

5. Caption: You may enter either the full caption or as much as you know. If you think you did not spell a term correctly, then you may check the box entitled "I wasn't quite sure how to spell something in my search.", which will look for other terms spelled similarly.

6. You may also enter a date range in which to search. To search all dates, please check the box entitled "Disregard Date".


Viewing the Results of Your Search
The results of your search will include the caption, case number, terms relevant to your search, relevancy score, date, judge's name, and a brief summary of the opinion along with a link to the document entitled "View this Document." If you click the link and a new window does not open which contains the document, you should enable popup windows for this site. If a new window opens, and you get a blank window or a message from your browser asking you how to open the file, you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your system.
Documents found on this site use Adobe's Acrobat format. Acrobat Reader is required to view these files. The download is free.
 
When using the Full Text Search, your results can be displayed with your search terms highlighted. If your search terms are not highlighted, you should change the following settings in Adobe Reader:

If Adobe Reader 9 or later is installed, enable hit highlighting and set Adobe to display its documents in a browser.

Adobe Reader 9 disables hit highlighting by default. To enable hit highlighting,
(1) Open Adobe Reader
(2) Click Edit > Preferences > Search, and
(3) Check the box entitled "Enable search highlights from external highlight server".

To set Adobe to display PDfs in a browser,
(1) Open Adobe Reader
(2) Click Edit > Preferences > Internet
(3) Check the box entitled "Display PDF in Browser"

The same procedure applies to Adobe Acrobat 9.