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I would like to search small claims court cases by name of defendant in several locations in the USA. Is this possible? How could I go about doing that? Is there a website (free or paid) that does this?

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In some jurisdictions you will be able to view the docket (docket number, filings, etc.) of any case; however, if your question pertains to verdicts, those are not published. Not for small claims, nor any district court matters. Some jurisdictions don't even publish superior court verdicts, except those where the district court appealed to the superior court for an appeal or ruling en banc relating to an issue of procedure. Nearly every state will post their Law Court cases. If docket info is all you seek, go to the court's website, and if they have it there will be a link or searchable database.

If it is verdicts you are looking for, you will need to research either the old fashioned way (go to the court, view the case file and if you want copies, have cash or check ready for anywhere between $1 to $5 for the first page with each additional page running anywhere from .50 to usually a dollar or two. Or, you can pay to use a background search service like Intelius to do it for you.

  • Is it possible to search by name of one of the parties? (I do not know date or docket number.) – user3270 Nov 19 '15 at 14:36
  • It should be... Especially if you know the names of both parties. – gracey209 Nov 19 '15 at 14:36
  • Unfortunately, only one party. – user3270 Nov 19 '15 at 21:58
  • I mean, if it's an uncommon name then maybe. Why do you need it? Is it evidentiary in nature? Like to impeach or show someone is litigious? – gracey209 Nov 20 '15 at 13:11
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    Those aren't admissible anyway, except under very limited circumstances, unless the party to the action was the victim. The rules of evidence disallow what's called "propensity" evidence; which is exactly what you're trying to get/use it for. Civil verdicts unless it's a tort of moral turpitude are not admissible in any event. Same w/misdemeanors. Felony convictions are, but only if relevant. – gracey209 Nov 22 '15 at 0:28
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It's going to vary by state and county. The technical capabilities (fueled by budgets) of the court will dictate how much information is searchable online.

Your best bet is to do some internet searching for the state or city name and terms like docket, filings, electronic.

If you have a specific locality, update your question and perhaps someone can give you the exact URL.

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