How to Search Texas State and Federal Court Dockets

, Texas Lawyer

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Users may set up Case Tracks to be notified when documents are filed.

CourtLink (LexisNexis). Courtlink's Texas coverage includes Bexar, Brazoria, Collin, Dallas, Denton, El Paso, Fort Bend, Harris, Nueces, Smith, Williamson (all with district and/or county coverage) plus the Texas Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals and intermediate courts of appeals.

CourtLink searches federal courts including district (civil and criminal), bankruptcy and appellate cases. Users may search by name, date, attorney or firm, judge and nature of suit. They also can search by keyword in the entries on the docket sheet (in federal cases only).

CourtLink offers a "Single Search" feature that allows users to search in all dockets and documents on the CourtLink system, including briefs, pleadings and motions that are on Lexis. Like Bloomberg Law, only documents previously retrieved/opened by customers will be searched.

CourtLink also tracks new case filings and case developments. CourtLink differs from Bloomberg Law in that all of its docket sheets in federal court are updated automatically.

Westlaw.State courts include Bexar, Brazoria, Collin, Dallas, Denton, El Paso, Gregg, Harris, Nueces, Parker, Smith, Tom Green and Travis counties, along with the Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals and intermediate courts of appeals.

Westlaw also has U.S. district, bankruptcy and appellate dockets. Users may search by name, docket number, nature of suit code, attorney or firm, judge, and keyword—what the clerk has noted on the docket sheet.

Users also may set up alerts for new cases and track any ongoing cases with daily updates.

As with Bloomberg, users must request that a docket be updated. At this time, there is not an option to search the text of pleadings when searching dockets.

Westlaw's CourtWire service adds a few counties not covered by Westlaw dockets: Hardin, Jefferson, Orange and Tarrant. CourtWire's main function is as an alert service for new cases, but complaints are available to subscribers.

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