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Dockets, Court Documents, Transcripts, and Recordings: Reading Docket Sheets

Reading Docket Sheets

Docket sheets provide a general overview of who is involved in a case and what actions they have taken.

The specific format varies from court to court, but most docket sheets include, in order:

  1. Information about the case, such as the docket number, nature of suit or case type, judge, related cases, date filed, and whether the case is open or closed
  2. The names of the parties and their attorneys (both current and former), with contact information for their attorneys. When multiple attorneys are or have been involved in a case, the docket will generally indicate which attorneys should be given notice regarding any filings and which attorneys have left the case.
  3. A list of filings ordered by date. The list generally includes the date and number of the filing, as well as a general description of the filing. Many modern docket systems will also provide links to the underlying filing (e.g. PACER, Bloomberg, Westlaw) but in others you may need to look up the filing separately (e.g. Lexis).

The sample docket sheet below shows these basic elements.

Sample PACER Docket Sheet