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CSU

Government Documents

This is a guide to government resources that are commonly used in research.

About This Page

This page is dedicated to providing tutorials for locating court documents at the federal and state levels. It provides tutorials on resources to use that are public and free and some sources require a paid subscription, which can often be used through a library subscription.

Many of the subscription base sources listed on this page, and the rest of this guide, are only accessible to CSU faculty, staff, and students. However, if you are looking for a source and are not affiliated with CSU, send us an email anyway. We may still be able to help you get the information you are looking for. 

Court Documents By State

Finding State and Federal Courts

Department of Justice - State and Federal Courts - Locate all of the state and federal level court websites.

A screenshot showing the U.S. Department of Justice portal to locate federal and state level courts by state.

Example: Pennsylvania

  • Scroll down and find 'Pennsylvania' or click on the state in the map, once you are on the website

A screenshot showing the user to scroll down and select the 'Pennsylvania' link to see the list of Federal and State courts.

  • Click on 

A screenshot of the list of federal and state courts in Pennsylvania.

A screenshot of the Department of Justice Website showing the user the local and state level courts of Pennsylvania.

A screenshot showing the user that the Pennsylvania courts homepage has a cases of public interest page.

  • Many states have a section of their court website dedicated to cases that a clear indication of public interest. Pennsylvania's Superior Court website has a 'Cases of Public Interest' webpage. The 2020 Presidential Election has a link noted by the arrow in the image. 

A screenshot of the website listing cases of public interest. The image shows an arrows pointing to the 2020 Election link.

A screenshot of the Pennsylvania unified Judicial System's 2020 Election related cases at the State Superior Court and local level courts.

A screenshot showing the user selected one of the cases and shows links to the documents that are publically available for that case

 

Using PACER

Public Access to Court Electronic Records - PACER

PACER is a database to locate court documents from the federal court system. Within the database, you can view all documents related to a particular case that is publicly accessible. Below is a brief tutorial on how to search for a federal case when you know the case number.

For accessibility, the downloadable PPT and PDF files are below that contain alt-text for images.