Tuesday, June 24, 2008
As most of us are now aware, searching for Maryland dockets is readily available through the Maryland Judiciary Case Search. However, what if you are searching for the actual documents (as opposed to simply the docket text) filed in a Maryland case (eg., complaints, motions, etc)? Is there a resource that provides that? The good news is that there are a couple of options available for this research; the bad news is that you'll have to pay for it. Lexis and Westlaw both have databases of MD trial court filings. In Westlaw, the database is Maryland Trial Court Filings (MD-FILING) and in Lexis the database is Maryland State Pleadings (MDPLDG). (You can also use Courtlink by selecting "Maryland Circuit Courts" in the Document Text Search option). Keep in mind that Westlaw sometimes attaches case documents to the docket sheet. For Maryland federal cases, in Westlaw use the Maryland State and Federal Trial Court Filings (MD-FILING-ALL) database and in Courtlink select "Maryland" and "US District Courts" in the Document Text Search option. Although full-text federal court documents are available through Pacer, Pacer does not allow you to search these documents. Outside of Lexis and Westlaw, you'll most likely have to call the court. Lexis and Westlaw also both offer Maryland briefs databases.