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What is the status of my case?

George Simons | November 18, 2022

Checking your case status like^^

Summary: You can search the status of your debt lawsuit case with SoloSuit's list of statewide case lookup tools.

The United States judicial system provides different options for residents to check the status of their cases. For example, if you have a case in court, you can track its progress at the state or federal level. The Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service is widely used at the federal level. At the state level, the procedure varies from state to state.

We've included a list of statewide case lookup tools for all available states. You can search for your case if it's at a state level here. If there is no lookup tool for your state, try searching for a lookup tool with your county (most courthouse websites have one on their website). If it's on a federal level, check with PACER.

Statewide case lookup tools

Check Your Case Status in All 50 States

State Case Lookup Tool
Alabama Unavailable: check county
Alaska Alaska Case Search
Arkansas Arkansas Case Search
Arizona Arizona Case Search
California Unavailable: check county list
Colorado Colorado Case Search
Connecticut Connecticut Case Search
Delaware Delaware Case Search
Florida Florida Case Search
Georgia Georgia Case Search
Hawaii Hawaii Case Search
Idaho Idaho Case Search
Illinois Illinois Case Search
Indiana Indiana Case Search
Iowa Iowa Case Search
Kansas Kansas Case Search
Kentucky Kentucky Case Search
Louisiana Unavailable: check county
Maine Maine Case Search
Maryland Maryland Case Search
Massachusetts Massachusetts Case Search
Michigan Michigan Case Search
Minnesota Minnesota Case Search
Mississippi Mississippi Case Search
Missouri Missouri Case Search
Montana Montana Case Search
Nebraska Nebraska Case Search
Nevada Unavailable: check county
New Hampshire New Hampshire Case Search
New Jersey Unavailable: check county
New Mexico New Mexico Case Search
New York New York Case Search
North Carolina North Carolina Case Search
North Dakota North Dakota Case Search
Ohio Unavailable: check county
Oklahoma Oklahoma Case Search
Oregon Oregon Case Search
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Case Search
Rhode Island Rhode Island Case Search
South Carolina South Carolina Case Search
South Dakota South Dakota Case Search
Tennessee Tennessee Case Search
Texas Unavailable: check county list
Utah Unavailable: check county
Vermont Unavailable: check county
Virginia Virginia Case Search
Washington Washington Case Search
West Virginia Unavailable: check county
Wisconsin Wisconsin Case Search
Wyoming Wyoming Case Search

What is PACER?

PACER is an online public access service for US federal court documents. You can use this system to access case and docket information from US district courts, courts of appeals, and the US bankruptcy courts.

In this article, we'll use a bankruptcy case as an example. Bankruptcy cases are usually filed through federal courts, not through state courts.

You can check your case status through PACER

To check the status of a bankruptcy case via PACER, register for a PACER account. You won't need to pay any registration fee when signing up for an account with PACER. However, you may be required to pay a fee to access court documents.

PACER fees explained

PACER charges $0.10 per page. The online tool also charges $3 per document, such as a docket, motion, judgment, brief, or order. You won't be charged more than $3 to access these kinds of documents.

You'll also be charged anytime you perform a search. The charges are usually based on the number of pages generated from the search results. Additionally, you'll still be charged even if the page displays No Matches Found. It's also important to note that there's no maximum fee for these searches.

If you need to access an audio file, PACER charges $2.40 per file. These files are provided in .mp3 format. However, not all court hearings come with audio files.

How to limit PACER fees

Ultimately, it can be expensive to use PACER, especially if you're not aware of the charges involved and how to limit them. So here are some useful tips to help you get the most out of PACER while limiting the fees simultaneously.

Case number search

Avoid conducting random searches when using this tool. Instead, search by case number to head straight to the case. This tactic prevents you from conducting additional searches after the initial one.

When you conduct random searches, such as by name, you'll most likely receive a high number of page searches. Remember, PACER charges $0.10 per page, meaning the higher the search results, the higher the fees involved.

Use the search filter

The search filter option allows you to view only the search results you need. For example, you can exclude Parties and Counsel from the search results if that's not what you're looking for in that particular case. These options are usually enabled by default.

Search by case locator

Searching the status of a case by looking up a specific court allows you to limit the search results to a specific court rather than using the PACER Case Locator. This is because the latter provides search results based on a pool of nationwide courts, while the former narrows down the results to a specific court.

For instance, if you're looking for the case status of a bankruptcy case filed in Washington but are unsure which county, you can use the Case Locator tool to search multiple counties at once rather than conducting one search per county, which is expensive and time-consuming.

What information do I need to check bankruptcy case status

You can use PACER to look up the status of bankruptcy cases filed through the US bankruptcy courts. You'll need the following information to check the status of a bankruptcy case through this web application:

  • the case number;
  • party name;
  • Social Security Number; and
  • Tax Identification Number.

As stated earlier, it's always advisable to search by case number. This narrows down the search results to a specific page, saving you money in the process.

Apart from bankruptcy cases, you can use PACER Case Locator to look up other cases by case number, party name, social security number, employer identification number, filing date, nature of suit, and close date.

Can I check bankruptcy case status for free?

Some states allow residents to check bankruptcy case status online for free. However, the process of checking case status varies from state to state. For instance, in Washington, you can access basic court information through the state's Voice Case Information System (VCIS). This system is connected to the federal court's electronic case file stem.

When using the VCIS system, you'll receive limited information such as the case number, debtor, debtor's attorney, contact information, trustee's name, filing date, case status, name of the presiding judge, etc.

All bankruptcy courts in the US have the VCIS telephone information system. You can access this system 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You can also access physical copies of the court records from the court clerk's office either by physically visiting the clerk's office or filing a request online. Either way, you'll be required to provide the following information:

  • name of debtor;
  • case number;
  • important details about the requested document;
  • your name and contact information; and
  • address where the requested document should be mailed;

You may need to pay a certain fee to request a physical copy of a bankruptcy case. These fees vary from state to state.

Key takeaways

You can check the status of your case in three ways:

  • through the PACER Case Locator;
  • through the Voice Case Information System using a touchtone phone; or
  • by filing a request with the court's clerk where the case was filed.

Although PACER is the most popular option, you'll be charged to view the search results. For this reason, always remember to search by case number to narrow down to a specific case.

The PACER and VCIS options are available 24 hours a day. However, the PACER option might not display some results on the same day of filing the case. This is because some cases are updated in real-time, while others may take up to 24 hours to update.

Call your court to look up your case status

If the statewide lookup tools or PACER cannot find your case, you can always call the court directly to have them look up your case status for you. All you have to do is call and give the clerk your case number. Find your court's contact information on SoloSuit's website.

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