Research guides

Federal Dockets & Briefs

PA District Courts

The official websites of the Pennsylvania Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts include court rules, select forms, and more. Use PACER to access case and docket information for the Pennsylvania District Courts.

Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law, all available in the library, include select dockets and documents from the Pennsylvania District Courts. See below for more details.

For older documents, you may need to contact the National Archives. Their Pennsylvania Collection for the District Courts encompasses 1787-1992.

Official Courts Websites

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Official Site
Includes court rules, select forms, a list of judges and their court room preferences, and select opinions (1970 - present for civil cases, 1979 - present for criminal cases).

United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Official Site
Includes court rules, select forms, a list of judges and their court room preferences, and select opinions (2000 - present).

United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania Official Site
Includes court rules, select forms, and a list of judges and their court room preferences.

PACER

PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records)
Provides case and docket information from federal appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts. Coverage dates vary by court. Registration is required.

        • Eastern District of Pennsylvania - Earliest case available is from 1970;
        • Middle District of Pennsylvania - Earliest case available is from 1964;
        • Western District of Pennsylvania - Earliest case available is from 1950.

For more information about PACER, its uses, and its charges, please see its Frequently Asked Questions page.

Onsite Lexis

Briefs, Pleadings & Motions (3rd Circuit)
Available on the library's Lexis computers. From the Content Type tab, select Briefs, Pleadings & Motions > Federal > 3rd Circuit. Filtering to Pennsylvania District Courts is available after conducting a search.

Dockets United States District Court
Available on the library's Lexis computers. Filtering to Pennsylvania District Courts is available after conducting a search.

Onsite Westlaw

Pennsylvania Federal District Court Dockets
Available on the library's Westlaw computers.
Includes Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts. Comprehensive full docket coverage begins with 2000. Additional selected dockets prior to 2000 may be available.

Third Circuit Trial Court Documents
Available on the library's Westlaw computers.
Selected coverage begins with 1991.
Includes trial level court documents from the District Courts found within the Third Circuit. After the search is run, the results can be limited to just the Pennsylvania District Courts by using the filters on the left.

Onsite Bloomberg Law

Dockets Search, Districts of Pennsylvania
Available on the library's Bloomberg Law computers. From Popular Links, select Dockets Search. Under "Courts", select Browse Full List > Federal Court Dockets > Supreme, Appellate & District Courts > U.S. District Courts > Districts of Pennsylvania.
Includes Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Pennsylvania. Coverage begins with 1989.

National Archives

Records of the District Courts of the United States National Archives
The Pennsylvania Collection for the District Courts encompasses 1787-1992.