Answered By: Kate Britt
Last Updated: Dec 08, 2023     Views: 1550

Below you will find guides to locating records and briefs from Michigan Appellate and Supreme Courts, United States District and Appellate Courts, and the Supreme Court.


Court of Appeals

  • The law library does not collect records and briefs for the Michigan Court of Appeals.
  • Search Lexis+ under Michigan > Briefs, Pleadings & Motions.
  • Search Westlaw under Michigan > Briefs.

Supreme Court

  • The Library has certain Michigan Supreme Court records and briefs available upon request.
  • Search for Briefs on the Clerk's Office website.
  • Search Lexis+ under Michigan > Briefs, Pleadings & Motions.
  • Search Westlaw under Michigan > Briefs.

United States

Courts of Appeals and District Courts

  • The law library does not carry records and briefs for the Court of Appeals (Circuit Courts) or the District Courts. A list of which libraries carry which Court of Appeals records and briefs is available in A Union List of Appellate Court Records and Briefs (Annex KF105.9 .W49 1999). 
  • Patrons may call the courts directly to request any documents for a fee. 
  • Most federal courts are part of PACER, an online full-text database that charges by the page and accepts credit cards online.
  • Current MLaw students can use Bloomberg Law to locate federal dockets. Bloomberg Law provides essentially the same coverage as PACER, though there are limits on the quantity and cost of document retrievals.
  • Westlaw coverage of U.S. Courts of Appeals briefs varies by Court, with the earliest beginning in 1972.

Supreme Court

1. Find the Docket Number

  • If you have the citation to a case, look up the case in U.S. Reports, Supreme Court Reporter, or Lawyer’s Edition, or in an electronic format. The docket number appears in the preliminary information at the head of the case. 
  • If you do not have the citation to the case, look up the case by name in the “Table of Cases” volumes in the Federal Practice Digest or in the United States Supreme Court Digest to get the citation; then look up the case to obtain the docket number. The docket number appears in the preliminary information at the head of the case.
  • HeinOnline U.S. Supreme Court Library carries U.S. Reports from at least 1754-2012 and Slip Opinions since 2002.

2. Locate the Records and Briefs

See also: SCOTUS website "Where to Find Briefs"

Related Topics

Chat With Us!

Find a Specific Book or Database

Looking for a specific book, journal, database, or electronic resource? Search the Law Library catalog by keyword, title, subject, and more.