If you are considering an appeals process in the federal court system, you might want to find information about the status of your case or review records from your case. While a lot of this type of information is a matter of public record, it can be difficult to find what you are looking for without experience. And some records are sealed by the courts for a variety of reasons and do not become part of the public record.
Most federal courts keep records via a digital system. Individuals can use kiosks within the court buildings to look up information or can access information via a web portal called Public Access to Court Electronic Records, or PACER. Accessing information through PACER costs 8 cents per page, but information accessed through public kiosks in court buildings is free.
Research is an important part of any case, and is especially important to appeals processes. An experienced lawyer working with you on an appeal will review all aspects of the original case, whether he or she was involved or not. Reviewing all decisions and actions of the trial court can help the lawyer craft a more successful appeals document.
The U.S. Court website notes that when it comes to research about a case, an experienced lawyer who understands the court system is likely the best resource for an individual. While you can access many records yourself, an attorney can help you understand the content and context of record and how they might apply to your case. They may also be able to expedite access or find information quickly when you cannot.
Source: United States Courts, “FAQs: Filing a Case,” accessed May 06, 2016