You don’t want to miss your court date; you could lose your case or end up in jail. If you already have a case in progress, your attorney should keep you informed about upcoming important dates in your case. If you don’t have an attorney, the court clerk should tell you when you need to be in court. But what if you don’t get notified? What if you want to know when someone else’s case is scheduled for a hearing or trial? It could be a friend’s case. Or perhaps the drunk driver you’re suing hit someone else too, and you want to know what happens in that case.
If you need to know about court dates for any reason, the court’s calendar will tell you. Every court keeps a calendar, and they are available to the public except for sensitive cases such as juvenile dependency. Many court calendars are easy to find online; many are only available by calling the court clerk, or by visiting the clerk’s office at the courthouse and checking the bulletin board. Some courts publish very detailed information that may include the exact date and time of the hearing as well as the names of the parties and more. Others only publish a general schedule showing which types of cases are heard on which days of the week.
A court docket may be a schedule of upcoming hearings – in other words, a court calendar. But a docket may also be a brief record of the actions or steps in a particular case. It may be both a list of dates for future hearings and a list of past cases with notations about parties, decisions, and judgments. The definition of “docket” depends more on local usage and custom than a dictionary.
Georgia has some different types of “docket” usage. Bulloch County State Court Docket is a list of past and future dates with their case types; click on a date to see details about all the cases of that type heard (or to be heard) on that date. This meets both definitions of “docket” – it has details about cases as well as future hearing dates. On the other hand, Fulton County Superior Court Daily Docket is a list of today’s hearings, with case name, case number, courtroom, and time – in other words, a court calendar.
Whether you’re looking for calendars, dockets, or any other type of court record, CourtReference is the ideal place to start. First select your state, then select our View Dockets and Calendars resource category. If a court calendar or docket is available online, there will be a link to it on CourtReference. There will also be a brief description, so you can tell if it’s a searchable database with lots of details about upcoming cases, or a simple list that you can download and read, or a website that allows you to search both past case records and future case hearing dates by case number, party names, and other criteria.
California has a unified court system with a similar court structure in each county, yet it has great variety of calendar examples. They’re all on the same Guide to California Courts Dockets and Calendars page.
Scroll down that page to Alameda County and click on Alameda County Superior Court Calendars to select calendars by court location and date. This produces a list of court departments and types of cases they handle. Click on the department to see what cases are scheduled for the date you selected, and you’ll get a list of cases with case numbers, case titles, and type of hearing. Click on the case number to get more information about the case. This gives you a lot of information, but you have to know the court location and can only search one date at a time.
What if you don’t know your location and want to know upcoming dates for a particular case? You’re in luck because Alameda County also has a date finder. Click on Alameda County Superior Court Dates to search for five days of upcoming court dates by party name. You don’t even need the exact spelling of the name; you can tell the search engine to find similar sounding names or names that match just the first letter you enter.
Scroll a little farther down to Calaveras County. Click on Calaveras County Superior Court Calendars and select a judge name to see that judge’s cases for the next day.
Next try Colusa County to see two different types of calendars. Click on Colusa County Superior Court Calendar to search by date and department and see details about every case being heard on that date. Or click on Colusa County Superior Court Schedule to see each courtroom’s daily schedule of case types and times, with no information about any specific case.
Scroll some more to Marin County and click on Marin County Superior Court Calendars to search by party name, court date, or case number. This produces a list of upcoming hearings and motions that include the party, date and time, courtroom, case number, and type of hearing.
Next is Monterey County. Click on Monterey County Superior Court Calendar to search the public courtroom calendar by court division and case number, by date and courtroom, or by name. This produces a list of both past and future actions that you can sort by case number, name, hearing type, date, and department and time. You can also click on the case number to get more details about the case.
If you want to zero in on today’s cases, click on Monterey County Superior Court Final Daily Calendar and simply select a courtroom to see cases are being heard today in each courtroom; the information includes only the time, case number, case name, and attorney name.
Finally, scroll down to Napa County. Click on Napa County Superior Court Calendar and select either a single day or 14-day calendar; each produces a list of cases with their file numbers, case captions, times, courtrooms, and hearing types.
We could go on and on, just in California, but you get the picture: There are many different types of court calendars and dockets, with many different search features that produce different degrees of detail. To see them all, or to just find the one that you need right now, just go to CourtReference and click away.