If you have been summoned to appear in court, it is imperative that you remember your court date. However, many people find themselves in a situation where they misplace their court summons. If you forget the date of your court appearance, you will need to look up your court date online. Failing to show up in court at the required time and date may cause you to forfeit your case, be liable for fines, or even receive a warrant for your arrest. Many courts allow individuals to look up their court dates online in order to save time and improve attendance. Here’s how to look up your court date online.
1. Find out the court where you are scheduled to appear.
The first place to start is to figure out the exact location of your court hearing. While you can look up court dates online, there is no single unified system that will allow you to search through every court listing at once. This is also known as finding the jurisdiction for your case.
If you have committed a crime, you can figure out the county or municipality in which you committed the crime and look up your date through the court that handles criminal affairs in that area. If you are summoned for a civil concern, the jurisdiction will likely be the county or municipality in which the civil incident occurred.
However, this is not always the case. If your case is an appeal of a previous case, it may be heard in a higher court such as an Appeals or Superior Court. If the offense was a federal one, you may need to look on the Federal District Court website for your court date details.
2. Find your case number.
Any official information you’ve received regarding your case will include your case number. This includes police reports, court documentation, or official notices. The case number may be very long, and its format will vary between jurisdictions.
While a case number is not always required to look up your court date online, it will almost certainly be the fastest way to do so. Many websites also have options to search by first and last name, but if someone shares your name it could be challenging to find your date.
3. Look up your court date online.
Visit the relevant court’s website and look for a tab or menu option that says “Court Date Lookup” or a similar phrase. You may also type in the name of your jurisdiction, court and “court date lookup” into Google or another search engine to find a link to the page you need to use.
What if you can’t find your court date online?
Each case is different, and sometimes details about a court case are not shared online. Typically, this has to do with juvenile or paternity cases, as well as other cases with sensitive subject matter.
Another reason you may not be able to look up your court date online is simply that it may not be uploaded yet. Details about court cases are taken from official court documents, so if you just found out that you need to appear in court, you may not be able to find the court date online just yet.
Regardless, it is your responsibility to find the date and arrive on time. Other options besides looking up your court date online are to call the court that you are scheduled to appear at and ask. If you have a lawyer, you may also reach out to him or her, and he or she will likely know the court date.
For more information about online legal searches, check out how to find a free criminal arrest warrant search online.