Obtaining Copies of Court Documents

In order to view or retrieve documents in any format, you must have the case number or the full names of one of the parties. If you do not have the case number, you may access the PACER system on one of the public terminals at any Clerk’s Office location, where you may search party names to obtain a case number or you can call. Most case filed before 2006 do not have electronic access to the documents.

Electronically-filed Documents 2006 – Present

E-filed documents may be viewed and printed from the electronic filing system via PACER ( Alternatively, Clerk’s Office staff will print e-filed documents from Pacer for a charge of $.10 per page.

Many of the orders issued by the judges of this court are available at no-charge online at  For more information, see Obtaining Free Court Orders from

Obtaining Free Court Orders from

Many of the orders issued by the judges of this court are available at no-charge online at

Under the E-Government Act, reasoned court orders and opinions are available to the public, free of charge, in a text-searchable format. The United States Courts Opinions (USCOURTS) collection, available at is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) and the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC) to provide public access to opinions from selected United States courts, dating back to April 2004.

CLICK HERE for a list of court orders issued by the Northern District of California, downloadable in PDF format and listed in reverse chronological order.  This list may be further refined by selecting the “search within results” checkbox near the top of the page and searching by party name or keyword.  Multiple search terms may be entered.  For more narrowed results, search terms may be separated by the word “AND” (e.g., “Epic AND Games AND Apple,” “Plata AND Newsom”).

Hard Copy Documents

    Most cases filed before 2006 must be ordered from the Federal Records Center.  The Court does have on site Criminal Judgments from 1983 – Present which can be certified and obtained same day.  Any cases filed before 2006 can be requested by calling (415) 522-2009 or emailing

    Cases filed before 1990 do not appear on ECF or PACER.  Dockets for cases can be obtained from the Court.  A valid government-issued picture identification card is needed to check out for viewing a paper case file or docket. Acceptable identification cards include a state driver’s license, a California identification card, a United States passport, or a federal, state, county, or city employee card. Credit cards, car keys, or student identification cards will not be accepted.  To make copies of the very few documents only available in hard copy.  There are several options for obtaining copies.

    1. Make copies in person at the Clerk’s Office using the coin-operated copy machines available in the viewing rooms of each of the three divisional offices. The cost is $.25 per page (copy cards may be purchased at outside vendors).
    2. In San Francisco and San Jose, copywork orders can be placed through the outside vendors listed below. This option is not available at the Oakland Division.
    3. Arrangements can be made to bring in a personal copier if you call the Clerk’s Office in advance.
    4. Clerk’s Office staff will copy documents on a time-available basis for a charge of $.50 per page.
    5. Certified copies may be obtained from the Clerk’s Office. The Clerk’s Office will provide an estimate and invoice for Certified copies.

    Archived files are located at the Federal Records Center. See How do I access an archived case? for more information.

    Outside Copy Vendors

    San Francisco
    Colour Drop
    727 Van Ness Avenue
    San Francisco, CA 94102

    Contract Ends 8/31/2023

    Copy Work$ .50 per page
    Searches$32.00 per case
    Send Locally via Fax$ 1.00
    Send Long Distance via Fax$ 1.00 per page

    Note: Only the actual cost of postage or actual courier charges may be charged to the requestor.