WHERE & HOW TO LOCATE: LOWER-COURT RECORDS; PUBLISHED OPINIONS; UNPUBLISHED OPINIONS; VARIOUS COURT DOCUMENTS, AND; ARCHIVED DOCUMENTS
Lower Court Records. Note that the Court of Appeals does not permanently maintain the lower-court record that was the basis of the appeal. Our Court only receives a copy of the lower-court record. The original trial court record is maintained by the Clerk of the lower court. Once the Court of Appeals decides a case, the Court's copy of the record is maintained for a period of time after the decision is rendered - typically a year - and it is then normally recycled/disposed of. The Court of Appeals typically maintains the opinion, docketing notice, briefs, and some motions permanently. Note: before coming to the Court to view the lower-court record, please call to insure that it is available. Often the judges or staff attorneys have the record and it may not be accessible on the day you come.
Published Opinions. All published opinions from the Court of Appeals are found in official advance sheets and in the Georgia Reports and Georgia Appeals Reports. These are accessible from online sources such as LexisNexis and Westlaw. They are also accessible at schools, libraries, and Government offices that have a public law library. Details regarding cases from Terms in 2007 through the current term can be accessed through the Docket/Case Inquiry System on this website. (Enter a case number or party name in the case search. Then click the case number when the case is displayed to see the case details. To view the opinion, click on the opinion in the section labeled Court of Appeals Information.)
Published Opinions, Unpublished Opinions, and Court Documents. Published opinions, unpublished opinions, and myriad court documents such as briefs, motions, and orders are available from our Court. Note that the Court does not retain all briefs, motions, and/or orders. The Court of Appeal has records from approximately 1993 until the present. [Note: copies may be obtained for a charge of $1.50 per page.]
Historical Records - Cases/Documents in Archives (1907 to 2008) and Cases/Documents at the Court (1993 to Present): Summary. Cases docketed during 2008 and earlier (cases before number A09A0001) are maintained by the Georgia Department of Archives and History. (Note: there is an overlap, i.e., some cases between the years 1993 and 2008 may be stored at both locations and they are both on microfilm.) You may view/obtain copies of a document from a pre-1993 case by visiting the Georgia Archives and providing the information described below. Their address is 5800 Jonesboro Road, Morrow, Georgia 30260. Phone: 678-364-3710/3701. Their web address is: http://www.georgiaarchives.org/.
Post 1993 Cases - Those Maintained by the Court.
Presently the Court maintains records of cases that are not stored in the Georgia Department of Archives and History. Primarily, cases decided after 1993, i.e., cases beginning with number A94A0001 are stored/maintained by the Court Clerk. Post-1993 records are maintained in various formats in the Clerk's office; in hard (paper) copy, on our electronic docket, on microfilm, and on a web-based access forum. The Court is working to have all cases either on the docket or in a searchable .pdf format.
To obtain copies of documents from cases from 1994 until the present you must come to the Court of Appeals Clerk's Office. [Records from 1994 until 2009, are stored on microfilm. Those cases begin with case # A94A0001 and end with case # A09A2410.] Later cases are stored on our electronic docket, our electronic court archives, or in hard copy.
Pre 1993 Cases - Those Stored at the Georgia Department of Archives and History.
Pre 1993 cases are stored at the Georgia Department of Archives and History. The information below contains details on how to obtain the information that Archives will need to locate the case you are interested in. Note: you must provide the information to Archives - not our office - to obtain a copy of a document.
Click here: - searchable .pdf document for all the information needed to provide the Department of Archives. Typically Archives will need the following information to retrieve a case.
- The Record Group: This number identifies the Court of Appeals and is always 56-2-2.
- Accession Number,
- Box or Container Number, and,
The Accession Number and Location are typically found on the top of the sheet that list the case number. The terms "Box" Number or "Container" Number are important. Earlier cases, those from 1907 to 1974 typically use the term "Box" and later cases use the term "Container". These cases go back to the year 1907. The archival methods and recording of documents changed over the years. We recommend that you provide as much information from the form that contains the case number as possible. Note that the reference documents (those contained on the .pdf file) may list a case several times. You should get the information from each place it is referenced. We recommend that you call the Archives ahead of time to insure they have located your document before visiting them.
You must have the case number in order to locate a case; that is the first step. Note that the Court is not able to match a case name with the case number for cases at the archives. After obtaining the case number, review the searchable .pdf to locate that case number in the document. It is advisable to begin your search of the .pdf with the year that the case was docketed by the Court of Appeals. (Note that the number between the "A" and "A" is the year the case was docketed, i.e., case # A09A3515 was docketed in 2009.) Search the documents by using the .pdf search function and enter the year the case was docketed. That search function will take you to the correct page(s) where you will need to identify the case number. Often the case you are searching for is not specifically listed, rather the case is listed as a group between two case numbers. For example, case number A08A1630 is not listed specifically. It is instead listed as "A08A1628 thru A08A1668". Often cases may be located by simply entering the case number.
Once you locate the page (often pages) that contains the case number you need to write down all the relevant information from that page.
The Accession Number is normally in block # 4 (at the top of the form labeled Permanent Records, Transfers & Receipt Form). The Container number is typically in the body of the document next to the case number.
You will find that cases from 1907 to 1974 do not have the "A08A" preface. They merely have the year, a one to three digit case number. That list contains a Box Number and a Location Number. Both of those number are important to provide to the Archives.
The attached searchable .pdf document lists references in reverse chronological order. It begins with the year 2008 and ends with 1907 cases. Go to the document(s) that list the year the case was docketed. Then locate the case number you want. Then get the data off of that/those page/s and provide that to the Archives.