How to Find Out Someone's Trial Date

by Colleen Collins

Perhaps you want to attend a trial to support a friend or loved one, or maybe you want to attend a trial that you have been reading or hearing about in the media. There are numerous free ways to find out trial dates, such as contacting the litigants, witnesses, attorneys or court clerks. You can often look up court case information, that includes trial dates, in online dockets -- some are free and some charge minimal fees.

Ask the person. If you know the plaintiff or defendant, contact that person and inquire the day, time and location for the trial. If you do not know the person well, politely introduce yourself and explain the reason for wanting to know the trial date.

Contact a witness. If you know any witnesses scheduled to testify at the trial, contact him and ask for the trial date. If you do not know the witness well, introduce yourself and explain the reason for your inquiry.

Make contact with a law firm. News items, articles or other sources often mention the names of lawyers or their law firms involved in a litigation. Call or email the law firm that is representing either the plaintiff or defendant and ask for the trial date. Be professional in your request and be prepared to explain why you are making the inquiry.

Check online court dockets. Many courts have online resources for checking the dates, times and locations for upcoming trials. Legal Dockets Online offers links to states, courts and vendors that provide court case information. You can find a link to their website in the resources section.

Speak to a court clerk. If you know the jurisdiction where a trial will take place, contact the court clerk and request the trial date. offers free county court lookups, and offers free federal court lookups. Court websites typically list phone numbers, email addresses and fax numbers for clerks.

About the Author

In 1997 Harlequin published Colleen Collins' first novel, followed by many more by Harlequin and Dorchester. Her articles and writing have appeared in "P.I. Magazine," "Pursuit Magazine" and "Cosmopolitan." She earned a B.A. in theater arts from University of California, Santa Barbara and is an active member of Mystery Writers of America.

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