A court case number is a series of alphanumeric characters that a court assigns to a case when it begins. Associating numbers with a case allows court staff to identify and track court cases in their internal record management system.
Why use a string of numbers instead of name citation? Texas courts process an average of 25 million cases every year. Using name citations alone slows down the judiciary as name-based searches turn up several results on persons bearing the same name or several cases involving the same subject. Thus, it makes sense to assign unique numbers to every new case.
One way to find a case number in Texas is to start at the local trial court that handled the case. There, you will provide the name of the individuals involved in the case, and staff will begin the search. However, this method is slow and expensive for you – courts usually charge a search fee that accumulates with how long it takes to perform the search.
A better alternative is to perform a name-based search on an online database. There are several options to accomplish this, and your choice depends on your intended use. If you need to find a case number to hasten your request for physical court records at the courthouse, you should use aggregate repositories like Courtcase.org. On the website, you will find an orderly arrangement of names in a way that simplifies your search. Clicking on a name returns basic case information, including the case number you seek. You can also copy the ID case number for finding records on the Texas case management system (TAMES) or the Public Access to Case Electronic Records (PACER). Note that you must create an account to use the latter, and case records cost $0.10 per page.
Another way to find a court case number in Texas is to perform a county-by-county search on official databases. For example, the official page of the Dallas county clerk contains several records search portals. There, you may perform a name-based search and retrieve the case number provided when you click on a search result.
Indeed, using a case number is the fastest and most convenient way to find court records at the courthouse or online. However, for most people, these numbers are not readily available if one is not a party to the case. Neither are the numbers easy to memorize. Using the information provided, you can easily and quickly retrieve the elusive numbers for your intended use.