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Zimmerman's Research Guide


United States Court of Federal Claims

The Court of Federal Claims hears cases brought by U.S. citizens against the Federal government to recover monetary damages. The Court's Web site posts court rules, forms, contact information, judicial bios, etc. (www.uscfc.uscourts.gov).

Opinions: The Court posts its published and unpublished opinions back to 1997 for published opinions, and back to 2005 for unpublished opinions. The Court's opinions are searchable on Lexis (GENFED;CLAIMS for 1856-Current), Westlaw (FEDCL for 1945-Current; FEDCL-OLD for 1856-1944) and Versuslaw (1997-Current).

Rules and Forms: The Court posts its Rules and Forms. The court's rules are also published in the Court Rules volume at the end of Title 28 in the United States Code Annotated (USCA), and in the "Special Courts" section of a Court Rules volume at the end of the United States Code Service (USCS).

Docket Sheets: Docket sheets are available through PACER. For commercial providers, see "Docket Sheets."

Case Files: Documents from recent cases are available as of 2003 through PACER. Otherwise, you can get copies from the Clerk's Office (202-357-6400). Alternatively you can hire a document retrieval service to get copies for you.

History of the Claims Courts: The United States Court of Federal Claim was created in 1982 to handle the trial court responsibilities of the former the United States Court of Claims (the appellate court responsibilities were merged into the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit). "From Oct. 1, 1982 until Oct. 28, 1992, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims was named the United States Claims Court. The Court's name was changed as part of the Federal Court Administration Act of 1992, Pub. L. No. 102-572" (from the Court's Web site). For more Claims Court history, see the court history brochure.

Opinions of the Claims Court and its predecessors are searchable on Lexis back to 1856 in the same file as opinions from the Court of Federal Claims (GENFED;CLAIMS). On Westlaw, opinions of the Claims Court and predecessor courts back to 1945 are searchable with current Court of Federal Claims opinions (FEDCL), while older opinions back to 1856 are searchable in a separate file (FEDCL-OLD).

See Also
Case Pulls
Court Clerks / Court Houses
Docket Sheets
Federal Court Rules
Jury Instructions
United States Court of Appeals
United States Courts, generally

For comments, questions and suggestions, email the author
Copyright 2015 Andrew Zimmerman