University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse

The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse assembles documents and information from a large variety of sources:
  • For federal cases, we have obtained the district court docket sheet if it is available via the courts' PACER system (Public Access to Court Electronic Records). Usually, a docket sheet is available from PACER only if the case in question had litigation activity in 1993 or later.
  • At least in recent (and in some districts going back over a decade), judicial orders and the parties' pleadings are also available from PACER. In that event, we have gathered and posted what seemed to us to be the most important of these orders and pleadings.
  • In a few older cases, we have been able to obtain the docket sheet from the National Archives and Records Administration.
  • The ACLU's National Prison Project generously shared many complaints and decrees from its files.
  • We have many documents—official correspondence, complaints, and decrees—from the files of the Special Litigation Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.
  • The Impact Fund shared with us its collection of large class action employment complaints and settlements.
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provided a list of all of its cases brought from 1997 to 2006; we retrieved documents from all the large cases and a random sample of the others, for a total group of over 2000.
  • The Institute for Women's Policy Research and the Wage Project conducted a study of equal employment consent decrees and collaborated with us in assembling the list of cases and their documents.
  • In many instances, we have documents from litigation parties or their counsel.
For each case, we have searched Lexis and Westlaw, looking for judicial opinions. Sometimes we have been able to obtain public domain versions of opinions; other times, because of copyright restrictions, we are unable to actually post the opinions, but instead make them available by listing the citation and linking to them on the commercial services Lexis or Westlaw.