Publicly Available Opinions


Citing Opinions

You may cite both published and unpublished opinions in briefs filed with this court.  However, other courts may have rules or procedures prohibiting the use of unpublished material.  Please consult the rules of the court where you intend to use this material before citing these opinions.

Any litigant who intends to refer to unpublished opinions or orders on this web site must insure (1) that the opposing party has access to the web site, or (2) if access to the web site is not available, that a copy of the cited document is provided to the opposing party.  An example of an appropriate citation for an unpublished opinion is as follows: Tinder v. Pinkerton Security, 00-C-170-C, September 25, 2000.

What constitutes a written opinion?

For purposes of the E-Government Act of 2002, the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States has defined "written opinion" as "any document issued by a judge or judges of the court, sitting in that capacity, that sets forth a reasoned explanation for a court's decision." This definition has been clarified by the Committee as follows:

1. The responsibility for determining which documents meet this definition rests with the authoring judge, and the determination should be made at the time the document is filed;

2.  The decision as to whether a document meets this definition is not the same as the decision about whether to publish an opinion;

3.  The definition is expressly intended to cover reports and recommendations issued by magistrate judges at such time as any action is taken by a district judge on a report and recommendation, and also includes a summary order adopting such report and recommendations;

4.  The definition is not intended to include routine, non-substantive orders such as scheduling orders or rulings on motions for extension of time; and

5.  In the courts of appeals, only those documents designated as opinions of the court meet the definition of "written opinion."

Opinion Format

All opinions are in the portable document format (PDF).  Your computer must have a PDF reader in order to view this material.  The recommended PDF reader is Adobe Acrobat Reader which is available free of charge from Adobe's web site.

Opinion Access

This is a publicly accessible list of orders and opinions selected by the issuing judge.  It includes decisions that have been published in legal reporters and decisions that will not be published.

Directly access our entire opinion PDF list by clicking here, or search opinions using the Google search box below.  Note that it may take up to several weeks before new opinions show up in search results.