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Locating cases in online databases

If you have a name of a case check the following places to locate it.  It should be the same in all of the sources. Find laws, cases, regulations, and more in these sources.

Locating a California Law Case

By using the following sources located in the law reference section of the library, you can locate all of the opinions of the California state courts.

TitlesCitationVolumesCall No.
West's California Digest   
Cal D
v. 47-49
ref KFC 57 1850 W4
West's California Digest, 2nd Series
Cal D 2nd
v. 48-50
ref KFC 57 1950 W4
California Reports
v. 1-220
ref KFC 45 A21
California Reports, 2nd Series
v. 1-71
ref KFC 45 A22
California Appellate Reports
v. 1-140
ref KFC 48 A5
California Appellate Reports, 2nd Series
v. 1-276
ref KFC 48 A51
West's California Reporter
v. 1-286
ref KFC 48 A517
West's California Reporter, 2nd Series
v. 1-135
ref KFC 48 A517 
West's California Reporter, 3rd Series CalRptr3d v. 1-33 ref KFC48 A517
Daily Appellate Report
Dailly Journal D.A.R.
current ref KFC 48 A518
LexisNexis Academic
ReSEARCH Station
ReSEARCH Station

JRS 09/09

Locating cases in print sources

If you have the name of the case:
  • Locate Volumes 47 and 48, Table of Cases, of West's California Digest and Volumes 48 through 53 of West's California Digest, 2nd Series. These volumes are the indexes to all California Cases.
  • Look up the case alphabetically, by the first party in the case. For example, for "Miller v. Jones", look under Miller. If you do not find the case listed in the bound Digest volumes, look in the paper supplements in the back of the volumes of the digest volumes, second series. They list the cases through the last calendar year.
  • When you have located the case in the list, examine the group of citations given under the name. (If you have not located your case, go to step 2 below.)
  • How to read the citations:
    Refer to the top of this page to match Titles and Citations
Sample Citation
  • Each case is printed in three different Titles.  For example look at the following entry:

         People v. Mitchell 61 C2d 353, 38 CalRptr 726, 392 P2d 526

    This case is printed in the California Reports Second Series, West's California Reporter and the Pacific Reporter. Use the "CalRptr" citation whenever possible. If you find it in one set, don't waste your time trying to find it in another set. It is the same case!

2. If you have a subject:
  • Locate Volumes #, Descriptive Word Index, of West's California Digest and Volumes 45 through 47 of West's California Digest, 2nd Series. These volumes index the respective digests.
  • Look up your legal concept and choose the most appropriate heading. For example, the index will list something like this:

        Tire scream, speed exhibition, offense. Autos 331

Look up the reference in bold (at the end of the entry) alphabetically - then numerically - in the digest's previous volumes. Once found, cases related to the heading are summarized and cited.
Find the cited cases in the appropriate title by following the steps listed above.

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