Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Historical Archives of the Supreme Court of Louisiana: Locating Cases

This guide focuses on the digitized documents of the Supreme Court of Louisiana and how to locate and access them.

Locating Cases

In order to locate cases you can use different databases, books and references. On this page you will find a short overview of using Nexis Uni and The Caselaw Access Project.

Nexis Uni

Finding Reports in Nexis Uni

Enter the database Nexis Uni (formerly known as LexisNexis). To locate a report referring to a court case from the Historical Archives of the Supreme Court of Louisiana, go to the Nexis Uni guided search bar. Choose the following filters:

1. What are you interested in? "Cases"
2. Which jurisdiction? "State Cases" - enter "Louisiana" in the text box.
3. Search in all cases for: enter your search terms here. You can use titles, names of plaintiffs or defendants, topic terms, etc. and combine them with Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT). You can also use search commands, such as the wildcards (*) and (?), as well as the phrase search ("").
4. Choose date range: choose "all available dates". It is easier to choose a range of time using the timeline filter in the result list.


Result List

The result list shows all hits to your search. In the upper part of the left column you will find the currently active filters. Below, you will find further filter options.


Timeline Filter

In order to specify the exact range of time, in which a court case occurred, use the timeline filter.


Detailed View

In this example we choose the case of Jourdan vs. Patton, which we found in the result list.

By clicking on the result, you will get redirected to the detail view of the record.

Above the text display you will find options such as the print option, download function, etc. On the right side of the full text, you will find links to particular cases, which refer to the current case.

 

Caselaw Access Project

The Caselaw Access Project database of the Harvard Law School lists millions of federal and state cases and decisions online. The CAP includes all official, book-published state and federal United States case law, every volume or case designated as an official report of decisions by a court within the United States.

The CAP provides the access to cases and decisions for free.


Browse

By clicking on a particular state on the US map, you will find a list of fully digitized resources. You will also find the list via the option "Browse".


Search Function/Result List

The search bar is located on the top of the CAP page. Use the filter options in the left column to narrow your search focus.


Detailed View

The full text of a case or decision is located in the detailed view. In the left column you will find the download options.

Where & When

The University of New Orleans houses the Archives of the Supreme Court of Louisiana from its inception in 1813 through 1920. The court cases from 1813 to 1878 were digitized and are available online in the repository. The circuits that have been digitized are Alexandria, Baton Rouge (1813 to 1846), Monroe and New Orleans. Not all cases from each circuit have yet been digitized.

 

Court material from 1920 until 1940 is archived at the Louisiana State Archives. 

 

Cases dating from 1935 to the present are located at the Louisiana Supreme Court Clerk’s Office.

 

 

Further References

The Louisiana Reports contain summaries of cases heard by the Supreme Court of Louisiana from 1813 to the present. They are located at the in the Louisiana Collection Reading Room at the UNO library (mark KFL 45 .A212).

Cases Not Reported

As not all the court’s opinions were published, it can be difficult to access them. There exists, however, a list of “Cases Not Reported” in the front of annual legal reports after 1865. Besides these, researchers may consult the docket indexes to the New Orleans sessions to discover these cases involving individuals, companies, or institutions from that portion of the state.