August 24, 2014
For immediate release
NJFOG Announces Update to its NJ Civil Case Database
Are you curious what cases have been filed in New Jersey Superior Court in a particular county, on a particular topic, or for a particular date range, perhaps? It might interest you to know that you can search for civil cases for free in a convenient database compiled by the New Jersey Foundation for Open Government (NJFOG).
NJFOG first published its database in 2012 and updated it this month to include a total of 432,709 cases filed in the New Jersey Superior Court Law Division from January 1, 2002 through July 31, 2014.
The popular resource (http://njfog.org/njcivil/) allows journalists and members of the public to filter through the hundreds of thousands of civil case filings in order to find the ones that interest them.
You can search for cases on the New Jersey court system’s website, too, but only if you know either the docket number or a party’s name. Those identifiers can be found in NJFOG’s database and then used to obtain more information about a case from the Judiciary’s website (http://njcourts.judiciary.state.nj.us/web15z/ACMSPA/).
Since a lawsuit is a public record, you can also submit an Open Public Records Act request for a copy of the complaint and other case filings to either the county courthouse where the lawsuit was filed or to a public agency that is party to a lawsuit.
The information can provide the basis for a news story or a comment or question during a public meeting.
NJFOG purchased and compiled the civil case database as a public service and provided it, free of charge, to Gannett Company to include in Data Universe, a free portal maintained by the news outlet and used by journalists and citizens to access New Jersey government data. Data Universe links in to NJFOG’s database with a very useful search engine, available online here. (http://php.app.com/njcivil/search.php).