Search Opinions

The court posts published and unpublished opinions and selected orders daily beginning at 2:30 p.m. All opinions and selected orders issued by the court from 1996 to date are available in a text-searchable database. Register to receive daily opinions here: RSS Feed RSS Feed  Email Subscription Email Subscription


Text Search

Use the Advanced Search to conduct a text search of the Fourth Circuit's opinion database (1996 to date). Search All Opinions and Orders or limit your search to Published Only (opinions and orders published in the Federal Reporter) or Orders Only (orders that are the functional equivalent of opinions). You can also use the time-frame selections to limit your search to recent opinions. Alternative search options are offered on these pages: Natural Language Search and Menu Assisted Search.

Case Number, Name or Date Search

Opinions issued by the court from 1996 to date can be searched by lead docket number or last name of a lead party. Orders that are the functional equivalent of opinions are also included in the search. In consolidated cases, opinions and orders are posted under the lead case number.

  • Lead case number

    Enter a two-digit year, followed by a hyphen, followed by the one, two, three, or four digit number assigned by the court of appeals. Do not use leading zeros after the hyphen. In consolidated cases, use the lead case number. 
    11-1 not 11-01 or 11-0001
    09-5500 not 9-5500
  • Lead party name

    Use the last name (or firm name) of the lead appellant or appellee. The search is not case sensitive and does not use wild cards. Results will be returned for any names that contain the string of letters entered. If more than one word is entered, results will be returned that exactly match the word string. Entering Sack returns Sacks v. Philip Morris and Smith v. Pepersack. Entering Bell Atlantic returns all cases in which Bell Atlantic was a lead party.
  • Date Issued or Amended

    Use the date the opinion was issued or, if it was subsequently amended, the date the opinion was amended. You may search for a date range or an exact date. If you know the exact date, enter that date in both fields.