Search Opinions

The court posts all issued 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 searchable database. Internet citations in opinions are placed on the docket as opinion attachments. See I.O.P. 34.6

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Text Search

Use the Advanced Search to conduct a text search of the Fourth Circuit's opinion database (1996 to date), and to search by party name.  The search is not case sensitive and use of wild cards (*) broadens the search results.

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 or Date Search

Opinions issued by the court from 1996 to date can be searched by lead docket number. 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 (available from the docket). 
  • Date Issued or Amended

    Use the date the opinion was issued or, if it was subsequently amended, the date the opinion was amended. Both date fields must be completed. If you know the exact date, enter that date in both fields. If searching a date range, enter begin and end dates.