HeinOnline’s State Reports: A Historical Archive is now color-coded with numbers indicating geographic boundaries of United States Courts of Appeals and United States District Courts. New databases added with a map view tool will also include this handy feature.
About Court Districts
The United States Federal Court System includes twelve regions of district courts and courts of appeal. These courts handle both civil and criminal cases. Each district court is associated with a United States bankruptcy court and each judicial district has at least one courthouse. All of these courts are referred to “lower courts,” and the United States Supreme Court is the nation’s highest court.
The complicated structure of the United States court system is explained nicely at uscourts.gov. In short, a federal case would first be heard by one of the nation’s 94 district courts. In addition to one or more district courts, each region has its own court of appeals. Challenges to district court decisions are brought before a court of appeals, which consists of three judges and no jury. Thirteen appellate courts, including the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which has nationwide jurisdiction, sit below the United States Supreme Court.
Federal courts typically hear cases in which the United States is a party, cases which involve federal laws, cases involving violations of the United States Constitution, cases between residents of different states with a financial interest of more than $75,000, and bankruptcy, copyright, patent, and maritime law cases.
Find a Federal Case in HeinOnline
HeinOnline’s U.S. Supreme Court Library contains complete coverage of the United States Reports, United States Reports Slip Opinions, and United States Reports Preliminary Prints. Locate a case using the Citation tab by entering the citation into the main search bar. This database has its own specific citation navigator, located beneath the main search bar when the Citation tab is selected. For instance, search for 410 U.S. 113:
To find a case by name, use the Advanced Search link, located beneath the main search bar when the Full Text tab is selected. For example, enter Miranda v. Arizona in the Case Name field.
HeinOnline also has a partnership with Fastcase which brings additional case law at both the state and federal level into the database. To find a U.S. Supreme Court case or any circuit or appellate court case, use the Case Law tab on the main search bar. Enter the case’s citation to access the full text of the case. If a case is available via both HeinOnline and Fastcase, users may select the desired format. Watch this quick video to see how it’s done!
HeinOnline subscribers who also have a Fastcase subscription, or who have upgraded their subscription to include Fastcase Premium, enjoy additional features such as full text searching for all Fastcase case law, links to cases posting negative treatment to a case, and much more. To learn more about synchronizing your existing subscriptions or about Fastcase Premium, check out our Quick Reference Guide or visit our Knowledge Base.