How to read an appellate case docket

Indiana's appellate courts began switching to a new system for managing cases between late 2014 and mid-2015. The way information is displayed on each case's docket has changed as a result, and the appellate case search has some new features.  Get help searching for appellate cases.

The language of a case docket

The Indiana Courts website has an extensive glossary of legal terms, many of which appear in court opinions, orders, and the appellate docket, including:

Documents available on the appellate docket

The updated appellate docket includes links to:

  • Orders issued on or after May 1, 2015
  • Opinions issued on or after June 6, 2005
  • Video of oral arguments, if available

Related cases

On the detail screen for any case in the appellate docket there may be listed one or more related cases.  These are typically cases from lower courts.  For example, a Supreme Court case may have a related Court of Appeals case (that was later appealed to the Supreme Court) and a related trial court case (that was appealed to the Court of Appeals).

For cases filed on or after May 1, 2015, the related cases listing will be more complete than cases filed prior to that date, because the appellate courts' new Odyssey case management system has improved features for managing related cases.  This means that for cases filed before May 1, 2015, if a related case is not listed, that does not mean one does not exist.

In addition, related case numbers from a court that does not use the Odyssey system are typed in manually, which means case number formatting may vary slightly.  For example, the case 49D99-0001-CR-000345 may also appear as 49D990001CR345.

Event dates versus entry dates

The docket in a case is the list of events, often referred to as the Chronological Case Summary (CCS).  Each event has a date in the left column followed by an event description in the right column.  There are two types of dates to consider:

  • Event date - This is the date that an event occurred, for example, the date an order is considered issued or a document is considered filed.
  • Entry date - This is the date that the clerk entered the event into the case management system. 

Where these dates appear on the docket depends on whether a docket entry was made with the new computer system or the old system. 

  • The Tax Court began using the new system on November 26, 2014
  • The Supreme Court and Court of Appeals will begin using the new system on May 1, 2015

If a docket entry in a case was made with the old system:

  • The date in the left-hand column is the event date.
  • The entry date is the date the case event was entered by the Clerk on the docket and can be found at the end of the event description.

If a docket entry in a case was made with the new system:

  • The date in the left column is the entry date.
  • The event date is typed in the event description.  Other dates may be listed in the event description as well, such as the date a hearing will take place.