Attorney Matt Haindfield has come up with a great application that allows users to search court dockets with your smartphone. The Docket in Your Pocket program runs on the Android and iPhone operating systems and is available through the Android Market and the Apple App Store. The program currently offers docket information for the state of Pennsylvania.
The company launched the app on October 24th with plans to add more states in the coming months. Haindfield says that in states where not all courts are available online the company will make an effort to obtain docket information directly from the court and integrate it into the program. This will ensure users are getting the widest possible coverage from their search.
One of the biggest problems faced by data aggregators today is marketing around the limitations of the data. The Internet is ripe with web pages offering nationwide criminal checks where there is no such thing. Some sites offer searches they claim are statewide but fail to identify non-participating courts or bury this information in super fine print that is rarely seen. The consumer is left believing their search covered all state courts when it has not.
Haindfield says that as each state is added to the program the user guide will be updated to reflect the parameters of the dataset. The user will know any limitations the search has with regard to how far back the index goes, the type of cases indexed, and the date the index was made available through the app. This is valuable information for opposition researchers as they prepare their reports identifying searches and sources. If a court index was last updated 15 or 30 days ago the researcher may elect to make the additional effort to go to the court and check the most up-to-date index.