Access to state court dockets and documents varies widely. There are many free resources available, so it is advisable to always check the options on the left side of this page before turning to paid/subscription sources.
State court case dockets are often free (or very low cost) directly through state court websites. Case documents/filings are also sometimes available for immediate download, although it is common to charge a per-page fee for such documents. Where no electronic access is available, try calling the court, as there is usually a process for such requests (e.g. faxing or mailing a letter). To find a case document database, try a web search; for example, [county name] court record search. Below are some California-specific sources.
The State of California offers free electronic access to Appellate and Supreme Court case dockets. Access to case documents, however, is more limited.
The UCLA law library has subscriptions with the database providers below, such that UCLA law students, faculty, and staff may search them. That said, we recommend developing the habit of searching free sources first: one reason being that once in practice, you will be paying heavily for access to the databases below; the second reason being that Bloomberg limits academic account access both individually and institutionally. Therefore, it is best practice to use these systems for docket access only after exhausting other options.
Lexis has select case documents from state courts. Check the following databases to locate case filings:
Additionally, law school users have access to Lexis Courtlink, which has select dockets and case documents.