Records and briefs of Ninth Circuit cases that are pending or have been decided within the last five years are housed in the James R. Browning U.S. Court of Appeals Building in San Francisco, California. To obtain a copy of a brief in a recent Ninth Circuit case, you need the case docket number. The docket number is printed on the slip opinion and any decision printed in West’s Federal Reporter or West’s Federal Appendix. If you cannot find the docket number, call the Library at (415) 355-8650 for assistance.
Once you have the docket number, call the Ninth Circuit Clerk's Office at (415) 355-8000 to confirm that the case file is still in the building. If it is, you can request that the file be pulled and you can come to the Court and review or copy the brief or use one of several copy services that will (for a fee) come to the court and copy the brief for you. The Clerk's Office or Library can give referrals for document delivery services.
Note: For appeals filed since the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals implemented Electronic Case Filing (ECF) on January 2, 2009, the briefs may be available online through the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) system. PACER requires a user name and password and is a fee-based system to allow public access to the court's docket and case information. For more information, visit the PACER Service Center website.
In general, four to five years after the case is closed, the case file, including the briefs, is transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration Regional Archives in San Bruno, California. Copies of the briefs are also archived at the Gallagher Law Library at the University of Washington in Seattle and the Los Angeles County Law Library.
The Gallagher Law Library at the University of Washington in Seattle can provide copies through its Copy & Send Service.
The Los Angeles County Law Library can provide copies through its e-Delivery Service.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) website provides information on accessing and obtaining copies of court documents. The Clerk's Office or Library can assist you with finding the case name and case (docket) number. Once you have the case and docket numbers, contact Ninth Circuit Case Files (415-355-7810) to obtain the transfer, box, and location numbers.