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Are wrongful death suits public or private? I cannot find my family's claim anywhere.

Evansville, IN |

My extended family said they had filed a wrongful death suit against another party, while I know this is a civil matter (right?) I cannot find any information on it. I assumed all civil cases were public. Are wrongful death suits public as well?

Attorney Answers 9

  1. Search the online civil docket

  2. They are public. You need to know the county where the case is filed. That county may have the civil dockets online. If they do not you can go to the county courthouse and pull and read the file.

    If you feel this is the "best" answer or is "helpful," please indicate. Since I am limited to the information you provide, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the answer. You should seek the advise of an attorney who can explore all aspects of your question. This communication does not form an attorney client relationship.

  3. Public. It is typically filed under the Estate in the County where the incident happened.

    Please CLICK the button if I HELPED or was BEST ANSWER. No attorney-client relationship is established and responses here are general first impressions. You should consult with a lawyer about your problems. More about our firm is located at

  4. Under very limited circumstances filings can be made under seal and names and other information can be redacted - protected against disclosure - in the filings. Sometimes a "John Doe" or "Jane Doe" case can be filed. But, without more information, it is difficult to know whether these civil procedure devices apply.

    Yes, wrongful death suits are civil matters.

    In addition to the state trial court with jurisdiction, the case might have been filed in federal court IF diversity of citizenship between the parties exists, that is if plantiff and defendant lived in different states. Many other possibilities come to mind, so you might hire a firm with a paralegal they could assign the task of finding the case. You might also consider an investigator.

    I have not written a blog article on this - yet - but thank you for the idea and here's my blog on personal injury and civil law: BLUE LINK BELOW

    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be given by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, thoroughly familiar with the area of the law in which your concern lies. This creates no attorney-client relationship.

  5. You may also want to check to see if the case was filed in federal court.

    Mr. Padove is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. He can be contacted at (219) 836 2200. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Padove strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received. If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

  6. It would public and you should be able to find if you know what county it is in. As another lawyer suggested if the driver or other party was out of State it may be filed in Federal Court. You would have to look up and register in PACER to find.

  7. Are you sure it was filed? Almost all lawsuits are public. If the case has been filed, you will need to know where it is filed to see what paperwork has been filed. There are lots of places where it could have been filed so why not ask a family member for the name of the court where it was filed.

  8. Yes-you can check online or go to the courthouse.

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.

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