Yes, in most courts in California, it is possible to access the online case summary or docket via the Internet. For example, in Santa Clara, see:
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.
I have on Avvo a legal guide that explains how to get free civil case information online, especially if all you have is the name of the court and the case number. I linked to that legal guide, below. Not all info is available online, however. For instance, there is a 60-day hold on information about unlawful detainers (eviction actions). Also, cases involving domestic violence and stalking are often protected for the sake of the victims.
My legal guide explains this and also explains which courts have the info, as not all of them do. For those courts, the person must still go to the courthouse and ask the clerk. If you go to any courthouse with a case name or case number, other than those protected cases, the clerk will allow the individual to review the case file and make copies, unless a particular document has been placed "under seal" by order of the court.
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You may not see much of the details online. You can go to the clerk's office at the court, and request the file. The lines can be long, and then you can review the file. If there was a recent hearing on the case, the file may not have made it back to the clerks office. You could end up having to come back another day.
If you are in federal court you can open a PACER account and access the court documents on PACER. Most state courts also have on-line systems, though not all of them make all documents in the docket accessible on-line.
The response I have provided is not intended to create and does not create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. It also does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should not be relied upon as legal advice. It is based upon the limited facts provided by the posted question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response may change. I am licensed to practice law only in the State of California, although I am also admitted to practice in all of California's federal district courts and in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise