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How to find your needed case laws


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I see a lot of questions on the board over which case law to use and where to find it

 

One of the best sources for this information is at your local library. There are three sources

Your state annotated law dictionary set

American Jurisprudence

Shepards citations

 

To use the Annotated law you go to the index, look up your specific question and it will tell you what volume and what page it is on. When you read through your specific question there will be superscript on certain statements, these superscripts refer you to the bottom of the page, normally in smaller font, these are the court cases that your state normally uses to decide your certain topic of law. Once you find the cases your state uses, you then go to the court reporters, if your library has them, that the case is contained in.

Here is how to read the citations, lets say you want to read Miranda v Arizona, 386 U.S. 436.

the first number, in this case 386, will refer to the volume number, next will be the name of the court reporter, in this case it is U.S. court reporter, the next number is the page on which you will find the case.

Now you know where the case is located so you can read it. If you are going to use case law , Please read the case, if the judge happens to question you about the case and you do not know what it was about the judge may throw the case law out.

For example, let say you want to know what your state has to say about the fdcpa and misrepresenting the character of the debt, you go to the index and find the subject, the index will tell you what volume it is located in and the page number. You get that volume and then you will have the case law and the interpretation of your state court right there for you to examine and use if you want.

If you want to know if the case law is still good you look in shepards citations. These people research  case law and compile it, If your case is listed and beside it you see a big letter O the case has been over turned, if there is a letter f this means that the courts follow this case in making their decisions. You will hear this process referred to as shepardizing a case.

American Jurisprudence is what the judges use to help them determine how they should rule on a case. If your library has these they are full of valuable info. They cover just about any aspect of aw you can think of. There is an index that you use  that will tell you where to find your specific law questions.

What the Gunny does, instead of spending hours at the library, is I use my i phone and take pictures of the pages. I go home and put them on my computer and then read them.

These three sources should tell you how to approach putting together a pleading, or motion. It is too bad these books are so expensive that we cannot obtain them. Am Jur 2d can be found online with a diligent search.  AmJur 2d will also give you court case law citations but sometimes they are not state specific. But if you want to learn what you need to do to sway the court in your direction use these in combination with each other, especially Am Jur 2d, to develop your pleading.

 

I hope this helps a lot of posters out.....

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  • 5 months later...

And larger cities libraries have the online version from Lexis-Nexis while in the library. It is a lot easier to look up cases and cross reference online.

 

I live in a small city in Indiana so I doubt our library has this.  It's an online resource but isn't available online except from a large city library?  Is there anything available free online for public access from home?

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I see a lot of questions on the board over which case law to use and where to find it

 

One of the best sources for this information is at your local library. There are three sources

Your state annotated law dictionary set

American Jurisprudence

Shepards citations

 

To use the Annotated law you go to the index, look up your specific question and it will tell you what volume and what page it is on. When you read through your specific question there will be superscript on certain statements, these superscripts refer you to the bottom of the page, normally in smaller font, these are the court cases that your state normally uses to decide your certain topic of law. Once you find the cases your state uses, you then go to the court reporters, if your library has them, that the case is contained in.

Here is how to read the citations, lets say you want to read Miranda v Arizona, 386 U.S. 436.

the first number, in this case 386, will refer to the volume number, next will be the name of the court reporter, in this case it is U.S. court reporter, the next number is the page on which you will find the case.

Now you know where the case is located so you can read it. If you are going to use case law , Please read the case, if the judge happens to question you about the case and you do not know what it was about the judge may throw the case law out.

For example, let say you want to know what your state has to say about the fdcpa and misrepresenting the character of the debt, you go to the index and find the subject, the index will tell you what volume it is located in and the page number. You get that volume and then you will have the case law and the interpretation of your state court right there for you to examine and use if you want.

If you want to know if the case law is still good you look in shepards citations. These people research  case law and compile it, If your case is listed and beside it you see a big letter O the case has been over turned, if there is a letter f this means that the courts follow this case in making their decisions. You will hear this process referred to as shepardizing a case.

American Jurisprudence is what the judges use to help them determine how they should rule on a case. If your library has these they are full of valuable info. They cover just about any aspect of aw you can think of. There is an index that you use  that will tell you where to find your specific law questions.

What the Gunny does, instead of spending hours at the library, is I use my i phone and take pictures of the pages. I go home and put them on my computer and then read them.

These three sources should tell you how to approach putting together a pleading, or motion. It is too bad these books are so expensive that we cannot obtain them. Am Jur 2d can be found online with a diligent search.  AmJur 2d will also give you court case law citations but sometimes they are not state specific. But if you want to learn what you need to do to sway the court in your direction use these in combination with each other, especially Am Jur 2d, to develop your pleading.

 

I hope this helps a lot of posters out.....

 

I'm sorry.  I'm having a hard time understanding the legal vocabulary.  I've always considered myself to be above average intelligence, but am finding this very difficult to understand.  I think it might be because most of what I'm reading isn't for my state so it was suggested that I go to the members section and find those from Indiana and ask.  I have a thread on this forum regarding my case and would really appreciate knowing about Indiana.  I wish there was a thread for each state here.  That would be so helpful for those of us who have no legal experience.

 

My most immediate question is do I need to amend my original answer?  I have read Indiana's Trial Rules and still am not sure if it is too late to do that or if since there has been no other motion filed since my answer, if I can still do it.  The reason I ask about amending my answer is that I wrote it before finding this forum and did not include any affirmative defenses because I didn't think any applied.  Of course, I didn't know what they meant until I started reading here.   But even then, it seems some people feel they should be included and some don't so I need to know if Indiana is a state in which they should be included and which ones.  

 

Also, there was no affidavit of debt attached to the complaint, nor any other document.  According to Indiana's Rules, there should have been and I should have filed a Motion to Dismiss because it wasn't.  But I also read that that is a waste of time because the judge will just give them time to include it, which truly confuses me because attorneys should be held to professional standards.  I would understand if the judge gave pro se's this consideration.  So another question is it too late to File an MTD and would it do any good in Indiana?  Or can I even do it since I didn't include affirmative defenses in my Answer?

 

I also can't find a time frame for the Discovery phase for Indiana.  I did find something that said the plaintiff cannot let the case go more than 60 days without activity.  I don't know what kind of activity exactly.  They have sent me their 1st set of discovery, which I answered with help from this forum.  I am now working on my Discovery for them.  I actually used a thread pinned to this forum for mine then posted for comments and have been told to use something more direct, which I can understand that concept also.  The other strategy I think was to send everything and hope they decide it isn't worth proceeding or maybe will answer something.  I have the feeling that the "legal assistants" are doing all of this and just having attorneys sign.  I really don't understand why the court would accept a filing that did not include a component that was required in the state rules.  Also I don't believe they have it to include so if I had filed the MTD before my answer, even if the judge had given them 10 days to attach it, they probably wouldn't have had it. The other question I have about this required affidavit is  that the sample on the website with the rules looks to be something the JDB would complete and sign, not a complete chain of title.  My case appears to include an OC and one or two JDB's.

 

I haven't seen much posted from Indiana.  Does that mean it is more difficult to fight a case here than in other states?  I am going to post an update to my thread when I finish with this post.  Would you mind taking a look when you get time.  I would truly appreciate  feedback from someone in Indiana.

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Rule 15(a)(1)  A party may amend its pleading once as a matter of course within 21 days.  A motion to dismiss can be filed in lieu of an answer , but it filed after will be construed as a MSJ. And the court can wait until right before trial to rule.

 

I am not a lawyer , and live in AZ,but I grew up in Indiana.

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