Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse

  • The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, http://clearinghouse.wustl.edu, is a web-based repository of documents and information about civil rights cases in selected case categories, across the United States. Currently, the categories include: Child Welfare, Criminal Justice, Disability Rights-Pub. Accom., Education, Election/Voting Rights, Equal Employment, Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance, Immigration, Jail Conditions, Juvenile Institution, Mental Health Facility, Mental Retardation Facility, Nursing Home Conditions, Policing, Prison Conditions, Public Accommodations, Public Benefits, Public Defenders, Public Housing, School Desegregation, Speech and Religious Freedom.
  • The site is dedicated to injunctive rather than damages litigation—that is, to cases seeking policy or operational change, not cases seeking money. For each of the categories, our eventual goal is to include a close-to-comprehensive catalog of the cases in which plaintiffs have actually been awarded or negotiated such change. (With the exception of the election/voting case category, we have made no effort to include the thousands of cases in which plaintiffs sought an injunction and did not receive either negotiated or court-mandated relief of some kind; in most case categories, very few cases meeting this description are included.)
  • For each included case, we have attempted to gather the crucial documents, including: the docket sheet, which indexes the litigation's progress from filing to termination; the complaint, which initiated the litigation; any decrees issued by courts or agreed to by parties; and any published opinions. (For opinions published via Lexis or Westlaw, we provide links to those services rather than the opinions themselves.) We also provide at least some information about each case: where, when, what was involved, outcome, available published judicial opinions, case study research, and available documentation. Interested parties should be able to use the docket sheet to decide if they wish to pursue further research, via the federal court's PACER system, the National Archives or another source.
  • As of September 2008, the Clearinghouse is posting at least partial information on 2237 cases, including a litigation summary for each as well as; 22775 dockets, complaints, filings, settlements, court orders, and other documents; and citations to 6839 opinions. We also post case studies of individual litigations, written by law students.

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