If you’ve ever been implicated in a legal case, it can be a disconcerting revelation when you discover the details of that legal proceeding appear in a Google search of your own name. Moreover, it’s not just one site where these details are likely to surface; it’s probable that multiple platforms carry the same sensitive information. Fortunately, it’s possible to remove legal cases from search engine results pages using this simple guide.
The reason for this widespread dissemination is the existence of legal information aggregators or websites. These platforms harvest data from public court records, transforming them into an easily accessible and searchable form for public consumption. This information typically encompasses court dockets, legal cases, and various other filings.
These websites primarily aim to function as an indispensable resource for lawyers, law students, legal researchers, and other legal professionals. They are repositories of court records and case details, which are often critical for legal proceedings. However, an unforeseen side effect of these platforms is the potentially damaging impact they can have on the reputations of individuals whose court records now appear online, accessible to anyone with an internet connection.
Since these websites play such an important role in legal research, there is no way to have these listings removed from their websites but fortunately, you can have these legal listings de-indexed from Google so they no longer appear to the general public.
De-indexing removes a given page from search engine results pages but not from the source webpage. Functionally, this means the page still exists but a reader would have to proactively go to a legal research website and search for your case. It would no longer appear in the Google or Bing search results when you search your name or the name of your company.
Remove Legal Cases from Google Search Results
In order to have your legal cases removed from search through de-indexing, you need to reach out to each legal research tool and file a request.
Locating Your Case(s) and Preparing Your Requests
Regardless of which sites you’re aiming to have de-indexed, you must first compile a list of URLs that you’re looking to have taken down. If you’ve found your way to this page, you likely already have a sense of which sites those are. Put them in a note file on your computer.
But don’t only focus on the ones you can see on the first few pages of your search results. There are likely more below the surface, which may pop up as soon as your initial targets are taken down.
To be thorough, navigate to Google and run a series of searches in the following formats:
- site:casetext.com “[search term]”
- site:law360.com “[search term]”
- site:justia.com “[search term]”
- site:unicourt.com “[search term]”
- site:docketalarm.com “[search term]”
- site:trellis.law “[search term]”
- site:docketbird.com “[search term]”
These searches will actively seek out your search term on those legal research indexes, providing you with a more complete list of where your legal case information appears online.
Prepare a short explanation to accompany your request. This should briefly explain who you are, the purpose of your request, and list direct links to the information you would like de-indexed. An example:
Hello, my name is Bill Smith. I’m writing to respectfully request the de-indexing of several posts on your website which involve personally identifiable and sensitive information.
The posts I would like to have removed from search engine results are:
I greatly appreciate your assistance with this.
Please reach out if you have any questions or require further clarification.
Filing Requests to Remove Legal Cases from Search
Each website has a different process. Below, we’ve listed many major legal research indexes and provided a brief explanation of how to file a de-index request. These processes regularly change. If you’ve noticed that our link is outdated, please contact us.
- CaseText – E-mail CaseText’s dedicated removal inbox: removals (at) casetext (dot) com.
- CourtListener – Navigate to CourtListener’s contact page and complete the form.
- Justia – Navigate to Justia’s support page and under the “I need help with” section, select “Submitting a request to block a Justia link from the search engine, such as a court docket, judicial opinion, trademark, or patent.” Complete the form.
- Law360 – E-mail Law360’s customer service: customerservice (at) law360 (dot) com.
- CaseMine – Navigate to CaseMine’s contact page, use the subject line “Removal Request,” and paste your message.
- UniCourt – Navigate to UniCourt’s dedicated Removal Request page.
- TheDossier – TheDossier offers profiles of influencers, celebrities, athletes, and entrepreneurs. They may also feature information about legal proceedings. Navigate to TheDossier’s Contribute page and submit a request.
- DocketBird – Navigate to the listing that contains your information. Scroll to the bottom of the listing and tap “Request Removal.” Complete the form.
Going Further with Online Reputation Management
If you have additional content you would like removed from Google, explore our comprehensive guide to repairing your search results following legal trouble. Our Online Reputation Management experts are also here to help.