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​​Michigan Appellate Digest Search Tips

The Michigan Appellate Digest search page allows for easy retrieval of Michigan Supreme Court and Michigan Court of Appeals opinion issue summaries. There are six search methods: Major TopicSubtopic, Statute, Date Range, Case Name, and Docket Number.
 
The Digest covers published Michigan Supreme Court and Court of Appeals decisions released since January 1992. Some opinions which were released in 1991 but published in 1992 are included in the online Digest. Unpublished opinions are not included in the Digest.
 
Every opinion synopsis in the Digest has one or more issue summaries. Each issue summary is indexed by subject in the Digest's major topic and subtopics system. 
 

Major Topics

Use the Major Topics search method to search by Digest major topics and subtopics. This search method allows the search to be limited by dates. Major Topics enables you to view a list of all major topics and then page through the list of corresponding subtopics. Links to the issue summaries are included here. If you are having difficulty locating a subject, the Subtopics search might be more efficient.
    1. From the Michigan Appellate Digest web page, click the Major Topics link to view the list of all major topics.
    2. Optional: Select a Date Range from the drop down box. By default, the date range is set to All Dates. From the Date Range drop down box, choose from All Dates, This Week, Last Week, This Month, Last Month and Select Range.
    3. Click the name of the major topic
      The list of corresponding subtopics will display.
    4. Click the right-pointing arrow to the left of the subtopic you wish to view. 
      A list of cases related to this subtopic will expand. 
      OR
      Click the Expand All link to view all case links for all of the subtopics listed. 
      If desired, use the Collapse All to display only the list of subtopics and hide the case links. 
    5. To view the Digest issue summary for a particular case, click the case name.  The Digest issue summary will display.
 
Use the Page Number links at the top and bottom of the subtopic list page to view additional subtopics for that major topic. Use the Major Topics link at the top and bottom of the subtopic page to return to the list of major topics.
 

Subtopic Search

Use the Subtopic method to search the Digest subtopics for a specified word or phrase. 
    1. From the Michigan Appellate Digest web page, click the Subtopic link to view the list of all Digest subtopics. 
    2. Optional: Select a Date Range from the drop down box. By default, the date range is set to All Dates. From the Date Range drop down box, choose from All Dates, This Week, Last Week, This Month, Last Month and Select Range.
    3. Enter the search term in the Search box
    4. Click the Search button to begin the search.

 

Once the search is complete, the resulting list of cases and Digest issue summary links will display alphabetically by major topics and subtopics. Within each subtopic, cases are listed in descending release date order. To open an issue summary, click the desired Summary link.  
 

Subtopic Search Hints

Subtopic searches will be most effective if they are limited to one word or the root of a word. For example, if you are looking for a case that discusses the precedential effect of unpublished decisions, rather than typing precedential effect or even precedential, type precedent. This will find the entries whether the subtopics are precedential effect or precedent - effect.
 

Statute

Use the Statute search method to locate cases by the court rule, jury instruction, statute, treaty, etc. 
    1. From the Michigan Appellate Digest web page, click the Statute link.
    2. ​​Optional: Select a Date Range from the drop down box. By default, the date range is set to All Dates. From the Date Range drop down box, choose from All Dates, This Week, Last Week, This Month, Last Month and Select Range.
    3. Enter the court rule, jury instruction, ordinance, citation, statute, treaty, etc. in the Search box.  
    4. Click the Search button to begin the search.

 

Once the search is complete, the resulting list of cases and Digest issue summary links will be displayed chronologically under each matching "statute" citation. Within one citation, the listing is in descending release date order. To open an issue summary, click the desired Summary link. The issue summary will open in a separate window. 
 

Statute Search Hints

Whenever you see the word "statute" in using this search method, think of it as being short for "statutes, constitutions, court rules and miscellaneous citations." 
If you are looking for cases dealing with a specific statute, court rule, etc. this Digest search method allows you to search by the citation. This covers many types of citations, much more than just statutes. For example, all the citations in the following list are in this index, sample citations are listed to the right:
 
Citation ​ Example ​
Michigan Constitution ​
Const 1963, Art 1 Sec 3 ​
United States Constitution ​
US Const, Art 1 Sec 6
US Const, Am 8​
Michigan Compiled Laws​
MCL 750.535
MCL 750.520b(1)(b)(ii) ​
United States Code​ 42 USC 2000bb​
Michigan Court Rules ​
MCR 2.116(C)(5) ​
Michigan Rules of Evidence ​
MRE 701 ​
Code of Federal Regulations​
21 CFR 808.1 ​
Criminal Jury Instructions ​
2d CJI2d 15.5 ​
City Codes and Ordinances ​
Ferndale Ordinance 832​
MDOC Policy Directives​
PD-BCF-64.01 ​
Sentencing Guidelines​
OV 3 ​
Michigan Administrative Code ​
R 281.811 ​
Restatements​
2 Restatement Torts 400 ​

 

Statute searches are not case-sensitive.
 
You only need to enter as much of the citation as will bring you the results you expect, without bringing you an overwhelming number of results. For example, if you were looking for a case that involves MCL 750.520c(1)(a) you could simply type 750.520c. For citations that have only three numbers such as MRE, include the three letter abbreviation in addition to the number. 
 

Date Range

Use the Date Range search method to locate cases released within a date range you specify.
    1. From the Michigan Appellate Digest web page, click the Date Range link. 
    2. Select a Date Range from the drop down box. By default, the date range is set to All Dates. From the Date Range drop down box, choose from All Dates, This Week, Last Week, This Month, Last Month and Select Range. 
    3. Select either Release Date or Digest Topic for sorting. 
      By default, the results will be sorted by Release Date.
    4. Click the Search button to begin the search.

 

Once the search is complete, the resulting list of cases and Digest issue summary links display in the order selected. To open an issue summary, click the desired Summary link. 

 

Case Name

Use the Case Name search method to locate the Court opinions by case name or part of the name. 
    1. From the Michigan Appellate Digest web page, click the Case Name link. 
    2. Enter the case name or part of the name in the Search for case name containing box.
    3. Optional: Select a Date Range from the drop down box.  By default, the date range is set to All Dates. From the Date Range drop down box, choose from All Dates, This Week, Last Week, This Month, Last Month and Select Range.
    4. Click the Search button to begin the search.
 
Once the search is complete, the resulting list of cases and Digest issue summary links display in descending release date order. To open an issue summary, click the desired Summary link. 
 

Case Name Search Hints

  • Case Name search is not case-sensitive.
  • A minimum of four characters is required.
  • Case Name searches within the case title as it has been entered in the Digest database.
  • It is most efficient to limit the search to one party's name, if that name is uncommon enough to produce a reasonably short result list.
  • Case Name will search for letters internal to the case title. Thus, if you were not sure whether the name was spelled McCain or MacCain, you could type in Cain.  Likewise, if you are not sure if a name ends in son or sen, type the name up to the last two letters, for example, Jacobs, and both versions of the name will be listed.
  • If the plaintiff's name is something  common like Brown, and the defendant's name is also common, type the search with the full case name, for example, Brown v Smith.
  • If a party, included in the case title, is a non-person, you need only type one word from the name, if it is reasonably uncommon. For example, to find information for a case involving American Bumper & Mfg Co. typing Bumper would be an efficient search, but typing just American might turn up too many cases.
  • If a criminal defendant's name is common, for example Perry, you can search for People v Perry.
 

Docket Number

Use the Docket Number search method to locate a case by the docket number.
    1. From the Michigan Appellate Digest web page, click the Docket Number link.
    2. Enter the docket number you are looking for in the Search for docket number box.
    3. Optional: Select a Date Range from the drop down box. By default, the date range is set to All Dates.  From the Date Range drop down box, choose from All Dates, This Week, Last Week, This Month, Last Month and Select Range. 
    4. Click the Search button to begin the search.
 
Once the search is complete, the case name, release date and Digest issue summary links display. To open an issue summary, click the desired Summary link. 
     

​How To Search
the issue summary for a specific word or phrase

Once the Digest issue summary is opened, use the Find feature (available in most browsers) to locate a specific word or phrase.
  1. Press Ctrl + F on your keyboard.
  2. Enter the key word or phrase.
  3. Continue searching the page for additional occurrences of that word or phrase by pressing Find Next.

 

How TO
Specify a Date Range

  • The default start date on the search pages is October 1, 1991, because there are some cases which were released in 1991 but published in 1992. The date range deals with release dates, not publication dates.
  • When a specific date range category is selected, the corresponding dates are automatically inserted into the date boxes.
  • When the Select Range option is chosen, the date boxes are cleared and you can manually input any range of dates.
  • When entering a date, always enter in this format: mm/dd/yyyy.
    (i.e. 02/07/2012)