Doxpop - Tools for Attorneys and Public Information Researchers: Introducing Simple Search for party names.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Introducing Simple Search for party names.

Have you ever had trouble locating cases with an unusual party name? 

For example:
  • "The unknown heirs of Jimmy Hoffa, assumed deceased"
  • "Dr. Charles Smith-Baker-Fielding the Third, Esquire"
  • "DBA John Smith"

Doxpop just solved this problem with our Simple Search for parties. You'll find it on our court Advanced Search page. Here's how it makes searching easier:

Names occuring anywhere in the party field are easily found. Just enter a list of names or words, and we'll search for party names that include all of the names or words you've typed in any position.

Nicknames are checked also. Because this search is primarily based on names, we've also enhanced it to include variations on names. For instance, searching for Betty, Liza, or Beth will also return cases involving Elizabeth. (If you don't want to check for nicknames, just put the name in "quotes" to look for an exact match.)

You can search for words too. Looking for an a probate case? You can include words like heirs or estate and if those words appear in the party information, we'll use it to narrow down your search.

Note: Because wildcards don't play well with these nickname groups, we don't allow wildcards in the Simple Search. But don't worry! The current search using wildcards remains available for when that approach makes sense.

Here are a few examples of how this works:

To find The unknown heirs and assignees of Jimmy Hoffa, assumed deceased, you could type James Hoffa, click on the "Simple Search" check box, and hit the search button. Doxpop will then look for cases where both James and Hoffa occur anywhere within the party name field, and as an added bonus, we'll also look for Jim, Jimmy, Jamie and any other common nickname or variant spelling for James

If you wanted to narrow the search down because you're looking specifically for the deceased Jimmy Hoffa, you could also include the word deceased

The order also doesn't matter, so you could start with a wide search and then keep appending names or words in any order to narrow down results. For instance,  you might search for hoffa and get too many results. Narrowing to hoffa james will reduce the number of results, but if that's still too much, you could go with hoffa james deceased to focus very narrowly. 

To find Dr. Charles Smith-Baker-Fielding the Third, Esquire, you can select Simple Search and use any of the following word combinations in the search box:
  • charles baker fielding
  • charlie baker the third
  • chuck  fielding esquire
  • smith baker fielding charles
There are in fact hundreds of different name/word combinations you could use to find this person, but the basic concept is to include all of the words or names you think will be in the party name in any order. The more words/names you add, the more it will narrow the result.

To find DBA john smith, you could just search for john smith with the open-text option checked. It no longer matters if there are extra words in in front of the name you are searching for, or if the clerk has used the First Name Last Name format instead of Last Name, First Name. Of course, there are quite a few john smiths out there, so it's now easy to just tack DBA onto your search to narrow the focus.

That's the quick introduction. You'll find this option in the "Advanced Search" portion of our court system. Please give the Simple Search a try and let us know how you like it by sending feedback to

Are there additional features you'd like to see? Please let us know- your feedback is important to us. 

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