About Smart Search, Generally

What Is "Smart Search"?

Trellis is a state trial court research platform and Smart Search is one of our main research tools. 

Smart Search - Basics - Watch Video

Smart Search searches court records across each state’s trial courts (or lower courts).  You will not find Federal court or Court of Appeals data on Trellis. Selecting multiple states in the search bar will allow you to search across hundreds of county courts in multiple states from a single search. Smart Search generates results based on the search terms (also referred to as “keywords”) that you search. 

When you run a search on Smart Search, the search results page will display up to four tabs (or buckets) of data:  

  • Rulings:  This tab will display CA tentative rulings that contain your keywords. **Note: For rulings in other states, search keywords (decision OR order) in the Documents tab.
  • Dockets:  This tab will display court cases that contain your keywords.  
  • Documents:  This tab will display court documents that contain your keywords.  
  • Verdicts: This tab will display verdict data and analytics based on your keywords (across CA and NY) and give you access to the underlying cases. **Note: Verdicts is an add-on.

If your keywords do not appear in a court Docket, Document, Verdict, or tentative Ruling, you will not see search results.  The body and text of court documents are searchable in the Smart Search Documents tab on Trellis (not just the title), which means you can find information and cases that you never knew existed if you only used the county court website!