How to Tell if You’ve Been Sued
In Oklahoma it is pretty easy to tell if you’ve been sued. Most Court dockets can be viewed online. What that means is that you can do a quick search and find all cases (for at least most Counties) in which you have been named as a party. Now, I will caution you, nothing is perfect; but OSCN is pretty close. Yes, occasionally a name gets misspelled and doesn’t turn up in a search, yes, in cases with a huge number of parties, not all of them get indexed correctly, but for the most party, you can tell in just a few clicks whether or not you have been sued by just about anybody.
The website is http://www.oscn.net which stands for the Oklahoma Supreme Court Network; and this is what it looks like.
In the right hand column, about half way down, you will see “Case Search”. Click it and go to the main search page.
Then, you just fill in the blanks. The top box is COURT SELECTION with a drop down menu that lets you pick the County you are interested in searching. If you leave this blank, it will search all Counties – which can be a bit time consuming if your name is John Smith.
The next option is SEARCH BY PARTY. You need to enter your name as you think it would be listed on a lawsuit. So, if your name is Timothy Scott Brown, and you go by Scott, you might want to search for (Last Name) Brown (First Name) Timothy and then do a second search using Scott as your first name.
A simple mistake with this website is assuming that the wildcard symbol is *. It isn’t. The wildcard is %. So, if you want to search for Timothy and for Tim, enter Tim% in the First Name box and it will search for all first names starting with the letters Tim – so you will get Tim, Timothy, Timmy, Timila, etc.
You can also scroll down to the bottom of the page and limit your search by date range. This is helpful if you want to just see if someone has sued you since the first of the year, for instance. So, if you are concerned about a collection suit, or that your Spouse might have filed for Divorce; and you don’t want to sort through the traffic tickets in your younger days, the personal injury case when some idiot ran a red light and hit you a few years ago or that foreclosure case from the 2010 housing crash.
Remember, this isn’t perfect. Also, remember that like all web search engines, it takes some getting used to, so do run some trial and error searches to make sure you are getting things right. In other words, if you do a search on your name and don’t see your divorce from 2007, you are probably doing something wrong.
This is, however, a great tool for calming those nagging worries.