University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse


Do you offer legal advice, assistance, or referrals?
No; we're sorry, but we cannot give you advice or help you find a lawyer. It's just not what we do.

Is there any charge to use the Clearinghouse?
No. Note, though, that some of the Clearinghouse cases' opinions are linked, rather than posted, due to copyright restrictions. For these, you'll need to use Lexis or Westlaw; the clearinghouse links take you right to the opinion, but you'll need your own subscriptions to use them.

Who are you folks, anyway?
See here for the many people involved in the Clearinghouse.
See here for the institutions that have supported our work.

How are the data coded?
Information on the "back-end" of the site, which we use to collect the data and documents, is here.

Can I post cases or documents on the Clearinghouse?
We're always interested in expanding the collection. You cannot post cases directly, but you can propose (and upload) a new document for an existing case, a new case within an existing category, or an entire new case category. Just use this page.

I'm a researcher with a data/document collection project of my own: can I use the Clearinghouse?
We would like very much to discuss any proposals for collaboration. Send us an email and we'd be happy to talk about it.

How did you pick the cases to include?
It varies by case category; details are here.

How did the Clearinghouse get started?
Margo Schlanger, the Clearinghouse's director, has been writing about civil rights injunctions, particularly in jail and prison cases, since she started teaching. (See this Publication list.) As she acquired a large collection of materials for her own research, mostly from lawyers handling cases, she began to get inquiries from others who wanted to see various documents. So she decided to index and digitize what she had, to make it easier to use herself, and easier to share. The Clearinghouse began from this seed.