What does the case number mean?

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The case number allows easy and unique reference to specific civil and criminal cases.  It is used to identify the year the case was filed, the office in which it was filed, and the judicial officer(s) to whom it is assigned. The use of case numbers allows for a uniform way to access case information within the federal system. Every document filed with the court must contain reference to the proper case number. This will assist in the proper routing of documents within the court.

The case number typically appears in one of two formats, as shown in the following examples:

CV 17-00010-PHX-DJH        or        2:17cv00010

“CV” is the case type.  Case types assigned by the Court include Civil (“cv”), Criminal (“cr”) and Miscellaneous (“mc”).

The number 17 represents the year the case was filed.

The number 00010 is the number of the case. The first case filed in a particular year for each division is “1,” and so on.

“PHX” or “2:” represents the division.  Divisional office identifiers include Phoenix (PHX or 2), Prescott (PCT or 3), Tucson (TUC or 4).