This is a list of technical or project-specific terms we use in this documentation. These are stub definitions to help you get unstuck, but they should not be considered authoritative or complete. A quick Google search should provide more context for any of these terms.
API is an acronym for Application Programming Interface. Broadly, it is a way for one computer program to transfer data to another computer program. CAPAPI is a RESTful API designed to distribute court case data.
A letter, number, space, or piece of punctuation. Multiple characters together make up a string.
Characters that have programmatic significance to a program. The "specialness" of any given character is determined by the context in which it's used. For example, you can't add a bare question mark to your path because they indicate to the server that everything after them is a parameter.
A textual interface for interacting with a computer. Rather than interacting with the system through windows
and mouse clicks, the user types commands and output is rendered in textual form. On a Mac, the default command-line
program is Terminal. On Windows, the program is
curl is a command-line tool for retrieving data over the internet. It's similar to a web browser in that it will retrieve the contents of a URL, but it will dump the text contents to a terminal, rather than show a rendered version in a graphical browser window.
A distinct part of a program which could require specific inputs and provide
different results. For example, the
/login endpoint on a website might accept a valid username and a password for
input and return a message that you've successfully logged in. A
/register endpoint might accept various bits of
identifying information, and return a screen that says your account was successfully registered.
The political division a case belongs to, such as the United States, a state, a territory, a tribe, or the District of Columbia. Volumes that collect cases from a region have the jurisdiction "Regional." Cases from tribal courts (other than Navajo Nation) temporarily have the jurisdiction "Tribal Jurisdictions" while we verify the correct jurisdiction for each tribal court.
An acronym for Optical Character Recognition, a process in which a computer attempts to create text from an image of text. The text in our cases is OCR-derived using scanned case reporter pages as source images.
An API based on HTTP, that makes use of its built-in verbs (commands), such as GET and POST. (The REST in RESTful is short for the software architectural style called REpresentational State Transfer.)
A series of case reports, such as "F." or "F.2d".
A computer on the internet that is configured to respond to requests from other computers. A web server will respond to requests from a web browser. An email server will respond to requests from email programs or other email servers which are sending it messages.
A list of characters. A word is a string. This whole sentence is a string. "h3ll0.!" is a string. This whole document is a string.
The suffix to a domain name, such as
A Uniform Resource Locator is an internet address that generally contains a communication protocol, a server name, a path to a file or endpoint, and possibly parameters to pass to the endpoint.
A piece of data with a label that can be passed to an endpoint in a web request.
The URL path begins with the slash after the top-level domain and ends with the question mark that signals the beginning of the parameters. It was originally intended to point to a file on the server's hard drive, but these days it's just as likely to point to an application endpoint.
While most cases in the database are subject to a 500-case-per-day access limit, jurisdictions that publish their cases in a citable, machine-readable format are not subject to this limit. For more information on access limits, what type of users aren't subject to them, and how you can eliminate them in your legal jurisdiction, visit our access limits section.
Restricted jurisdictions are subject to a 500-case-per-day access limit. For more information on access limits, what type of users aren't subject to them, and how you can eliminate them in your legal jurisdiction, visit our access limits section.
This property, populated with a random alphanumeric value, is present in all endpoints. It represents a specific page
of results for a query. You can get the value of the cursor for the next and previous pages from the cursor parameter in
the URLs in the
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