“Since the first years of the Republic, state statutes have mandated that clerks maintain records of judicial proceedings in the form of docket books, which were presumed open either by common law or in accordance with particular legislation.” Hartford Courant Co. v. Pellegrino, 380 F.3d 83, 94 (2d Cir. 2004).
The same was true of English common law. One of the early uses of “docket” or “dogget” noted in the Oxford English Dictionary is an 1809 legal dictionary which explains that judgments are “entered on the docket of that term; so that upon any occasion you may soon find out a judgment, by searching these dockets, if you know the attorney’s name.” IV Oxford English Dictionary at 912 (quoting Sir Thomas E. Tomlins, The Law Dictionary (2d ed. 1809)).