When I assign a case role to someone it seems like CiviCRM allows/requires me to search through the whole contact database. As there might be many matches for a search string it takes extra time to ensure that the one I assign is really the one I intended.

In my organization only a few persons are actually possible targets for such an assignment, as I assume is the case in most constituents, thus only a few in the contact database should be possible to select on e.g. assignment of case responsible.

Am I missing some configuration to make this happen? I know about permissions (which I so far have had no need for, "normal" contacts don't access our CiviCRM), are they related to this?

On essence, I want the contacts to be searched when assigning a case role to be limited, e.g by a group, so a match can be found quicker and more unambiguous. How do I do that?

2 Answers 2


The contact selector is an EntityRef field. If you'd like to "enforce" a certain group or other filter on this field, you can do so with a small amount of custom code on your site.

Modifying a form in CiviCRM depends on how the form is generated. Because this form is written in javascript, I recommend adding a custom js file to the CiviCase dashboard screen. It simply needs to add data to the two fields (edit_role_contact_id and add_role_contact_id) that specifies the group_id of your group.

You can either use a custom module/plugin on your website or create an extension to add your javascript file using CRM_Core_Resources from a hook. hook_civicrm_caseSummary might be a good one, you wouldn't be using it for exactly its intended purpose but it fires on the right screen.

  • Where do I read up on implementing such a custom addition? I am a seasoned programmer...
    – thoni56
    Commented Apr 27, 2015 at 10:55
  • I had given some doc links already but just edited the post to add more. Happy coding :)
    – Coleman
    Commented Apr 27, 2015 at 14:12
  • Ok, partially there. What JS object should I add the data to? How do I find out?
    – thoni56
    Commented May 1, 2015 at 10:29
  • Add it directly to the form elements in the dom. I gave you their names above.
    – Coleman
    Commented May 1, 2015 at 17:12
  • thoni56, did you get this working? If so, can you share what you did? I want to do the same thing, and having an example would save me a lot of time. Thanks!
    – Norris
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 7:37

As of CiviCRM version 4.6 the contact autocomplete (aka entityRef) field provides the sort of filters you are requesting.

Add role dialog

When the autocomplete box opens you'll see a "Refine search..." option, which allows you to limit results by group, tag, contact type, and other filters.

  • That helps. But as a general aid in finding and creating contact relations, it only works when you add a role, not modifying etc. Also the person doing it need to know which group or tag etc. to use. I was looking for a way to define that group in the case type or something similar.
    – thoni56
    Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 7:22

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