A court is a judicial body charged with resolving violations of a legal right. Judicial courts are created by the government and enforce the law by hearing civil and criminal matters.
Court records are available to the public. Court documents contain valuable information on a range of legal issues, including felony and misdemeanor cases, traffic accident reports, tax court records, and more. Many court records are available online.
Courts maintain records on all legal actions taken under their jurisdiction, which can include court cases, legal filings, and court docket information. These records are open and available to the public.
Court records cover felony and misdemeanor cases, bankruptcy filings, divorce decrees, and other legal actions. They also include records on appeals, legal fines, and small claims cases.
In order to locate the correct court record, you will need to know which court heard the case. Legal actions are divided between criminal courts and civil courts.
Criminal courts maintain records on felony and misdemeanor cases, including homicides, sexual assaults, DUIs, property crimes, drug charges, and other criminal charges. These court records often include police records, bond information, and personal information about the defendant.
Civil courts at the state level contain records on legal actions that are not criminal in nature, including traffic accident reports, divorce proceedings, nonpayment claims following business transactions, consumer complaints, and product liability claims.
State civil courts have records on adoption, divorce, estate, bankruptcy, probate, and tax court records. Some of these records may be sealed or partially redacted due to the sensitive information they contain.
Federal civil courts have records on business and personal bankruptcy cases, civil rights abuses, disputes among banks and financial institutions, interstate commerce claims, and any issue involving federal government agencies.
You can also obtain court records on subpoenas, indictments, jury lists, summonses, warrants, writs, injunctions, foreclosures, and judgments from a court.
Once you have identified the court holding the documents you need, you can contact that court directly for court records. For federal courts, the National Archives Order Reproductions site provides an online search tool for court records. For local, county, or state court records, you can file an application with the court's clerk or use an online database.
Many courts maintain online record databases to access their court records. The tools on this site will help you easily find the court records you need.