Category Archives: Finding Court Records

What’s In A Name? Locating Name Change Records

Do you need proof of a name change? The process of changing a name requires petitioning, or asking, the court. This means that specific forms need to be completed and filed at the court house, and, once the forms have been filed, there will be a court hearing addressing the reason for the name change. Since name changes do require a court hearing, the records for name change petitions are filed and can be viewed by the public, unless the court determines there is a reason for the information to be sealed.

Name change requests typically occur in a court … Read More

Small Claims Case Records

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Small claims courts have often been referred to as “the people’s court.” This is because if an individual has a small claims case, they can represent themselves in court and do not need an attorney. Small claims cases are resolved between two private parties, generally without a jury.

Small claims cases are civil cases where the plaintiff is seeking a limited dollar amount. The exact dollar amount for small claims cases will vary from state to state. In Oregon, small claims cases involve claims of up to $7,500.00, whereas in California, the limit is $5,000.00, and Arizona’s limit is $2,500.00. … Read More

About Criminal Records and Where to Find Them

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Locating a criminal record could require knowing exactly what type of crime was committed. The U.S. legal system places crimes into three categories, and the category of crime can also affect what type of court the criminal case was tried in, and therefore, where those records are kept.

The three crime categories are Infractions, Felonies, and Misdemeanors. Infractions are punishable with fines and include parking violations, traffic violations, and noise citations. Misdemeanors are punishable by less than one year in prison and include aggravated harassment, assault, sexual abuse, criminal trespass, and driving while intoxicated. Felonies are much more serious crimes, … Read More

Confidential Intermediaries’ Access To Sealed Adoption Records

In United States, after an adoption is finalized, most states require that the court seal all court records and other documents related to the adoption. While these laws serve to protect the identity of innocent parties and those who wish to remain anonymous, they also present a hurdle for members of an adoption party who wish to find out information about an adoption proceeding they were involved in.

In an effort to protect information while also allowing access to information for parties who wish to find, and be found, many states have enacted laws which allow an individual, called a … Read More

Electronic Access to Florida Court Records and Adoption Records

Florida Statute Chapter 119 mandates that “all state, county, and municipal records” be made available for viewing and copying by the public. 119.01(e) adds that agencies should make an effort to efficiently provide remote electronic access to the information. As such, there are a variety of state operated websites which provide access to many records.  However, if you are looking specifically for court records, one of the best resources is the Florida Supreme Court’s website.  The site has a link to a page called Public Information where you can access court records including court docket information, court orders, and even Read More

What Everyone Should Know About Court Records

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This material is adapted from an update to the CCJ/COSA Guidelines and is presented here to highlight general information about access to court records. While public access rules and exceptions are different for every state, there are several broad concepts that generally apply to all courts.

1. What are court records?

Court records include any document, information, exhibit, or other thing filed in a court case by the parties or their lawyers. Examples of court records include complaints, petitions, answers, motions, transcripts, calendars, minutes of a court proceeding, docket entries, court orders, decrees and judgments.

Court records also include documents, … Read More