Category Archives: California

California

How Many Courts?

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Here at CourtReference, we’ve quite familiar with the court systems in every state. Unless you have business with courts in many different states, you may not be aware of how different court systems can be from state to state.

The basic structure is not so different; each state usually has a trial court in which the parties argue both the facts and the law in front of a judge or jury. The judge decides how to apply the law, and the judge or jury decides which facts are true and which are not – in other words, which party … Read More

Research Campaign Finance Reports

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Soon all of the primary elections around the country will be over and the number of candidates will have been narrowed. If it is important to you to know how a candidate spends their political contributions or where their contributions come from, you can use our website to research the campaign finance reports of your favorite candidates.

Campaign finance reports must be filed by all candidates and are available at the national, state, county and city level. The reports can be searched by type of office, name of candidate or committee name and even by the name of the contributor.… Read More

Legal Help for Seniors

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Many businesses and government agencies give special treatment to people over a certain age. That age limit is usually around 60, 65, or somewhere in between. If you’re a “senior”, an “elder”, or otherwise in that category, you can usually get discounts from private enterprise on things like meals, hotels, and movie tickets. From the government, you can get a lifetime pass to National Parks for only $10.

When it comes to the justice system, seniors don’t get any breaks. If you’re accused of a crime, or sued for damages, the law only cares about your age if you’re a … Read More

More Court Tech: Skype Hearings

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At CourtReference, we’re always alert for advances in court technology. We don’t just mean finding court records; CourtReference has provided links to online court record resources, other court-related resources, and court websites for many years. We’re talking about interaction with the court by actual parties to the case.

Gone are the days when every interaction with the court took place in person. Payment of court fines online was one of the first methods of conducting court business electronically, and now it’s the most common; we covered it here, here, and here.

Once it became so easy … Read More

How Not to Find Case Records

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Last month’s post was a refresher course about how to find case records. It did mention simply Googling “court records” (“case records” will produce similar results) before suggesting better options. I’d like to explain a bit more about why Google is not the most efficient way to find case records.

Each court system maintains its own case records, perhaps on a statewide or countywide database, or a court-specific database, or (yes, even in this day and age) in paper files in steel filing cabinets, or on microfilm (to be fair, that last method is mostly used for older cases that … Read More

How to Find Case Records: A Refresher

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Here at CourtReference, we get a lot of questions about court records. People want to know how to go about looking up a divorce record, doing a criminal background check, or looking up a will from the 1800’s.

Of course anyone can just Google “court records” to start the ball rolling. But if Google knows your location (and they do, they do!), the top search results will be for your area – and most of the rest will be for commercial websites that charge a fee to search. That’s why most of our questions are about how to find … Read More

Recorded Document Search

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Do you need a copy of the deed to your home, a copy of your mortgage papers, or another type of recorded document but don’t know where to look? There is an office that handles recorded land records in every county, city or town, depending on the state.  In some states, it is the Recorder’s Office, in some states it is the Clerk’s Office, and in some states it is the Register of Deeds Office.

Many counties, towns and cities offer online access to recorded documents, others offer online access to the index of records with image copies available for … Read More

Mental Health Courts

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Lately there have been a disturbing number of news reports about mentally-ill people being shot by police. The need for better training of police to deal with the mentally ill has been amply covered by other blogs. But mentally-ill people who survive their encounter with law enforcement have a chance for better treatment from the court system – and that’s where this blog comes in.

Back in 2008 we touched on two different aspects of court procedure involving people with mental health problems. A court system’s involvement with a mentally ill person may occur when the person is facing involuntary … Read More

When a Court Calendar is a Schedule, or a Schedule is a Calendar

In our earlier post about court calendars, we discussed various types of court calendars and dockets. When using CourtReference to find court calendars and dockets, remember that these are are usually a detailed list of upcoming hearings, with information about the time and location of the hearing and the name of the case or parties; here’s an example from McLean County, IL. Dockets and calendars often include additional details about the case, such as this one from Dane County, WI with a link to each judge’s weekly calendar; each case on the calendar includes a linked case number … Read More

Search for a Licensed Professional

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Is there someone with a professional license that you would like to research or do you want to find a licensed professional in your area? If so, our “Professional License Records Resources” page contains a number of links for professional licenses such as accountants, architects, engineers, insurance agents, real estate agents, and more.

Our main “Professional License” page contains national links for “mortgage licensing,” “emergency medical technicians,” “brokerage firm brokers,” and others. In addition to the national links, most states offer online searches for a variety of professions. Here are some examples … Read More