In our July 2008 post about juvenile court records, we noted that most juvenile court records are confidential. This is done to protect the juvenile, on the theory that juveniles are more prone to bad decisions than adults (i.e., they do “dumb things”), but that they can be rehabilitated. Law enforcement agencies and the court system can see juvenile records, but the general public cannot.
Background checks for the purposes of employment and housing – and sometimes for college admission, financial aid, etc. – are the general public’s main interest in court records. Since most juveniles are not yet … Read More
Generally speaking, the public has access to all court records except those restricted by federal law, state law, court rule, or court order. If a court record includes personal information about an individual (whether a party to the case, witness, informant, minor, or juror) that is protected by legislative or judicial rule, that information is to be redacted, or that part of the record is to be sealed. Examples of restricted private data, (known as “personal identifiers”) include: full social security numbers, financial or health records, identification of minors or certain crime victims, adoption and probate records, and paternity results. … Read More
The fine and court costs for a traffic offense are not the only expenses. Most drivers are aware that a traffic ticket can affect auto insurance rates. More tickets can mean even higher rates, and too many tickets can even lead to cancellation of a policy. Depending on where the ticket was issued, it might be possible to keep it off your record by attending traffic school. You’ll still have to pay the fine and court costs, plus the additional costs of the school, but you may still come out ahead in the long run if your insurance rates stay … Read More
In any given state, you could typically expect to find maybe one or two statewide court records databases online. Utah is unusual in offering five different means to search court records online. This means easier, faster access to various trial court records, and CourtReference offers links to all of them from its Utah Court Case Records Search page.
Although in other states you may be able to search court records through a particular county’s resource, statewide resources offer the advantage of being able to search for cases even if you do not know the county where the case was heard. … Read More
What can you expect to find when using the Search Court Case Records links on CourtReference? That varies greatly from state to state, and even county to county. Some states have statewide court record search systems for state courts. In other states, it is up to individual counties to provide online access to their court records. Of these, some counties provide free online access, while other counties contract with a private company that charges a fee to the user for some records searches.
Most court record searches can be done by party name, case number, date of birth and/or … Read More
When we think about going to court, the first people that usually pop into our heads are the judge in a robe, the bailiff with a badge, an attorney arguing for each side, and maybe a sketch artist for dramatic, high-profile cases. People like the Court Clerk may seem foreign. Administrative officials, however, are often the first line of contact the public has with the courts, and can often provide information and assistance for free.
Whether you are looking for court records, want to file a new case, or need information on when a hearing will be or where to … Read More
Criminal Cases vs. Civil Cases
What is the difference between a civil case and criminal case? Two of the fundamental differences include the nature of the act being addressed and who initiates the legal action.
In a criminal case, the lawsuit is brought by a government entity, including federal, state, and local governments because crimes are typically considered as an act against society. A prosecutor, on behalf of the government brings this lawsuit against the person accused of a crime. As such, when viewing a criminal court records, the title may say something like “State vs. John Doe.” The legal … Read More
If a person under has committed a crime, but is under the age of 18, this can greatly affect their journey through the US legal system. Individuals under the age of 18, also referred to as minors, will have different legal options depending on their age, type of crime committed, and whether they are a first time offender.
For example, if a judge determines that a crime is minor, and the child has a parent or guardian who is generally a good disciplinarian, then a judge may allow the juvenile to return home under routine visits from a probation officer, … Read More