How to Research Court Records


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Even if you're not the defendant or the plaintiff, most court case
information in civil and criminal cases is available for public review
under the provisions of state and federal Freedom of Information laws.
The key is finding out which court is handling the case, whether its
local, county, state or federal court, and following its progress
through the system.Difficulty:ModerateInstructions Things You'll
Need
Phone numbers and addresses for the appropriate local, county
and federal courthouses.
Money for copies of documents.
Phone
number for the office of court administration in your state.
class="error">Ask the local police department about the court case
you're resea
Most states do not archive local court cases online, but do put
appellate cases there. If you are a lawyer and need case law to
support your case, you need to know what district you are in and try
to get court cases from your appellate district. Other districts in
your state are acceptable, but judges are more likely to follow cases
decided in your district.Difficulty:Moderately ChallengingInstructions
How to Locate and Research Court Cases OnlineSearch for the link
for your appellate district. For example, Hillsborough County, Fla.,
is in the Second DCA (District Court of Appeals). Once you get the
link, click through to the website.
Look for a link to the online
dockets. This will gi
Legal
The Northern District of Illinois of the U.S. District Court covers
the northern third of the state, including the Chicago metropolitan
area. Many of its records are open to the public, and you can look
them up using the Federal Record Center Case Record Lookup service.
You may also order transcripts of cases.Difficulty:Moderately
EasyInstructions Log on to the Northern District of Illinois
website (www.ilnd.uscourts.gov/home) and click on the Federal Record
Center Case Record Lookup link.
Type in the information on the
case. The form specifies which office handled the case, the year, type
of case and case number. Hit "Search." The case information will
populate the screen.
Order a
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The Superior Court of Los Angeles maintains records for both criminal
and civil cases that can be accessed via its website. Criminal cases
involving minors will likely not contain the minor's real name unless
he or she was tried as an adult, but most other cases are locatable
with one or both parties' names. You will be required to pay a small
fee for retrieval of hard copies of certain court
records.Difficulty:Moderately EasyInstructions Gather identifying
information about the case. There may be multiple cases with the same
common party name you are inquiring about, such as Smith or Hernandez,
so make sure you have some other information about the case, such as
the date of the case, oth
Legal
The California Public Records Act (CPRA) gives individuals,
corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies the right
to inspect California public records, including civil and criminal
court cases, as well as family and probate cases. Typically, members
of the public do not have access to juvenile records. Usually, the
court clerk’s office gathers, maintains and distributes the
files for trial, municipal and small claims cases. AccessThe
majority of California court records come from the trial courts in
each of the state’s 58 counties. The appellate court and Supreme
Court also have court case files. California codes permit inspecting
and copying records. Some infor
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AP - An appeals court ruled Tuesday that government funding
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