How to Obtain Court Records in the State of California?
Under the Public Records Act in the state of California, people have the right to access almost all the state records, public records and court records that are documented under the courts of California, the Department of Justice, and the information obtained by the local and state government agencies. There are many reasons why an individual choose to review their or someone else’s court records, including:
- Needing to correct your own criminal record, or obtaining the details of the record of another person.
- Business organizations will usually seek out criminal records of potential employees.
- Inter-country and Intra-country adoptions
- Requiring one’s criminal record for visa or immigration purposes.
- Landlords, who may be looking into the past of a prospective or a current tenant.
Obtaining California Court Records Online
California state court records can be obtained online, as well as offline. For people looking to seek out California court records online, they can visit the California Courts Website, or the website of the Appeals Court, Superior Court, or Supreme Court. The information that you can get online is limited to the docket information, pleadings of either party, the orders or the decisions of the court, evidence that was produced during the trial, and transcripts of the case.
How to Get Court Records In California Offline
If you are looking for California court records offline, then the best way you can obtain the California state court records is by going to the court where the case had taken place and filing a request to the clerk by submitting a form. You will have to fill in your particulars, as well as your intent in requesting the documents. You can get an extensive catalog of additional California court records if you choose the offline method, including the following
- Arrest and Search Warrants
- Reports written by probation officers
- Written statements of the victim
- Whether there was a settlement outside the court
- The testimony and the verdict of the Jury
- The final verdict of the court.
Documents Excluded In California Court Records Search
There are several documents and case files which are not open to the public in California State court records. These include the following:
- Court cases relating to minors, or cases where juveniles were convicted.
- Cases which involved a person suffering from a mental health condition.
- Evidence which was not introduced in the court at the time the case was going on.
- Adoption records of people, including their original date of birth and their original parents. This record is only accessible to the person this file was intended for, and not for the public.
- Confidential secrets relating to trade and secret business affairs
- Verdicts of the grand jury which did not result in the final indictment of the person.
- Any report or record which will interfere with either party’s right to a fair trial.
- The courts may seal away the details relating to a case if either party has a legitimate interest in keeping the case closed to the public; for example, a victim of sexual assault may not want the particulars of their case disclosed to the public.
The court has the final say in deciding whether or not a case file should be open to the public after listening to the appeals of all the parties. An appeal does not determine the guarantee of the sealing of the documents. The court will decide whether they need for confidentiality of the parties is more important than keeping the case open for the public to view. A person who wants to view a sealed record will have to move the court in order to get the right to view the records.