How to Find Public Police Records in the State of Connecticut?
The state of Connecticut ensures the right of every individual to search for public records in consonance with the Freedom of Information Act. According to this Act, all state information and all public records can be shared with the general public unless termed confidential. This makes it possible for any member of the public to have access to the public records of the state of Connecticut without stating a reason or without disclosing personal details, provided of course the information is not restricted for public viewing by any law or by a court order.
The transparent records include over 30 million criminal, court and vital records from all 8 counties. The process of digitization of these records has become a norm and they can be accessed online through various government as well as third party portals.
Public records are essentially documents that are compiled by a state or government body to detail and keep a record of numerous actions taken, procedures conducted and decisions finalized upon. Criminal and arrest records, details of jail inmates and court records are also categorized as public information.
Arrest records could also be requested. These are however not documents pertaining to the individual’s arrest but only police reports regarding the same. They could also extend to the inmate and criminal records and background checks of criminals. The search for arrest records ideally begins with the law enforcement agency who has the necessary jurisdiction over the area where the arrest happened. One could then visit the website of the agency and locate the relevant department. Once the department has been located, additional search parameters have to be entered.
The search fee could start from as less as $5 to as much as $70. Fees of copies of records are also chargeable, CD copies incur a higher charge. A filled form and photo ID are essentials to obtain a record. Records can also be obtained through email requests as few browsable online libraries are available. Third-party websites are also a viable option in case the records are difficult to acquire through state repositories.
Sex offender lists are very easily available and are regularly present online.
Court records involving court rulings and any action against an individual or internal procedure are always documented. Apart from criminal records, divorce records or other civil action details can also be found. Locating court records can however be a difficult task due to the sheer number of cases that are filed over a period of time.
Additionally, the case might come up for trial in a place away from where the arrest was made. The search could typically start in the court closest to the place where the agency which made the arrest is located. This is done by putting in the relevant area and ‘courthouse’ after it. After the name of the courthouse is obtained one would need a case number, name of the concerned parties and a completed form. The returns can be expected by email or normal mail.
In case the court does not take online requests a personal visit with picture ID, case number, details of the concerned parties and a cheque for payment might be necessary. A call to the court prior to the visit could facilitate a smoother transaction. Websites dealing with court records might be a convenient option as they are more straightforward as they deal with names rather than case numbers and would provide details of all the cases in which the subject was involved.
Public records include essentials details about the larger decisions and policies of the government in different spheres and would typically have deeds, death and birth records and marriage licenses among other things. To search for public records in a specific county or municipality, enter the relevant record and it needs to be followed by the name of the area. Sometimes these are separated by divisions within the govt. center and the search procedures are therefore quicker. On occasions, these records would be available under a larger category of Clerk of the Courts, Clerk of Deeds and Clerk of Records. Additional search parameters and procedures need to adhere to once the division containing the relevant record has been identified.
Such records, however, are not available online and need to be requested personally. However certain websites offer the option of application forms that one could download and print to be subsequently mailed to the concerned department along with the required fees. Occasionally such requests can also be processed through the website along with an online debit of the required fees. Such requests, in either case, are usually returned in 7-10 working days. However, if one requires a faster return an in-person request could be considered. The fees incurred for such records ranges from $1 to $65. Further searches could be available at a discounted price. These records can also be processed through third-party websites.
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