How to Get Court Records in the State of Arizona?
The Supreme Court has the highest legal authority in the state of Arizona and oversees the decisions made by the other lower courts such as the Court of Appeals. The other lower courts in the state whose decisions the Supreme Court governs include the 15-odd trial courts across the 15 different counties, as well as the district courts.
Starting from August 1, 2005, onward, most public records in the state of Arizona including court records would be available for PACER subscribers. The subscribers must pay $10 to get access to court records using the system.
Arizona Court Records
While those Arizona court records filed from August 1, 2005, onward can be found in the PACER system, documents filed before August 1st are available with the court clerks. Most court records in Arizona are maintained by court clerks, in their offices, for up to five years, even after the closure of the cases. Court records which are inactive or which have been around for more than five years are sent to the Federal Records Center. So, in case you want to get a hold of records which are more than five years old, you can contact the Federal Records Center and request for them.
You are required to pay a fee of $64 for the first copy of the records, and $39 for each subsequent copy.
Court Records are Public Records in the State of Arizona
The Public Records Law was passed in the State of Arizona in the year 1901. The most recent amendment to the law was made in the year 1993. The Act was introduced to grant the people of Arizona access to the different public records, including court records, at any level in the state. The Act ensures that such a right is a fundamental right of every citizen of Arizona. It makes sure that the Government or governing authority is accountable and responsible for its actions and establishes a sense of openness and transparency between the governing body and the citizens.
Rules concerning Arizona State Court Records
The Supreme Court governs the rules regarding preserving court records in Arizona. Additionally, it also identifies and regulates the rules concerning the destruction of these documents. According to this rule, all the clerks of the Supreme Court, as well as the various Court of Appeals, are authorized to destroy any court records, books, papers, or any other documents related to court proceedings. This rule also allows the destruction of Supreme Court orders, retention schedules, and the different purge lists approved by the Supreme Court.
Other case file records which should be kept permanently must be duly transferred to the Arizona State Archives according to the rules stated by various records retention and disposition schedules of the Supreme Court. Additionally, such retention and disposition schedules also hold good for other court documents, and these may be retained or destroyed as per these schedules.
These days, you can find most of the Arizona court records online, by visiting various official Arizona State public records websites. All court records are public records in the state of Arizona according to the Public Records Law, and anyone residing in the state can search for them. But be sure to note the Supreme Court rules regarding the different court records and keep them in mind during your Arizona court records search. Court records in the state of Arizona can also be obtained using the PACER system. PACER has made it easier to search for and find different court records, not only in the state of Arizona but also in all the states across the United States of America.