Judicial Records Kansas: How to Get Free Judicial Records in the State of Kansas?
Under the Kansas Open Records Act, also known as KORA, which was passed in 1984, with the most recent amendments having been made as of 2010, access to all public records, was made feasible, allowing common citizens to inspect and peruse such records as and when they desired. Judicial records also fall under the purview of this act and such records are easily accessible in the courthouses of the state. Unless and until a specific law prohibits accessibility of a specific record, all local and government records can be copied and inspected by the general public if they so desire.
This act was implemented to facilitate transparency and also safeguard the accountability of the government. Each court in the state of Kansas has a specific computer that is reserved to aid in such public searches that might pertain to case information and records of proceedings that have taken place in the court in question. There are specific steps that you need to follow to obtain free judicial records in the State of Kansas. This article aims to shed some light on that matter.
Obtaining court records from different judicial agencies in Kansas
There are different ways in which you can obtain free judicial records from miscellaneous judicial agencies in the State of Kansas. The following section will provide you with information relating to some of these ways. They include:
- Computer terminals with public access- Every divisional office in Kansas City, Wichita and Topeka has a computer terminal access to the public located in their lobby. You can research and find case information with the help of case number, filing date range or party name. You can also avail docket information pertaining to criminal cases that have been filed after the year 1994 and civil cases that have been filed after the year 1991. You have the option of accruing document images provided in PDF format for civil cases that have taken place after March 2003. You need to visit these divisional offices during their office hours to obtain such records. The offices are closed during the national holidays.
- PACER- A electronically driven public access service has been created by the U.S government, known as PACER, to provide users with the scope of accessing docket and case information from Federal Appellate Courts, Bankruptcy Courts and District Courts, as well as from the US Party/Case Index. Most courts have electronic access available, once you register yourself with the PACER Service Center, billing, centralized registration center of the judiciary and the technical support centers.
- Requests regarding clerk's office records- Specific closed files are maintained by the court in the office locations of the clerk's office. Obtaining the records pertaining to these open case files or making copies of such documents would require you to contact the clerk's office directly. You can contact the clerk's office via email, in-person, telephone or by using the mail system. The clerk's office will charge you with fees for furnishing the requested record, and payment needs to be made prior to receiving the concerned records. If the request that you have made is extremely large, you will also be required to provide your shipping or postage information.
- Court transcripts- The court reporter is responsible for providing written transcripts of court proceedings, in the event of an individual request or court order. In case the court proceedings have been transcribed using electronic recording instruments, you would need to approach the private transcription service provider that the court had appointed to transcribe and record information pertaining to the case.
- NARA- Also known as the National Archives and Records Administration, maintains closed files and documents that are not available in the clerk's office or available in electronic formats. You can either make use of the online system of automated ordering provided by NARA or request to view the file in person. For the latter, you are required to pay a certain fee to the clerk, for his/her services of approaching NARA and retrieving your requested record. To file any request with NARA, you need to obtain the Location Number and Accession Number from the clerk's office.
These particular steps cover all types of agencies that are responsible for judicial records in the State of Kansas, and the aforementioned information will enable you to deal with each specific body and obtain judicial records that you would like to inspect. Sealed cases or records, and cases that are prohibited from disclosure under the KORA, however, cannot be obtained using the aforementioned steps.
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