State Court Records
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
The legal proceedings that occur in our country's municipal, state, and federal courtrooms are detailed through transcriptions contained within court records. As part of the public domain, the majority of these court documents can be accessed to verify information and conduct background research. Whether you want to investigate an employment candidate's DUIs or research a new boyfriend's domestic battery crimes, accessing records from court proceedings can shed valuable light on a person's history.
While the majority of court records can be accessed by the public, there are exceptions. Some court proceedings are automatically sealed based upon the state's particular laws, while others are sealed due to a judge's decision surrounding extraordinary circumstances. Other regulations govern protecting and expunging court documents associated with juvenile trials. However, even if a file is sealed, partial information may still be available.
Although every state abides by its own legislation, court documentation, by legal default, is categorized as public property. Depending upon the state's jurisdiction, you typically have the legal right to access the records that are transcribed in all public courts.
Many court records are considered public, meaning that anyone can access them. The Public Access to Court Electronic Records (also known as PACER) is a service that allows users to obtain court information from different courts using the internet. By registering with PACER, you have electronic access to all courts.
PACER allows users to get the information that they need quickly and for little cost. Little user training or documentation is required. You can retrieve information, such as the participating attorneys, judges, and trustees, case related information, judgments, new cases that were filed, copies of documents and more. The information is available around the clock so that you can access it when you need it.
PACER does charge a small fee per page of results, which is applied whether you print, view, or download the page. You will not be billed until you have accrued $10 worth of charges in one calendar year. Once your balance exceeds $10, you will receive a bill in the mail.
The US Federal Court System can be confusing to someone who is not familiar with it. District courts have jurisdiction to hear nearly all federal cases, and there is at least one district court in each case. Case decisions may be published, or you may have to contact the clerk of the court to see the decision.
Different courts are responsible for varying types of cases. Besides the district courts, there are also:
The records of all the listed courts are considered public knowledge.