While the process for accessing Superior Court records varies slightly by state and by county, most jurisdictions provide access to court records via their websites or in person at the court clerk's office. As the Superior Court of California in the County of San Diego points out, all court records are presumed to be open and available for public inspection unless the court has ruled that they be sealed.
The Washington Courts outlines a typical method for accessing court records. Via the court's website, anyone can search for court case summaries via case number or by the name of a person or business involved in the case. The information provided in the summary makes it possible to obtain a full court record, which is done by contacting the court where the case was actually filed. The Washington Courts website provides a full directory of courts with contact information for ordering of court records.
As New Jersey Courts Public Access explains, not all records are available for public access. When searching for information on criminal trials, only the names of defendants who were convicted and sentenced are available for public search. Other court records kept confidential from the public include expunged cases, juvenile cases and probation records. In addition, judges have the ability to order any case to be impounded, in which case it is not available for public access.