Individuals can view court records by requesting access to court documents in person at a county, state or federal courthouse at the clerk's office. Many case files can also be accessed at public access terminals at certain courthouses.
Internet-based public access to court electronic records is also available to individuals who create an account with the county. Some courts also allow access to court records by telephone through the Voice Case information system that is free and available 24 hours a day.
For the most part, cases created before 1999 are maintained primarily in paper format, which requires individuals to view or copy court records in person at courthouses. Cases after 1999 are available also in electronic form or on the Internet in most counties. Some libraries archive public records for viewing as well.
Any file considered in the public domain can be viewed. The most common types of public records include ownership records, such as land plots, residential and commercial real estate and appraisals. Birth, marriage and death records are also considered public records that can be viewed by the public. Individuals can also view court dockets, criminal records, inmate information and police records at courthouses or online in counties that support electronic documents.