Where Can You Find Public Court Records?

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Depending on the date of the records’ creation, public court records can be located online through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system, at the court where the case was originally filed or at a Federal Records Center (FRC). Bankruptcy courts can be contacted by telephone, as directed on the United States Courts website. For this purpose, the touchtone Voice Case Information System is free of charge and available 24 hours a day.

Generally speaking, public court records created after 1999 are filed electronically. These can be accessed using the PACER system, which provides information on appellate, district and bankruptcy court case docket information. To use this system, users are required to sign up for an account and pay a fee of 10 cents per page up to a maximum of $3 per document, as of 2015. Alternatively, people can use the public access terminals in the relevant court’s clerk’s office. These are free to use but charge a 10 cent fee per page to print.

Court records from before 1999 are typically not electronically filed and will need to be sought from the court where the case was filed or an FRC, according to the United States Courts website. FRCs charge $64 per document as of 2015.