Why would I need to look up court records?
In some cases, particularly family law cases, it is important to know:
- if a case has been filed against you,
- if a case is "pending," or "ongoing" in another state, that is, a case has been filed and has not gone to judgment,
- if there is a past custody order or a current custody order in another state.
Sometimes you might think you are divorced but you are not sure. You may want to check to see if a divorce has been filed and has gone to judgment out of state.
Different states publish different records online.
Most states provide civil case records and family law cases.
Civil cases -- Civil cases are cases in which one person sues another, often for money. They include:
- debt collection,
- small claims,
- personal injury cases and
- medical malpractice.
Family law cases -- Family law cases include:
- guardianship, and
- domestic violence.
Some websites list traffic violations
- driving without a license and insurance,
- drunk driving,
- operating a motor vehicle unsafely and
- if a person charged failed to show up for court, so that an arrest warrant issued.
Some states put criminal records online
Information on criminal records and driving violations might be useful if you are fighting a supervised visitation or custody case - especially if there were a lot of serious traffic violations and a lot of warrants issued because the person failed to show up for court.
Not everyone can see all records that are published online
Some websites only let the parties, that is, the people named in the case who have a case number, see the records. Some websites only let lawyers who are members of the state bar association see records. Other websites are totally public.
How do I find the records I need?
Many states have one database for all records. Some states only have their records online by county.
Massachusetts Justice Project has put together a list of websites which are a good place to begin your search. We cannot provide a complete list of all the resources you can find online.
If you are looking for a specific state or county that is not on our list, try searching (in Google or another search engine) for "[state where you are looking] court records" or "[county, state where you are looking] court records."
Beware of websites which ask for fees to find what you could get elsewhere for free.
Most courts have Supreme Court records online. We do not include links to Supreme Court records. State Supreme Courts generally do not provide the kind of information which would be useful.
Here is a partial list of searchable databases:
Fee-based site: https://www.cocourts.com/cocourts/
Arapahoe County docket search:
If you don't find what you're looking for there, most of the individual counties also have their own system of searchable records. I've included the links to the records search for some of the bigger counties here:
Palm Beach County:
Athens-Clarke County: http://www.athensclarkeclerkofcourt.com/ErrorMessage404.htm?aspxerrorpath=/webFormFrame.aspx
Fulton County: http://justice.fultoncountyga.gov/PASupCrtCM/default.aspx
Will County: https://www.circuitclerkofwillcounty.com/Public-Access/Case-Lookup
Sangamon County: http://records.
Cook County: http://www.
Peoria County: https://judicial.peoriacounty.org/Portal/
Madison County: http://co.madison.il.us/
DuPage County: http://www.dupagecase.com?_xas=ca4f126d25f86de0998df1d59a99e678d7bc5a80
Kane County: http://www.cic.co.kane.il.us/
Kendall County: http://www.co.kendall.il.us/
McLean County: http://webapp.mcleancountyil.
Lake County: https://circuitclerk.
Winnebago County: http://fce.wincoil.us/
Champaign County: http://champaigncircuitclerk.org
McHenry County: http://220.127.116.11/wow65/
St. Clair County: http://co.st-clair.il.us/
This is a fee-based service.
This is a fee-based service:
Clark County: https://www.clarkcountycourts.us/portal
Civil motion calendar available:
No centralized records system, dependent on each county. I've included the county courts for which could find public record searches:
Erie County: (need to log in as a guest)
Monroe County only. You must register to search court records.
The Supreme Court of New York County also has searchable database:
Several counties have searchable databases. The link below lists all the counties in Ohio and what resources they have available online with links to the relevant records searches.
Access to the 13 largest county courts' records:
On the map, click on the county in which you want search.
*Neither of these sites are run by the court themselves.*
Texas Courts Online only has records for the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.
There is a subscription fee to search cases online here.
Requires sign-up and one time fee.