Find Court Records
There are a number of reasons a person might attempt to find court records. Searching court records allows you to privately investigate anyone who has ever had a case brought through the United States court system. The main reason people perform a court records search, however, is to protect themselves. Whether that means protecting your financial assets by attempting to find court records about a prospective business partner, or protecting your family by attempting to find court records about a neighbor who gives you a bad feeling.
When you find court records, you can uncover a number of things about an individual, beyond the outcome of a specific case. Because courts attempt to keep extensive and highly-detailed records of the individuals who pass through their system, court records are a great starting source for allowing you to uncover a person's public information like: age or date of birth, alias or maiden name, home addresses, previous addresses, public or private associations, and more.
It Can be Difficult to Find Court Records
Certainly it's not hard to understand why one might attempt to find court records about a particular individual, but what often goes misunderstood is how difficult it can be to find court records. One of the major barriers to finding court records is knowing where to look, and what information you'll need to begin your search.
This confusion is due, in part, to the lack of standardization in the court record keeping systems across the courts of the United States. Court records, and their systems for organization, can vary from county to county, state to state or even court to court. Every court is different and each has their record keeping systems, levels of public access and case organization.
Sometimes it can be difficult to determine which court you need to search. Courts are divided by location and type of case, and if you do not know the particulars (the district, for example, that your cases' jurisdiction was in), you may find yourself wasting time, searching multiple courts for the same records and coming up short.
Sometimes, as you attempt to find court records, you will be met with specific qualifications on the information you will need to provide. Some courts will only require the name of the defendant, for example, while others may require to submit the names of all parties, applicable date or time-frame, district or municipality, or to know which type of case the court records you seek fall under.
Find Court Records in an Index
Even after you have narrowed your search by location and applicable necessary information, you may still run into trouble trying to find the actual records. If a computerized index is available, you should always choose to search this database first. Computerized databases have the ability to cross-reference submitted information. They also allow you to quickly cycle through a number of cases at once, and they are often easier to read than manual records which might be printed on microfilm or even index cards, and will require you to rifle through piles upon piles of paper.