How to Obtain Court Records in Missouri
Missouri has several courts of limited jurisdiction that handle cases in truancy, mental health, drugs, and juveniles. These are divisions of the circuit courts; municipal courts are below the level of the circuit courts but handle only violations of municipal ordinances.
There are 115 circuit courts in the state, one in each county. These are the general trial courts which handle most civil and criminal concerns not delegated to the divisions with limited jurisdiction mentioned above.
Appellate courts take on disputes over lower court decisions. The supreme court sits atop the state judiciary, hearing appeals of death penalty cases, questions pertaining to the constitutionality of laws, and appeals of lower court decisions.
Requesting court documents
Many court documents pertain to everyday life, whether it’s child custody, a protection order, a civil settlement, or a judge’s sentence to attend a drug rehab class. Having official proof of these court-ordered decisions can be important.
To order copies of court documents in Missouri, start by searching for the case number and other information available on this website: https://www.courts.mo.gov/casenet/cases/searchCases.do?searchType=name. Generally search engines return only the most basic information about a case, but you can then contact the clerk of the court where the case was heard to request a full record if necessary. Use the search bar at the bottom of this page to find the right clerk’s office: https://www.courts.mo.gov/page.jsp?id=321.
Be aware that certain court documents may be restricted due to confidential information. Things like juvenile cases, the names of certain crime victims, and medical history may cause records to be withheld or redacted.
Probate court records
Probate courts oversee the disbursement of property and belongings to heirs after a person has died. These courts may have other duties such as guardianships, adoption proceedings, and mental health cases as well. To search probate records, use https://www.courts.mo.gov/casenet/cases/searchCases.do?searchType=name. If complete records or official documents are desired, contact the clerk of the court where the case was handled.
Having a copy of a divorce decree can be beneficial to understanding how property should be divided after a divorce, how child support and custody is handled, how much alimony is to be paid, and more. To get a full decree, contact the clerk of the court where the divorce was granted. If you don’t know which court it was, use the following search engine: https://www.courts.mo.gov/casenet/cases/searchCases.do?searchType=name.
Federal courts handle bankruptcies in every state. These U.S. District Courts also try criminal cases and class action lawsuits, among others. To search bankruptcy records in Missouri, use the following search engine: https://www.pacer.gov.