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Alaska Public Records

For people interested in viewing public records in Alaska, the state has created a sound public records law to facilitate requests. Each state in the nation has created its own public records law, and Alaska’s is more specific and straightforward than most. 

From Juneau to Fairbanks, the state is in possession of an estimated 6.5 million public records that span everything from court records to birth certificates. While many of these records are now digital files as opposed to hard copies, locating a record can still be a challenge. 

To start, a requester must know what kind of record they’re looking for and the agency that would have it. From there, a request form is usually needed to obtain the documents. In some cases, requesters can find information from public records search online. 

To help people locate and review public records from any public agency, this guide should provide the directions necessary. We’ll explore what the public records law says in Alaska and provide resources to find criminal, inmate, court, and vital records.

What does the Alaska public records law say?

The Alaska Public Records Act says that most records in the possession of municipal and state agencies are subject to public disclosure. Every branch of the government is subject to the law, and requests can be made in many forms including in-person and via email. 

There’s specified response time and an appeals process in place, which provides more protection for citizens than other states. 

To learn more about the public records law, start your search on Alaska.gov to see how The Last Frontier handles public records.

How can a person access public records in Alaska?

Accessing public records in Alaska all depends on the kind of record you want to see. For general public records that pertain to your city, a request can be issued to the city clerk. For other records like a criminal, inmate, court, or vital records, you need to reach out to that record-holding agency. 

No matter which agency holds the records, you’ll likely need to submit a public records request, which should include: 

  • Your name and contact information, including an email, phone number, and mailing address
  • The name of the document you want access to with as much detail as possible
  • A specific time period that you’d like to receive the materials by
  • How to deliver the documents, whether by email or mail

In some cases, it’s best to make requests by email, especially since offices may have different hours to due COVID-19. 

Alaska criminal records

A criminal record, also known as a rap sheet, provides a list of criminal offenses associated with a specific person. It should detail instances of arrest, prosecution, and convictions. These records are usually accessed by employers to run a background check on new employees. 

What’s on a criminal record?

Criminal records generally provide the following information when accessed:

  • Personal information like name, date of birth, gender
  • Aliases
  • Physical descriptors
  • Records of any criminal conviction
  • Court orders
  • Warrant
  • Charges
  • Probation and probation orders
  • Convicted crimes

Where can a person find Alaska criminal records?

The Alaska Criminal Justice Information is maintained by the Department of  Public Safety and is accessed by submitting a person’s name or a person’s fingerprints. The State of Alaska says submitting fingerprints is the best way to get accurate records. 

The Alaska Department of Public Safety website has instructions and forms needed to request criminal records. Expect to pay a fee of $20 for a name search and $35 for a fingerprint search.

Alaska inmate records

Every state maintains records on its prison population. For people interested in an inmate’s location, prison term, and pending transfers, inmate records are the best source of information. 

What’s on an inmate record?

For those wondering what’s on an inmate record, here’s what’s typically listed: 

  • Inmate’s name
  • Date of birth 
  • Charges 
  • Sentence 
  • The term of imprisonment 
  • Physical descriptions 
  • A photograph of the inmate

Where can a person find Alaska inmate records?

The Alaska Department of Corrections maintains records, but there isn’t an online database like other states have. To obtain inmate information, the state suggests that you call the Department of Corrections in Anchorage. The phone number can be found by clicking the link above.

Alaska court records

Alaska court records give people a chance to review court documents and proceedings. They’re created for both criminal and civil trials in district court, superior court, court of appeals, and supreme court. 

What’s on a court record?

The information on a court record can be lengthy, but most people find the following public notices to be the most useful:  

  • Court minutes
  • Case files
  • Dockets
  • Orders of the court
  • Judgment documentation
  • Jury records and files
  • Witness documentation

Where can a person find Alaska court records?

The Alaska Court System has a searchable database online that can provide information on appellate court cases and trial court cases. The best way to search for a case is to search by case number, but a search by name or citation number can also work. 

Court records are often one of the more difficult records to access since most files are kept by individual courts. In many states, a request must be issued to a specific clerk of court, but in Alaska there’s a searchable database that makes it much easier to locate court documents.

Alaska vital records

Vital records are considered public records, although access is limited to people who are associated with the person listed on the record. For instance, if you’re trying to find a certified copy of a marriage certificate, you must be listed on the certificate or a family member of the person listed.

The same rules generally apply to other vital records, which include birth, death, marriage, and divorce records.

What information is needed to request a vital record?

To review a vital record, you’ll need to provide information to help the recorder’s office find the correct files. The information that you can expect to provide is: 

  • The registrant’s name
  • Date of the event
  • Time of the event
  • Relationship to the requester
  • Name of the presiding judge (for divorce or marriage records)

Where can a person find Alaska vital records?

The Alaska Department of Social Services Division of Public Health, which is equivalent to the department of health in other states, maintains vital records. (These records were formally maintained by the Bureau of Vital Statistics, but that changed recently). You can request certified copies of vital records by filling out an order form on the state government website listed above and mailing or faxing the request in. 

Frequently asked questions about Alaska records

Obtaining public records can be a challenging task, but in the right direction, you can save time. The frequently asked questions below are designed to provide that direction. 

Can a request be submitted by non-residents of the state?

In some states, only residents can request state documents, but that’s not the case in Alaska. The Alaska statutes specifically say that all citizens, even those from another state, can request public records. 

Is there a records custodian in Alaska?

The public records law mentions a records custodian, but it’s usually a person within each state agency as opposed to one person. 

What exemptions exist?

All state agencies must release public records as requested. However, the law does say that the Alaska Railroad Corporation is not considered a state agency and is therefore exempt from providing records. 

Common exemptions like juvenile records, medical documents, and active investigations are exempt from the law. As are more specific records like those containing information on boat accidents, state savings programs, or trust programs.  

How long does that state have to respond?

The law provides a specific response time. Public officials are to respond to a request within 10 business days. Some states don’t have a response time written into the law, but Alaska’s statute provides more specifics than others. 

What kind of enforcement is in place?

The law states that no one is to obstruct the process of obtaining public records. If foul play is suspected, the person requesting the documents can seek an injunction. An injunction is a court order that would direct the record keeper to stop obstructing the process and to release the records. 

Is there an appeal process?

While some states do not have an appeals process in place, the state of Alaska does. If a requester is denied access to public records or doesn’t receive them in a timely fashion, the person can appeal within 60 days of the original request. 

An administrative appeal is sent to the head of the agency where the records are held. A request for injunctive relief, where a court orders the record keeper to stop obstructing your right to view public records, should be sent to an Alaskan district court.

What fees are associated with requesting public records?

There are fees associated with accessing and copying records, but the cost to obtain requested records should be minimal, according to the law. 

  • Updated September 18, 2020
  • States

Idaho Public Records

Idaho became an open-to-public state back in 1990, when leaders drafted the Idaho Public Records Act. This act gives citizens the right to access government records. The Idaho code was updated in 2005 to provide more specificity about open government.

Most states have some type of public records act on the books. However, each state’s law is a little different. To request public records, it’s important to know the ins and outs of the law to make the request process easier. 

For those looking to access records in the state of Idaho, this guide will provide a quick summary of the law as well as resources to access criminal, inmate, court and vital records. 

What does the Idaho public records law say?

The Idaho Public Records Law is one of the newer Sunshine Laws in the United States and comes with strong government transparency. Every public agency, municipality, and all other government branches are subject to the law and must disclose documents pertaining to the public interest.

According to the state law, transparency must be a priority, and agencies could face a penalty amounting to thousands of dollars for withholding public information. Typically, agencies are given a minimum of three days to grant a records request and a maximum of 10 days. 

While all government agencies are subject to the law, the state does have 92 exemptions. Most of the exemptions are common in other states too and include records that could invade personal privacy like records containing an individual’s medical and financial records, for example. Police records that could compromise the safety of the public and trade secrets are also off limits.

If a request is denied, the requester is given 180 days to appeal the decision. The court then takes another 28 days to hear the appeal, and if it gets denied, the requester has another 42 days to appeal again. The Idaho appeals process runs through district appellate court.

The appeal fees in Idaho must not exceed the actual labor cost and are specifically worded for clear enforcement.

For more information on the state’s law, visit Idaho.gov.

How can a person access a public record in Idaho?

Some records are online, others require a more formal request. For public records access that requires a form, it can be mailed or emailed to the record-holding department.

Every department is different, so expect some variation to the rules if you’re accessing records from multiple places.

In general, a public records request should include:

  • Your name and contact information, including an email, phone number, and mailing address
  • The name of the document you want access to with as much detail as possible
  • A specific period that you’d like to receive the materials by
  • How to deliver the documents, whether by email or mail

Due to COVID, some public offices may have limited hours of operation. As a result, online requests are best, but you should call ahead if you want to go in person.

Idaho criminal records

A criminal record contains the person’s criminal history and other criminal activities within the State’s jurisdiction. It also includes misconduct, misdemeanors and felonies along with the information of arrest, indictment and conviction.

What’s on a criminal record?

Typically, criminal records contain:

  • The personal information of the criminal, including full name, alias, gender, birth, nationality and ethnicity
  • Mugshot and all the fingerprints
  • Other distinctive physical features
  • List of offenses and misconducts
  • History of arrests, indictment and pending suits

Various organizations receive these records, including county and state-run offices, law enforcement agencies, court and other correctional institutions.

Where can a person find Idaho criminal records?

You can do background checks for non-criminal purposes such as employment screening and licenses. It’s fairly common. Each year, the organization checks 85,000 fingerprint cards and 32,000 name-based background checks.

Visit the Idaho State Police website to conduct the search. For fingerprint checks, you need to submit a complete set of ink rolled fingerprints on the card, submission form, payment authorization form, and cash payment.

The required fee is $20 for a fingerprint check and additional $1 for processing fee plus 3% transactional fee. You can make payment through cash, credit or debit card.

 Idaho inmate records

Idaho inmate records hold various documents related to personal and administrative details of a prisoner held in correctional and detention institutes across Idaho. These records provide information similar to criminal records but also include imprisonment specifications.

What’s on an inmate record?

Typically, the available information on inmate record varies; the inmate records in Idaho contain the following details:

  • Basic personal details such as name, age, gender and mugshot
  • Inmate location
  • Registration number,
  • Jail transfer information
  • Imprisonment status

The public can access information on criminals who are on parole or probate as well as incarcerated prisoners.

Where can a person find Idaho inmate records?

The Idaho Department of Correction website provides access to an online database of prisoners imprisoned in Idaho. The database provides information about the offenders who are under the IDOC jurisdiction and it also offers complete details of those on probation or parole. 

You can also get information of the felonies the offender has committed. Click the resource link above to carry out the offender search by entering an inmate’s last name and IDOC number.   

Another resource is the Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) website. Designed to give regular updates to victims on a criminal’s custody status, the website can provide useful information for anyone looking to gather details on an inmate.

Idaho court records

Court records hold details of criminal and civil trials held in local, county, state and federal courts. However, the institution has the right to seal or expunge certain details on the record, especially if the victim or juvenile is at risk.

Court records are considered public records and can be accessed by the public. 

What’s on a court record?

The information on court records can vary, but in Idaho, you can find the following information on court records:

  • Personal and criminal details
  • Details of the proceeding
  • Case files
  • Dockets
  • Court Orders
  • Documents on judge rulings
  • Witness documents and evidence
  • Jury records and files

Where can a person find Idaho court records?

You can check the state’s iCourt Site to get court documents and information on a trial. You can search by case number or by name and find files for the district courts all the way up to the Idaho Supreme Court.

Members of the general public or media do not have to register on the site, but if you want extended access, registration is required. 

If you can’t find the record you’re looking for, you can also access Idaho Court Records by visiting any local agency that regulates court proceedings and judgments, which includes courthouses and Idaho State Judiciary, to request for the documents in person.

The contact person should be a court or county clerk or someone in the clerk’s office. You may need to fill out a request form. Some courts may ask you to submit your request in writing. 

Idaho vital records

Vital records are government records that mark milestones. Vital records include birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, and divorce certificates. They are made public to people who are already listed on those documents, such as family members.

What information is needed to request a vital record?

To request a vital record in Idaho, you need to provide all the information that assists the document’s search. These details include:

  • Location of the life event (birth, death, marriage, or divorce)
  • Date
  • Full name, including maiden as well
  • Casefile number for divorce record and registration number for a marriage record
  • You may be asked for ID like a driver’s license 

Where can a person find Idaho vital records?

You can access these records on websites such as the State Department of Health and Welfare, where you can find:

  • Birth certificates
  • Death records and certificates
  • Marriage records and certificates
  • Divorce records

You’ll need to fill the request form or write a letter containing all the pertinent requirements, a photocopy of an ID and the certification fee is also required.

Frequently asked questions about Idaho records

You can find hundreds of documents on various state-run portals or by requesting records from specific state departments. To further assist your public records search, here are a few more details:

Can non-residents of the state submit a request?

Yes. Whether you live in Boise or Denver, you can request records in the state of Idaho.

Is there a records custodian in Idaho?

No. Each state department is responsible for maintaining and releasing records as requested.

What exemptions exist?

None of the state agencies or branches are exempt from the public records law. However, the state does have 92 exemptions. It includes individual’s medical and financial records, police records that could compromise public safety, investigative individuals, adn trade secrets. 

How long does that state have to respond?

Typically, the state has to respond to a request within three days. However, if a state agency requires more time, it should send a written response within three days asking for more time. The agency can request a 10-day extension.

Is there an appeal process in place?

Processing an appeal for access to public records is exclusively run by the appellate court in Idaho. As a requester, you get 180 days to appeal a decision.

What fees are associated with requesting public records?

No agency can charge a fee more than that of the actual labor cost if the request is for more than 100 pages. Furthermore, the copying fee shouldn’t exceed direct labor costs and the third-party’s cost to copy the records. In addition, agencies can’t charge a requester if he has demonstrated that he can’t pay for the fee while the request is in the public interest.

  • Updated October 26, 2020
  • States

Massachusetts Public Records

There are many reasons for people to request public records. An employer can request a background check for a prospective employee, a victim may want to access the criminal records of an attacker, or a person may want to replace their birth certificate. 

While requesters have many reasons to review public records, it’s not always an easy process. To start, you need to know which records you can access by law. You need to figure out which state department has the records, and know how to request them.  

To help citizens access public information, this guide will provide direction on accessing criminal, inmate, court, and vital records in the state of Massachusetts. 

What does the Massachusetts public records law say?

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has closely followed federal laws like the Freedom of Information Act when it comes to the release of records. While government records held by a governmental entity are considered public, Massachusetts is the only state to exempt its executive offices, legislative branch, and judicial branch from public records release. 

Massachusetts general laws excludes documents with personal information such as medical files, abuse or rape files, personnel files or documents deemed an invasion of privacy. Records that pertain to public safety are also off limits. 

Massachusetts has ten days to reply when you request records. If requested records can’t be delivered in that timeframe, the state can add 20-30 day extensions to your request. However, Massachusetts state must send a written response explaining the need for the extension. 

If the request is denied, the requester can appeal the decision. The appeal must happen within ten days of the denial. 

Like most states, Massachusetts has a records retention rate set, which sets a certain number of years for records to be kept. The retention schedule can be accessed online. 

How can a person access public records in Massachusetts?

Public interest in Massachusetts records can be accommodated by electronic records or by submitting a formal records request. If a request is required, it can be sent via email, mail, or by phone to the record-holding department. 

Every department is different, so expect some variation to the rules if you’re accessing records from multiple places. 

In general, a public records request should include: 

  • Your name and contact information, including an email, phone number, and mailing address
  • The name of the document you want access to with as much detail as possible
  • A specific time you’d like to receive the materials by
  • How to deliver the documents, whether by email or mail

Due to COVID-19, some public offices may have limited hours of operation. As a result, online requests are best, but if you want to go in person you should call ahead.

Massachusetts criminal records

When you want to hire a candidate who will be dealing with your business records, financial accounts, or personnel information, you want a candidate with a clean background check. You wouldn’t want to hire someone to deal with your cash if that person has been arrested for fraud or bribery.

The criminal record, gleaned from Massachusetts’ sixteen correction facilities, will provide you a record of arrests, convictions, and incarcerations. You will not receive juvenile, expunged, or other such records. 

What’s on a criminal record?

In Massachusetts, the following information would be released:

  • Name and any aliases
  • Physical description
  • Fingerprints
  • Warrants and pending charges
  • Charges and convictions
  • Civil and non-incarcerable offenses
  • Murder, manslaughter, or sex offenses with a conviction
  • Felony charges with a conviction

A fingerprint-supported search will give you information on:

  • Arrests regardless of arraignment both in and out-of-state
  • Pending offenses
  • Out-of-state convictions and non-convictions
  • Federal and international arrests and charges including deportation and immigration proceedings

Where can a person find Massachusetts criminal records?

The Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services can provide criminal records through its iCORI system. You can complete a name-based criminal record check for the individual you are seeking. A fingerprint-supported check will review the state you are in and other states too.  

To submit a criminal background check to iCORI, you must first register for an iCORI account. You must choose between registering as an individual or as an organization. Follow these quick steps for help: 

  1. Choose account type
  2. Enter account details
  3. Verify and submit
  4. Email confirmation will be sent to you for your login
  5. Go back to iCORI and log into your new account

Follow the steps on the web page to complete your request. Select the organization associated with the request. Make sure you add a purpose and subject. You must pay the one time fee of $25.00. 

By mail, a requester can complete an iCORI Request Form to get information about your criminal records. The request and $25 money order should be sent to the Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services in Chelsea. 

Massachusetts inmate records

If you are seeking inmate records for yourself, your business, or another organization, you will use the VINELink website. VINE stands for Victim Information and Notification Everyday. You can access it every day, 24/7/365. The Massachusetts Department of Correction does not run the website. 

What’s on an inmate record?

You can receive information on inmates in custody. Your request will show if the inmate is on probation or parole. A change in the inmate’s prison status, due to a prison violation, will be shared. The records show if the inmate has been released, or has escaped. 

Where can a person find Massachusetts inmate records?

To use VINELink to find the inmate you are seeking and begin by entering the state and facility. You will need to have the inmate’s full last name and first initial of the first name. You need to enter the offender’s identification number to continue your request. 

The website supports 195+ languages over the phone and is confidential. You can opt-in for notifications by phone, text, email, TTY, or use their app as well

Massachusetts court records

Court records hold vital information for you to use for your own life, such as a divorce certificate, or for your business, like a lawsuit. You can find information from the Supreme Judicial Court, Appeals Court, and Trial Court. 

What’s on a court record?

You can request the following from Massachusetts courts:

  • Docket information
  • Decisions and orders
  • Evidence 
  • Transcripts 
  • Pending and closed civil and criminal cases
  • Warrants
  • Pleadings and motions from a lawsuit
  • Jury information and questionnaires

Where can a person find Massachusetts court records?

Go to the website above and scroll down until you see 3 icons. Trial Court Records, Supreme Judicial Court, and Divorce Records all have an icon. Each icon allows an online or phone search. 

The Boston Court and District Court have records on civil, criminal, and small claims.

Superior Court documents are civil actions, state and municipality records, business litigation,equitable remedies, real property and torts. 

Probate Court cases include name change, custody, support, domestic relations, equity claims, estates, guardianship, paternity, probate and wills. 

Housing Court cases are civil, and small claims. 

Land Court case types are permits, registration, tax liens, miscellaneous, severed and service members. 

Criminal cases include criminal complaints, indictments and probation transfers. 

Massachusetts vital records

The Registry of Vital Records and Statistics retain the vital records for Massachusetts You would request. These records include births, deaths, fetal death, divorces, marriages, and teen birth rates. Vital records can only be requested by the person listed on the record or by a member of the family. 

What information is needed to request a vital record?

  • The name of the person
  • Birthdate in some instances
  • Date and place of the event
  • Proof of your identification 

Where can a person find Massachusetts vital records?

The Registry of Vital Records provides access to vital records. If you need to request a certified birth certificate, for example, you can use the website to complete your order online or you can order by phone or mail. Costs vary between $20.00 for in-person to $51.00 for a phone order. 

Frequently asked questions about Massachusetts records

For support on your search, check out these frequently asked questions.

Can a request be submitted by non-residents of the state?

Yes. Whether you live in Boston, Worcester County, Denver, or New York City, both residents and non-residents can submit requests.

Is there a records custodian in Massachusetts?

Yes. Massachusetts law states that each agency must assign a supervisor of public records or a records access officer. 

What exemptions exist?

Massachusetts has several exemptions. You cannot obtain records that have been labeled confidential, such as personnel, medical files, or information that would be an invasion of personal privacy. 

Records between law enforcement officers and victims of abuse or rape shall not be public records and are kept within the police departments to protect confidentiality. The victims, attorneys, law officers, and victim-witness advocates can have access to these records. 

Massachusetts statues can prohibit you from receiving public records. These records are marked either “shall not be a public record” or “shall be kept confidential.”

How long does that state have to respond?

The state agency has 10 business days to respond to your request. The agency may add a 20 or 30-day extension to copy and redact information. 

Is there an appeal process in place?

Yes. If your request is denied, or the records cannot be provided within 10 days, the records custodian is required to inform you. At that time you have the right to appeal. The secretary of the commonwealth overseas, according to the code of Massachusetts regulations (CMR). The secretary can turn the case over to the attorney general, if necessary.

What fees are associated with requesting public records?

Massachusetts agencies will charge a search and segregation fee. This fee can be the time allocated for redacting information. This fee can be up to, but not exceed $25.00 an hour. The fee varies by the population of the municipality. If it exceeds $25.00 an hour it has to be approved by the agency’s supervisor. Also, $0.05 is charged for single or double-sided black and white copies. 

  • Updated November 2, 2020
  • States

Rhode Island Public Records

The Rhode Island Access to Public Records Act or APRA was written to inform and involve citizens in decisions that will affect them in the state and to add accountability to elected officials. The act provides the public access to public records. The APRA covers every public body and all branches of government except the judicial branch. The judicial branch only has to disclose administrative records.

What does the Rhode Island public records law say?

The APRA does have specific steps to follow when you request a record. You do not have to be a citizen, which is a plus for you if you live out of state. The ARPA states that you should have a response to your request in 10 business days. They can extend the time to 30 days. Any denial of records must come in writing. 

The state of Rhode Island does have a specific fee schedule they follow with $ 0.15 per photocopied page and $15.00 an hour in labor fees for searching, redacting, and photocopying your requested documents. You can appeal to the courts if your request is denied, but it is recommended to file a claim with the state’s Attorney General before you appeal. 

Rhode Island does have 25 exemptions and 16 statutory exemptions. A majority of the exemptions cover records that would lead to an invasion of privacy. Medical records and information will not be disclosed. Law enforcement investigations and procedures, tax returns, trade secrets, financial accounts, some real estate records, and school tests are all exempt. Adoptions and child custody records are not allowed to be disclosed. The communication records between government officials and their constituents are exempt. 

To learn more, visit RI.gov.

How can a person access public records in Rhode Island?

Some records are available online while others require a request form. If a request is necessary, it can be delivered by mail, email, or by phone to the record-holding department. 

Every department is different, so expect a public records search to vary, especially if you’re accessing records from multiple places. 

In general, a public records request should include: 

  • Your name and contact information, including an email, phone number, and mailing address
  • The name of the document you want access to with as much detail as possible
  • A specific time period that you’d like to receive the materials by
  • How to deliver the documents, whether by email or mail

Due to COVID-19, some public offices, especially those within the local government, may have limited business hours. As a result, online requests are best, but if you want to go in person you should call ahead.

Rhode Island criminal records

The majority of criminal records that are requested in Rhode Island are by employers who need a background check on a potential employee. Hiring an employee who will not tarnish your business name is good, and in some cases may keep your other employees safe. We have basic information and resources here so you can order criminal records on your potential employees. 

What’s on a criminal record?

A criminal record will provide you with information on a person’s encounters with the law. Records include arrests, convictions, and interactions of the person you are requesting. 

The criminal record you receive will provide you with this pertinent information: 

  • Personal information like a person’s name, birthday, nationality, etc.
  • A mugshot 
  • Fingerprints
  • A physical description including scars and tattoos 
  • The type of offense (misdemeanor or felony) 
  • Description of the crime

Where can a person find Rhode Island criminal records?

You can apply for a record in person at a local police depatment, but note that requests are limited due to the pandemic. You will need a check, money order, or credit card plus a valid identification card like a license. The cost is $5.00. 

A requester can order by mail, but you must have a notarized release form, a copy of a valid ID, a $5.00 check or money order, and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Mail the request to the Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General, 4 Howard Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920. It will take approximately seven days for a return. 

Rhode Island inmate records

Rhode Islands maintains seven prisons, two for females and five for male inmates. In 2019, there were 2665 inmates housed at these prisons.

What’s on an inmate record?

The information on each state’s inmate’s record can vary.  Rhode Island does provide you with personal information and several details about the person’s prison situation and case. These inmate records can provide the following:

  • The inmate’s ID number
  • A mug shot
  • Personal information such as name, birthdate and gender
  • Prison location
  • Jail transfer information
  • Parole information
  • Custody status

Where can a person find Rhode Island inmate records?

You can begin your search by entering the first and last name of the inmate. You can add an alias if known. The ID number of the inmate is another way to complete the search. Other factors you can add to narrow your search is the inmate’s minimum and maximum age, and the last known city of the inmate. 

Rhode Island court records

Rhode Island is made up of six courts, the Supreme, Superior, District, Family Court, Worker’s Compensation and Traffic Court. Each of the courts hold countless amounts of records especially if court cases take a long time to complete. Since there are so many courts, finding the records you require can be a cumbersome task. Here is some information on the courts in Rhode Island to make your search go smoothly. 

The Supreme Court proceeds over questions of law and equity and holds the supervisory position over all of the other state courts. 

The Superior Court handles felony cases, civil cases over $10,000, Probate Court appeals, and zoning cases. They proceed over trials on guns, drugs, sexual predators, and domestic violence. Appeals from District Courts are tried here. 

Family Courts focus on divorce, alimony, support, and custody of children. It hears cases on neglect, abuse, adoptions, paternity, and mentally challenged children. 

District Court has authority over criminal cases (felony and misdemeanor), civil cases not exceeding $5,000.00, tenant/landlord issues, and small claims cases.

What’s on a court record?

Court records are substantial and will contain various papers and forms. Here are some of the documents that you may find helpful: 

  • Case files
  • Dockets
  • Court minutes
  • Judgements
  • Jury records
  • Witness documentation

Where can a person find Rhode Island court records?

Accessing court records is easier in Rhode Island than it is in many states. The state has an online database that gives you access to numerous court cases. You can do a search by entering a business name, a party name, an attorney name, a case number, or a court. 

Rhode Island vital records

Vital records are certificates of major life events. Rhode Island provides you with birth records, marriage records, and death records through Vitalchek. Divorce records are available from the town clerk in the county where the divorce took place. You may not ever need a copy of one of these records, but some people need a birth certificate to enter school or get their passport. A copy of a death certificate may need to be provided for a life insurance policy. We have information for you to get copies of your vital records should the need arise. 

What information is needed to request a vital record?

To obtain your vital record in Rhode Island make sure you can provide the following information: 

  • The full name of the person or persons
  • The date of the event
  • The location of the event
  • A license number for a marriage certificate
  • A case file for divorce records
  • The place of death and date for a death certificate

Where can a person find Rhode Island vital records?

The Rhode Island Department of Health maintains vital records. 

You can request records if you are named on the certificate and over 18, a parent, grandparent or legal guardian. These records are not released to other people requesting them and will be denied. The cost for the certificate is $35.00. 

Frequently asked questions about Rhode Island records

We have composed a list of the most frequently asked questions about Rhode Island records here. 

Can a request be submitted by non-residents of the state?

You are not required to be a Rhode Island citizen to request information. In other words, you can be from Providence or Seattle, state residency doesn’t matter.

Is there a records custodian in Rhode Island?

The officials at the government agency are considered the custodians of the records. The Attorney General does have the right to intervene in record disputes.

What exemptions exist?

The Rhode Island judicial branch is exempt. The majority of the exemptions in Rhode Island are for records that would violate privacy laws. Trade secrets, health records including mental health, financial records, and tax returns are all exempt. School test results, law enforcement investigations and adoption documents are exempt.  

How long does that state have to respond?

Rhode Island has 10 days to respond to your record’s request. If they deny it within those 10 days it must be in writing. The state can extend this up to 30 days. If the request is denied, a written letter must state a specific reason for the denial and also share the procedures for filing for an appeal. 

Is there an appeals process in place?

There is an appeals process in Rhode Island. You have three years to file an appeal. It is in your best interest to file a claim with the Attorney General first. If you do win your case, Rhode Island is a state where you can win your attorney’s fees. 

What fees are associated with requesting public records?

The APRA has set fees for your request for documents. The charge is $.15 per page on the regular size or legal-size paper. Agencies can only charge fifteen dollars an hour for any work completed by an employee for records. They are required to give you an estimate of costs. 

  • Updated December 3, 2020
  • States

Washington, D.C. Public Records

Washington, D.C. Public Records

Washington, D.C. is the nation’s capital and home to the center of the country’s political system. From the White House to the halls of Congress, important decisions are made every day that affect all our lives. The types of work performed in the city involves the handling of sensitive and in some cases classified and confidential information necessary to keep our nation strong and protected.

Individuals seeking employment in Washington, D.C. generally must submit to rigorous background checks before receiving required clearances or authorizations to work with government agencies or those companies that support the work of the city. A background check will access those public records that provide information about a person’s criminal and civil background, as well as ensure that the person’s background is suitable for the type of employment opportunity in which they seek.

Washington, D.C. Public Records Laws

Any person has the right to request access to publicly available records of other persons. This right is provided under the District of Columbia Freedom of Information Act or FOIA, under sections 2-531-539 of the D.C. Code. A formal request may be submitted online through the DC government Public FOIA Portal. Requests may also be made via mail, fax or email however online requests are handled more quickly. Documents that may not be available through a FOIA request include documents related to law-enforcement activities, those documents subject to attorney-client and work-product privilege and other documents required to be withheld under law. A complete list of exempt documents can be found in section 2-534 of the D.C. Code.

Washington, D.C. Criminal Records, Arrest Records and Background Checks

A search for criminal records, including arrest records and background checks of a person may only be requested by the person upon whom the information is based, unless authorization is given by that person to a third-party (i.e. an employer). Known as police clearances, these requests are handled through the Metropolitan Police Department for the District of Columbia and must be requested in person. A person seeking a police clearance must complete the PD Form 70 (“Criminal History Request”) and pay $7. Requests typically take up to 24 hours to process and 10 days to complete.

Washington, D.C. Jail and Inmate Records

Information concerning the status of an individual who is currently incarcerated in the District of Columbia can be accessed by calling the D.C. Department of Corrections Department of Records Office at (202) 523-7060 or using the Victim Information & Notification Everyday (VINE) portal. You will need to register with VINE and must have the inmate’s offender ID number, last and first name in order to determine their location and current disposition. There is no public online database that D.C. offers on inmates other than what may be requested through the Department of Corrections or via VINE.

Washington, D.C. Court Records

The D.C. Court Cases online portal provides information on civil and criminal cases adjudicated in the District of Columbia. Information provided in the portal can be accessed on any person or company where a case has been filed, either in Small Claims Court, the Landlord & Tenant Branch, Civil, and Criminal Court.

Washington, D.C. Vital Records

Vital records for a person born in the District of Columbia are maintained by the Department of Health. These records include birth, death, domestic partnership registration, marriage and divorce records. Persons who are permitted access to vital records include those with a “direct and tangible interest” in such records as defined in section 7-220(1) of the D.C. Code. This includes the registrant (person) upon whom the record is based, immediate family member, guardian or legal representative. If a person requesting a vital record is not the registrant or immediate family member, a direct and tangible interest must be demonstrated in order to protect the person’s personal and property right.

Requests may be accommodated in person or by mail as well as by phone at (877) 572-6332. Requests for vital records may also be made online through VitalChek.com, a source for certified vital records. The Department maintains birth, death, marriage and divorce records dating back to August 1874 and records regarding domestic partnerships since 1992.

  • Updated September 11, 2018
  • States

New Mexico Public Records

Aspiring genealogists, potential employers and those settling estates may all have reasons to want to hunt down public records in New Mexico. But even with the best of intentions, you may not always have an easy time tracking down the vital record, inmate results or court documents you need. Sometimes, the public record is just hard to find. After all, they may be handled by a variety of different departments. In other cases, the record isn’t available to the public due to exemptions.

In New Mexico, you’ll have the law on your side. That’s because the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) and the Open Meetings Act (OMA) give the public the right to inspect public records, which includes almost all public records in state and local government. There are only 12 exemptions to public access and they’re pretty in line with other states’ Freedom of Information Act laws.

To help you get started as you attempt to track down public records in the Land of Enchantment, we’ve put together a simple guide.

What does the New Mexico public records law say?

Under the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act, anyone—even non-citizens—can gain access to public records. In most cases you can’t be asked why you are seeking the record. Although there is no administrative appeals process, it is possible to file a suit against the agency if your request was illegally denied. You can be awarded attorney fees and up to $100 per day in damages.

To learn more about the law, visit NewMexico.gov.

How can a person access public records in New Mexico?

According to the New Mexico IPRA Compliance Guide, anyone seeking a public record can submit an oral or written request to the custodian of the relevant agency. A written request includes submissions by mail, email or fax.

In order to obtain the public record in a timely manner, be sure to include the following information in your request:

  • Your name, address and phone number
  • A clear description of the records you’re seeking (not necessarily the exact record needed though)
  • Acknowledgement to pay any applicable fees for copying and transmitting the records, including any requirement to pay the fees in advance.
  • A sentence requesting who you should contact instead if the original agency does not maintain the particular public record.

Keep in mind that some state offices have limited hours due to COVID-19. If you plan any of the government agencies in person, it’s a good idea to call ahead. In addition, many offices are asking that you wear a mask to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

New Mexico Criminal Records

Criminal records in New Mexico are compiled from a wealth of information supplied by local, county and state-operated institutions, including correctional facilities, law enforcement offices, and trial and appeal courts. Most of the criminal records in New Mexico are kept in an online record depository. The Department of Public Safety maintains these records, which can be obtained through a criminal background report.

What’s on a criminal record?

A criminal record, colloquially known as a “rap sheet,” is a collection of that person’s criminal activity within the state jurisdiction. This official collection of documents provides a compilation of arrests, criminal offenses, indictments, convictions and, in some cases, incarceration details.

  • The full name of the subject, as well as any known aliases
  • Personal information (e.g., birth year, race/ethnicity and sex)
  • A photo and details on unique physical descriptors (e.g., moles, scars, tattoos)
  • Previous and current indictments
  • Arrest records, including outstanding warrants
  • Conviction information

Where can a person find New Mexico criminal records?

The New Mexico Department of Public Safety maintains criminal records. To obtain a record, you must submit a signed and notarized authorization form along with a $15 check to the Department of Public Safety. You can find the necessary forms by clicking the link above. 

Requested records will be mailed to you within 7-14 days. 

You can also do a quick search of criminal records through the New Mexico Court Case Lookup tool too. There’s plenty of detailed information on arrests, crimes, pleas, verdicts, and more.

There’s also a searchable Sex Offender Registry hosted by the New Mexico Department of Public Safety. Anyone can use the service to check by name, city, area/neighborhood, non-compliant offenders, internet names, email address or phone numbers.

New Mexico inmate records

The New Mexico Corrections Department has eight divisions, including the Adult Prisons Division (APD), which houses over 6,800 inmates in 11 prison facilities throughout the state, and the Probation and Parole Division (PPD), which supervises approximately 18,500 offenders.

What’s on an inmate record?

Public records are available on most New Mexico inmates who are currently incarcerated, on probation and/or parole. The following information will show up in search results:

  • Name and aliases
  • Height and weight
  • Hair color, eye color and complexion
  • Education
  • NMCD #
  • Offender #
  • Facility/Region
  • Current offenses and court judgment
  • Past offenses and release date
  • Offender or supervision status

Where can a person find New Mexico inmate records?

The New Mexico Corrections Department (NMCD) hosts an offender search online to the general public with information about inmates and those on probation and/or parole supervision.

To search for an inmate in the state of New Mexico, you must know the offender’s first and/or last name or NMCD Number to start the search. The NMCD doesn’t have jurisdiction over the county’s or city’s detention facilities.

New Mexico court records

Although there are some exceptions, most court records in New Mexico are available to the public. Online access is free and available for Appellate Court, Magistrate Court, Metropolitan Court and New Mexico District Court records.

What’s on a court record?

Court records show the following information:

  • Case number
  • Party name and type (e.g., plaintiff, defendant respondent)
  • Case title
  • Filing date
  • Attorney
  • Hearing date, time, type and judge
  • Register of actions activity
  • Judge assignment history

Where can a person find New Mexico court records?

The New Mexico courts provide a searchable database of court records called Case Lookup which allows anyone to search for a wide variety of information, including charges, judgments, parties and docket entries.  

The search tool can provide court documents from the following courts: New Mexico Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, District Court, Magistrate Court and Municipal Court. Municipal court data is limited to criminal Domestic Violence and DWI convictions.

To narrow down your search, enter either the case number or, if you don’t have it, specific criteria for a record, such as the person’s name, driver’s license, date of birth or social security number. The more information you input, the more targeted your results. You can also limit your search to the case’s category, court type or particular location, as well as the date the case was filed.

New Mexico vital records

In New Mexico, vital records—such as birth and death certificates and marriage and divorce records—can be ordered online, by phone, in writing or in person. Not all records are open to public request and you’ll be expected to provide proof of identity (and possibly your relationship with the person of record) in order to prevent fraud, preserve the integrity of the record and protect identities. Search record applications for birth and death certificates are available in English and Spanish.

What information is needed to request a vital record?

Some records, such as birth and death certificates, are restricted access in New Mexico. This means that state law restricts access to the registrant’s immediate family members or those who represent tangible proof of legal interest in the requested record. You can find a list of acceptable documents for obtaining a birth or death certificate on the New Mexico Department of Health’s website. VitalChek uses an identity verification document.

Where can a person find New Mexico vital records?

The New Mexico Department of Health uses VitalChek, an authorized expediting service, to fulfill online and phone orders for vital records. Customers can order birth records and death records through the website or by calling 877-284-0963. It’s also possible to order birth from a local public health office in person, but it’s recommended that you call first due to limited days and hours. Death certificates must be ordered through the Santa Fe office.

To order marriage licenses, you’ll need to contact the county clerk of the county where the marriage license was issued. Divorce decrees are available from the district court where the court order was filed.

Frequently asked questions about New Mexico records

Of all the states where you might seek public records, New Mexico provides some of the best access to anyone. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions from those seeking public records in the state:

Can a request be submitted by non-residents of the state?

Yes. There is no requirement of citizenship to place a public records request.

Is there a records custodian in New Mexico?

Organizations must assign someone to serve as the records custodian.

What exemptions exist?

There are some exemptions to the New Mexico IPRA. You can find them in the New Mexico IPRA Compliance Guide.

How long does that state have to respond?

Generally, records custodians are required to give an estimated time of completion if they think the request will surpass 15 business days.

Is there an appeals process?

No, but you can submit a complaint to the New Mexico Attorney General via an Electronic Complaint Submission (ECS) application.

What fees are associated with requesting public records?

There aren’t any search fees for a public records search in New Mexico, but agencies may charge fees for the actual cost of copying records.

  • Updated November 16, 2020
  • States

Iowa Public Records

Searching for public records isn’t always easy. While the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gives every United State citizen access to public documents, each state usually has its own rules and the state of Iowa has its own unique laws and regulations. 

To request public records, you need to know the ins and outs of the state government and each of its departments. 

In order for people to understand what records they can access,  we have compiled this state-specific guide that breaks down the law in Iowa, with information on how to access criminal, inmate, court, and other vital records. 

What does the Iowa public records law say?

The Iowa Open Records Law consists of a series of laws that are designed to guarantee that the general public has access to public records of government bodies at all levels. This law includes all records of government agencies except confidential records. 

The state has created the Iowa Public Information Board to enforce the public records law. This group, which is made up of media representatives and government officials, can issue rulings and suggest that a person be removed from a position for not following the law. 

Iowa’s public records law gives state officials 20 day to respond to a request. If a request is denied, there is an appeals process. A complaint can be filed with the Iowa Public Information Board or with a district court. 

Each state agency within Iowa must allow inspection and provide copies of public records upon request. There are no limitations on who can request records, whether in or out of state, and the agencies include all public offices, elected and appointed officers and officials, staff members, boards, institutions, bureaus, departments, authorities, and other units of government, including county, city, and town governments. 

If denied a request, a person can request a rehearing by an agency or can appeal to the Iowa Public Information Board. 

If information contains confidential data, an agency may either redact those parts or separate them. If the entire file is classified as confidential, an agency is not required to produce the requested record. 

To learn more, visit Iowa.gov.

How can a person access public records in Iowa?

Public records access in Iowa varies. In some cases, a person must submit a public records request. In other cases, the documents are available online to anyone at any time. 

If a request is required, it can be sent via mail, email, or by phone to the record-holding department. 

Every department is different, so expect some variation to the rules if you’re accessing records from multiple places. 

In general, a public records request should include: 

  • Your name and contact information, including an email, phone number, and mailing address
  • The name of the document you want access to with as much detail as possible
  • A specific time period that you’d like to receive the materials by
  • How to deliver the documents, whether by email or mail

Due to COVID-19, some public offices may have limited hours of operation. As a result, online requests are best, but if you want to go in person you should call ahead. 

Iowa criminal records

In Iowa, criminal records are most commonly requested by employers who want to run a background check on a potential employee. 

What’s on a criminal record?

A criminal record provides a detailed report of a person’s interactions with law enforcement. These records are culled from various sources and include arrest records, convictions, and incarcerations within the state’s nine prisons. 

More specifically, a criminal record or a background check will provide the following information: 

Arrest records typically feature details of the alleged crime as well as:

  • Personal data of the subject: first and last name, birth date, fingerprint, race, etc.)
  • Date and place of the arrest
  • Name of the arresting officer
  • Address of the detention center or jail
  • Case status 
  • Name of the issuer of the arrest warrant

Where can a person find Iowa criminal records?

The Iowa Department of Public Safety provides criminal records for the state. Through its Division of Criminal Investigation, the Iowa DPS makes records available to the public in the form of a criminal background report.

Iowa is currently developing an online database for background checks, but it’s not ready yet. In the meantime, you can request a record by mail, fax, or in-person. You can download a Criminal History Request Form and a Criminal History Billing Form and send them both to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation in Des Moines. The record will be mailed to you. 

Requests made in person won’t be returned the same day either. They are processed and mailed.

Iowa inmate records

The state of Iowa has about 18,000 inmates within its corrections system. Inmate records can provide information on current inmates that are behind bars. Iowa inmate records are maintained and distributed by corrections staff responsible for the management of each facility. 

What’s on an inmate record?

The information listed on inmate records vary a bit from state to state; in Iowa the records usually contain a combination of personal information and specific details about a person’s incarceration. Public access to inmate records can provide the following information when accessed: 

  • Personal information like a person’s name, birthdate, and gender
  • A mug shot
  • Inmate location
  • Inmate registration number
  • Jail transfer information
  • Custody status

Where can a person find Iowa inmate records?

The Iowa Department of Public Safety has a website that contains information and links to help gather information on an inmate. 

Iowa parole records are also available through the Iowa Board of Parole website. Through the site, the public can use an offender search to obtain information on paroled inmates. All offenders are searchable either by name or designated offender number. 

Iowa court records

Court records provide full documentation of allegations, sworn affidavits, and proceedings taken under oath. 

What’s on a court record?

In the majority of cases, court records are quite large and come with several varying documents. Most people find these documents the most helpful: 

  • Court minutes
  • Case files
  • Dockets
  • Orders of the court
  • Judgement documentation
  • Jury records and files
  • Witness documentation

Where can a person find Iowa court records?

In Iowa, court records must be requested by the clerk of court. If the request is fairly simple, the request can be placed over the phone. If the request is complicated, the clerk will likely ask for a written request. 

The request should be directed to the correct department. For district court cases, speak with the clerk in the county where the case was heard. For cases heard in appellate courts, speak with the Clerk of Iowa Supreme Court. 

For administrative records, speak with the State Court Administrator. 

The records custodian in the state office will provide requesters with estimated fees prior to the requested records being produced or copied. Fees incurred during the response to a request may be required prior to receipt of requested records. Paper copies of records are based on a per page charge, with postage fees based on actual mailing costs. 

Iowa vital records

Iowa, like most states, has an office that maintains all of its birth records, marriage records, and death certificates. 

What information is needed to request a vital record?

To obtain a vital record in Iowa, a person must provide certain information to aid in the search. The information needed includes: 

  • The location of the event
  • The approximate date of the event
  • The full name of the person, including maiden names 
  • A case file number for divorce records
  • The license number for a marriage record

Where can a person find Iowa vital records?

The Iowa Department of Public Health provides vital records for birth, death, and marriage certificates by telephone, in-person, or through the postal service. In-person requests can be paid in cash, with checks and money orders made out to the Iowa Department of Public Health. 

While many states have an online system that can help residents obtain certified copies of birth certificates and death certificates, Iowa does not. All requests must go through county recorders offices. 

Frequently asked questions about Iowa records

To further assist Iowa citizens in their pursuit for public records, here’s a list of commonly asked questions: 

Can a request be submitted by non-residents of the state?

Yes.

Is there a records custodian in Iowa?

In Iowa, the records custodian is the government office that initially generated the requested records. A government body must determine who the designated lawful custodian will be and post that information to the public. 

What exemptions exist? 

No government agency is exempt from the law, but there are more than 50 exemptions in the Iowa Public Records Law. Exemptions include medical reports pertaining personal information, student financial records, trade secrets, prison riot procedural processes, certain financial information, and prospective real estate transactions or appraisals. 

The majority of exemptions are to prevent disclosure of confidential information or agencies that need information to remain private in order to execute their jobs efficiently. Police investigative reports and Iowa government personnel records are also restricted in Iowa. 

How long does that state have to respond?

The language is rather vague in the state of Iowa, but it is loosely defined as not exceeding 20 calendar days and normally should not exceed 10 business days. There is no set expiration date by which a request is considered denied. 

Is there an appeals process in place?

You have 30 days after a denial is issued to file for an appeal in District Court. Requesters have 60 days to file a complaint through the Iowa Public Information Board

What fees are associated with requesting public records?

Iowa fee practices are also vague, with reproduction fees charged at a ‘reasonable’ amount, with each agency applying their own procedures and fees. 

  • Updated November 9, 2020
  • States

Wyoming Public Records

Seeking public records in Wyoming is a challenge. This state is notorious for not providing citizens with requested information. In fact, they received the lowest ranking in the country from the Center for Public Integrity in 2015. However, the state government receives few requests given its sparse population.

Wyoming has a host of things going against requesters including no formal response time, no enforcement, and no appeals process. This is why we are providing a state-by-state guide to help those seeking information find out what they need to do and where they need to go. Below is information about the State of Wyoming.

What does the Wyoming public records law say?

Wyoming has virtually no real teeth in its open records laws as there is no time limit to respond to requests, no way to enforce that requests be approved, and no way to appeal denials administratively.

However, those who don’t live in the state can request public documents and information and the open records law does apply to every government agency and all three government branches, the executive, the legislative and the judicial branches. There is no list of exemptions and non designated records custodian.

To learn more about conducting a public records search, visit Wyoming.gov.

How can a person access public records in Wyoming?

Some records are available online while others require a formal request. If a request is necessary, it can be delivered by mail, email, or by phone to the record-holding department.

Every department is different, so expect some variation to the rules if you’re accessing records from multiple places. This can be done by email, mail or by phone depending on the department where the request is submitted. In general, a public records request should include: 

  • Your name and contact information, including an email, phone number, and mailing address
  • The name of the document you want access to with as much detail as possible
  • A specific time period that you’d like to receive the materials by
  • How to deliver the documents, whether by email or mail

Due to COVID-19, some public offices may have limited hours of operation. As a result, online requests are best, but if you want to go in person you should call ahead.

Wyoming criminal records

Criminal records are useful when people need to do certain things like get a job, a security clearance or certain licenses or certifications. They are also used by families when hiring independent works like maids, caretakers and babysitters. Accurate criminal records are also to voter registration as inaccurate reporting can deny citizens the right to vote.

Criminal history in Wyoming is maintained forever unless it is expunged. This includes cases where charges are dismissed or where there was no prosecution. The offender must file for an expungement to ask the court to remove it from the record. Filing for expungement does not automatically mean it will be granted. A judge will rule on the matter.

What’s on a criminal record?

Criminal records contain information regarding a person’s contact with law enforcement and the courts. This can be arrests, charges or how a case was decided. Details are pulled from local police departments, local criminal courts and the state prison system. While every state can have different things on a criminal record, there are typically five things on a person’s criminal record:

  • Name, birthday and nationality
  • Mugshot
  • Fingerprints
  • Distinguishing features such as tattoos
  • A list of all offenses, both misdemeanors and felonies, with details of crimes.

Where can a person find Wyoming criminal records?

In Wyoming, those seeking criminal background checks need to go to the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation within the office of the Attorney General. This is the designated place as the central repository for criminal history record information. There is no guarantee the division will give you the records you are looking for.

Wyoming inmate records

Employers or others want to know an inmate’s status or history while incarcerated. This can be of particular importance to crime victims as they may want to object to possible parole or release. Inmate information can include a lot of information about the incarceration, release date as well as the crime. Inmate records can also be useful when proving to employers that offenders have served their time or had good conduct while incarcerated.

What’s on an inmate record?

Wyoming is similar to other states in what it has on an inmate record. Once a requester gets an inmate record, they will have the information such as basic personal information like the name, a birthdate and the gender, a mug shot and inmate location, an inmate registration number and jail transfer information, along with custody status

Where can a person find Wyoming inmate records?

The State of Wyoming has an offender locator page online at the Wyoming Department of Corrections website. To do a search, you would either need to know the WDOC inmate number or the first two letters of the offender’s last name. There are other search options, such as age and gender, that can be used to narrow results. There is no fee for the online search.

Wyoming court records

Court records are sometimes sought because of all the information they contain about a case. This can be used in a variety of ways but typically are used in related court cases. For instance, a criminal court case could be used in a divorce or custody dispute or to ask for stiffer penalties in another separate but related crime.

There could be other reasons for requesting court files including researching possible business partners or proceeding with adoption requests.

What’s on a court record?

Court records include all aspects of a specific court case beginning with the initial arrest or civil court filing. They can also include things like court transcripts, depositions, dockets, case files, court minutes, court orders, jury records, sentencing or judgement information and witness documentation. These are huge files and could cost some to have copies made.

Where can a person find Wyoming court records?

Wyoming doesn’t have an online tool to search for all cases although it does allow for appellent case searches at the Clerk’s Office of the Wyoming Supreme Court.  Someone requesting information about court records should start at the Wyoming Judicial Branch where it has all the courts listed on one page along with a link to forms and help organizations to weave your way through the state’s judicial system. It could mean that you may need to physically go to the local court or contact the local clerk of court or county clerk by phone, email or mail to obtain the court documents you are seeking. 

Records of all court cases are kept at the local levels of courts wherever the case is heard. It is helpful if you have a docket number or the names of both parties when you are attempting to find a court case file. It may also be helpful to know the date and year it was filed.

There could be fees associated with copying, although those listed on the state website tend to offer free services.

Wyoming vital records

Vital records are probably the most important records to obtain for most people as they are proof of both life’s moments as well as identity and are often used in legal cases such as probate court and settling an estate.

These include birth certificates and death certificates, marriage licenses, divorce papers, and adoption records. Many of these records are required for things like attending school, playing sports, getting a driver’s license, housing agreements, getting married and adoption.

What information is needed to request a vital record?

States have established new protocols for obtaining vital records, like birth records, to address privacy concerns. Anyone requesting a vital record or certified copies of a vital record must submit:

  • The approximate date and place of the event
  • The full name of the person, including maiden names and 
  • A case file number for divorce record or a license number for marriage records.

Where can a person find Wyoming vital records?

In Wyoming, records can be obtained by those who establish their interest in the records. Most vital records can be obtained through the Wyoming Department of Health. The DOH has an online service for most vital records requests. However, death records that are more than 50 years old must be obtained from the Wyoming State Archives.

Frequently asked questions about Wyoming records

For those looking for more information, here are frequently asked questions about Wyoming public records:

Can a request be submitted by non-residents of the state?

Yes. Whether you live in Cheyenne, Laramie, Casper, or Manhattan, you can submit a request for public documents.

Is there a records custodian in Wyoming?

No, there are no records custodians for all of the state’s records. However, the state does have a custodian for criminal records, which is the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation. Because there is no public records custodian, appealing a denial is impossible without going to court.

What exemptions exist?

There are no exemptions listed. In fact, the Wyoming open records law doesn’t even address exemptions at all. 

Are property records considered public records?

Yes. Real estate records are available through the county assessor’s office.

How long does that state have to respond?

There isn’t a specific time frame to fulfill a request for public records.

Is there an appeals process in place?

There is no appeals process so requestors would need to take agencies who deny them to court. However, attorney fees for taking a public entity to court over public records access are recoverable.

What fees are associated with requesting public records?

By law, fees for the real cost of materials to fulfill the request may be charged, but not labor. There could be additional fees from the Department of Motor Vehicles for data requested for commercial purposes.

  • Updated December 3, 2020
  • States
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