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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

Connecticut Public Records

Records have been kept on various events and people for decades. However, those records weren’t always public. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which dates back to 1967, was the first time that the public was able to access records that were once kept private.

Since then, each state has created its own FOIA. Each state has different rules, so it’s important to have some knowledge of the state’s law before requesting any documents. 

Any citizen, even if they don’t live in a Connecticut city like Hartford or Bridgeport, can access public records in this state.

Overall, Connecticut’s law is fairly straightforward with basic exemptions. All state agencies and any public agency is subject to the law. The state also has a quick response time when a request is submitted and an appeals process if a request is denied. 

To learn more about Connecticut’s public records law, here’s some helpful information and resources to access criminal records, inmate records, court records, and vital records. 

What does the Connecticut public records law say?

The Connecticut public records law says all government agencies are subject to the law, with exemptions only for the judicial branch when it comes to judge’s records and dockets. Additional exemptions focus on records that could reveal personal information or records that contain safety measures, like those taken inside a jail. 

The public records must be released to any requestor within four days. The request must either be fulfilled, denied, or extended.

If a request for state records is denied, there is an appeal process. The state does have strong enforcement of the law, stating that any records keeper that denies a reasonable request can be fined or even serve jail time.  

How can a person access public records in Connecticut?

For public records access in Connecticut, a person must submit a public records request. The request is sent via mail, 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 period that you’d like to receive the materials by
  • How to deliver the documents, whether by email or mail

COVID-19 has changed a lot of office hours. If you want to request a file in-person, it’s a good idea to call ahead to ask what hours the office is open. Some offices aren’t taking in-person requests and are asking the public to make all requests digitally. 

Connecticut criminal records

The state of Connecticut keeps records, or rap sheets as they’re sometimes called, on any one who has a run in with law enforcement. Criminal records are usually requested by employers who are looking to vet a new candidate. For a fee, the employer can run a background check, which looks into a person’s criminal past, if there is one. 

What’s on a criminal record?

A criminal record will provide a list of misdemeanors and felonies and will also contain the following information: 

  • First middle and last name of the offender
  • Offense(s) committed and law violated
  • Physical descriptions such as race, height, eye color, hair color, and so on
  • Date of birth
  • Pending charges
  • Acquitted or dismissed charges

Where can a person find Connecticut criminal records?

The Connecticut State Police Bureau of Identification holds all criminal records. Unlike other states that have an online searchable database, in Connecticut, the records must be requested by filling out a form and mailing it in. 

You can use this request form and mail it to the State Bureau of Identification in Middleton. There is a fee to request these records. If you want a complete record, a person must go to a state office and be fingerprinted. Accessing this kind of record is the most expensive, $75. 

Connecticut inmate records

Every state keeps records on those incarcerated. In Connecticut, there are records on its 13,000 inmates that are scattered in jails and prisons across the state. 

What’s on an inmate record?

Inmate records can be accessed for various reasons. Family members may be looking for an incarcerated family member or a victim may want to remain informed about an attacker. 

An inmate record in the state of Connecticut usually offers a person’s criminal history and the following information: 

  • An inmate’s full name and aliases 
  • Race
  • Gender 
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality/ethnicity as well as unique identifiers and associations  
  • Inmate’s criminal data, such as the primary charges, arrest/booking details, current sentence, bail/bond conditions 
  • Prospective court or release dates 

Where can a person find Connecticut inmate records?

The Connecticut State Department of Corrections maintains records on inmates. The records are searchable online and can be accessed at any time, without any formal request. The database can be searched by entering a person’s first name, last name, and date of birth.

Connecticut court records

People looking to access public court records can access information online. The state does offer an online database to search for records, although some may not contain the full records that you’re looking for. If information is missing, you’ll need to reach out to the state with a request form. 

What’s on a court record?

The information on a court record can vary, but in Connecticut most people are looking for these specific documents:

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

Where can a person find Connecticut court records?

By visiting the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch and clicking on the “Public” tab on the website, you can gain access to several useful resources. The resources include access to arrest warrants, child support, court rules and standing orders, court support services, decisions and opinions, court service centers, and Connecticut state library – all of which can help you access the court documents.

Also on this site, you’ll notice on the left-hand side, “Case Lookup.” This gives you the ability to do a public records search for supreme court cases, appellate court cases, civil cases, family cases, probate court cases, housing cases, criminal cases, motor vehicle cases, and small claims cases.  

If you can’t find the information that you’re looking for, you can fill out a request form for any superior court records and email it to the state judicial branch. 

Connecticut vital records

A birth certificate, death certificate, marriage certificate, and divorce certificate are all considered vital records. Vital records are kept by each state to mark the life events of its residents.  

What information is needed to request a vital record?

Vital records aren’t necessarily public. They’re only given to people listed on the record, family members of the person listed on the record, or to a lawyer that’s representing the person on the record. If you meet this criteria, you still need to provide information to state officials to get access. You’ll need to provide the following to obtain a certified copy of any vital record: 

  • Full names before first marriage of both spouses
  • Date of marriage
  • County where marriage license was issued
  • Your name
  • Your signature
  • Address where the certificate is to be mailed
  • Your daytime phone number

Where can a person find Connecticut vital records?

If you want to access a vital record like birth records or divorce records, you need to visit the Connecticut Department of Public Health. This state agency provides an online database to search for and request certified copies of vital records.

Each town also has a vital records office, which can process a request for records as well. However, any request for a certified copy must happen online.  

Frequently asked questions about Connecticut records

As you work to request public records, you may have more questions. This FAQ section could help:

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

Yes. Any United States citizen can request Connecticut public records.

Is there a records custodian in Connecticut?

Yes, an ombudsman from the Freedom of Information Commission (FOIC) can act as a liaison on an appeal and mediate between you and the agency.

What exemptions exist?

Connecticut lists 25 specific exemptions. In other words, there are 25 reasons for a record to remain sealed and not open to the public. Records that contain personal or medical information, public security, trade secrets, real estate appraisals, financial statements of agency employees, training manuals used by the Department of Corrections, and some law enforcement records may be exempt.

How long does that state have to respond?

The state has four days to respond to a request. They can fulfill it, deny it, or ask for an extension of time. 

Are property records public?

Yes. The Connecticut Town Clerk has a website that offers public land records.To view the records, you need to set up an account on RECORDhub and search for the address that you’re looking for. 

Is there an appeals process in place?

Yes. The records requester has 30 days to appeal a denial of records. The FOIC can hear the appeal. If it’s denied by the FOIC, the case can be taken to the Connecticut Superior Court. 

What fees are associated with requesting public records?

There are fees for copying records, which range between 25-50 cents per page. No other fees are authorized except charges at actual cost to the agency for transcription and electronic records.

  • Updated October 19, 2020
  • States

Kansas Public Records

Searching for public records isn’t always a simple task. In some cases, the records aren’t available to the public. In others, they’re kept by different departments and require some significant digging.  

But if you’re looking for public records in Kansas, the Kansas Open Records Act guarantees that you’ll have access to public records of government bodies at all levels in the state.

In order to help you find specific records on file in Kansas, we’ve created this state-specific guide. You’ll learn where to find the court, criminal, inmate, and vital records. 

What does the Kansas public records law say?

Although anyone can request public documents in Kansas without explaining why you want them, staff in departments are allowed to decline your request if it places an “unreasonable burden” on their department. They can also reject your request for a public record if it feels it’s “designed to disrupt the follow of the workings of the government.”

To learn more about the public records law, visit the state website at Kansas.gov.

How can a person access public records in Kansas?

For public records access in Kansas, a person must submit a public records request. The request can be sent via mail, email, mail, or by phone to the record-holding department. 

Every department is different, so expect some variation to the rules if you’re access 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, public access to government offices may be limited in hours of operation. As a result, online requests are best, but if you want to go in person you should call ahead.

Kansas criminal records

Many of the criminal records checks requested in Kansas are done by employers seeking a background check on potential employees. If you’re an employer researching a prospective employee’s (potential) criminal history, use this guide to gather information about the process. Kansas-specific resources are also included.

What’s on a criminal record?

You may hear an abstract of criminal history, more commonly referred to as a “rap sheet,” is a document summarizing someone’s interactions with law enforcement. This data is gathered from police departments, sheriff’s offices, prosecutors, and courts throughout the state. The Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) operates 12 adult correctional facilities: 8 adult sites, 3 satellite sites, and 1 juvenile correctional facility. 

A typical rap sheet in Kansas is divided into four sections:

  • The introduction
  • Identification of the subject
  • Criminal justice cycles
  • Confinement cycles

Where can a person find Kansas criminal records?

Background checks in Kansas are administered by the Kansas Bureau of Identification. Record checks are fee-based, but both the fee and the information released will vary depending on Kansas statutes and regulations.

The Kansas Central Repository allows you to search criminal records by name or fingerprint. To submit a fingerprint, you must use the Kansas Bureau of Investigation’s blank fingerprint card, which you can learn about and request here.

You can obtain the following types of conviction criminal history information on adults:

  • Court convictions for felonies or misdemeanors in Kansas
  • Court convictions for violations of municipal ordinances or county resolutions in Kansas
  • Confinements in Kansas Department of Corrections facilities
  • Arrest Records from the past 12 months
  • Active diversions (not yet successfully completed)

Kansas inmate records

Kansas state prisons have approximately 10,000 inmates. According to Prison Policy Initiatives, this is near the national average for prisoners per 100,000 people. 

What’s on an inmate record?

You can obtain information on any Kansas inmate who is currently incarcerated, under post-incarceration supervision, or who has been discharged from a sentence. You can’t, however, use the state’s database to get information on inmates sent to Kansas under the provisions of the interstate compact agreement. Public information on inmates includes:

  • Name, physical description, and photo
  • Kansas Department of Corrections Registration Number
  • Conviction description
  • Anticipated release date
  • Housing location
  • Custody or supervision level
  • Institutional disciplinary record

Where can a person find Kansas inmate records?

Kansas has a criminal justice information database called the Kansas Adult Supervised Population Electronic Repository (KASPER). 

The searchable site will require you to enter one or more pieces of information into the search fields like a name or KDOC number. You can also use the advanced search option, which lets you filter by additional information, such as race, age, gender, facility, and more. 

Kansas court records

Barring any exemptions from disclosure, anyone can obtain court records in the state of Kansas. The Kansas Judicial Branch has been gradually transitioning to a new centralized case management system, which is expected to be complete by early 2022. In the meantime, you can still find and request many court records online through their individual district website.

What’s on a court record?

The most commonly requested court records in Kansas include: 

  • Court case files and transcripts
  • Final judgments from civil and criminal cases
  • Court budgets
  • Certified oaths of office

Where can a person find Kansas court records?

Until the entire Kansas court system is added into the centralized case management system, your best bet for finding court records in the state is to review the Kansas Courts website. There you’ll find links to search for court records and request documents. There’s also a search box to help you find district court records by county or district.

Before you get started, it will help to have a general understanding of how the court system works in the state.

  • Supreme Court: As the highest judicial authority in the state, the Kansas Supreme Court hears direct appeals from district courts (in serious criminal cases), cases first heard by the Court of Appeals, and cases in which a statute has been declared unconstitutional.
  • Court of Appeals: With the exception of those cases appealed to the Supreme Court, this appellate court hears appeals on civil and criminal cases from Kansas district courts. The Court of Appeals also hears appeals of decisions from Kansas administrative agencies.
  • District Courts: These trial courts hear civil and criminal cases from their jurisdiction.
  • Municipal Courts: These city courts deal with city ordinance violations.

To search for cases by the judicial district, you’ll be directed to the Kansas Office of Judicial Administration. You can search by record number or name. Your results will only contain case information, not a full record of the filing. To obtain additional information on a case, you’ll need to contact the County Clerk where the case is filed.

To search for cases brought before the Kansas Supreme Court and the Kansas Court of Appeals, you’ll need to use the Kansas Appellate Courts’s Case Inquiry System. You can search by name, appellate case number or the county where the case originated.

Kansas vital records

Kansas has an office dedicated to vital records. These include more than 10 million vital records, including births, marriages, divorces, and deaths. These records are requested for a variety of needs: passports, school enrollment, transferring property, and collecting life insurance benefits, among others.

What information is needed to request a vital record?

You’ll need varying degrees of information to obtain a vital record in Kansas. Depending on the vital record you’re requesting, be prepared with the following:

  • The city of the event
  • The date of the event
  • The full name of the person, including maiden names 
  • The reason for requesting the certificate

Where can a person find Kansas vital records?

The Kansas Office of Vital Statistics uses VitalChek to fulfill orders for birth and death certificates, and marriage and divorce records. Once your order is complete, it is sent to the government agency the next business day for processing.

It’s important to note that vital records in Kansas are not public records. This means that certified copies of a vital record can only be sent to the person named on the record, their immediate family members or a legal representative. Additionally, you can prove that you have a direct interest in obtaining the record. For example, if you jointly own property with the person of record or are named as a beneficiary in their will.

Although the Kansas Vital Statistics Office is closed to walk-in customers, the lobby allows for Will Call pick-ups.  

Frequently asked questions about Kansas records

Still have questions about obtaining public records in Kansas? Review this list of frequently asked questions: 

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

Many Kansas records are considered public, meaning that residents of any state may request them, some records are limited in terms of who is eligible to request them. You may need to get legal representation, provide proof of your relationship to the person of record, or explain why you are justified in seeking the information.

Is there a records custodian in Kansas?

No. An agent must designate a local Freedom of Information Act officer to resolve the dispute.

What exemptions exist?

There are 55 exemptions to the Kansas Open Records Act. Many of the exemptions deal with personal information, like medical records or adoption records. Records that pertain to security protocols, criminal investigations, and trade secrets are also exempt from the public records law. 

How long does that state have to respond?

Kansas law says the state has three days to respond to a request. 

Is there an appeal process?

If you feel your records request was unfairly denied, you can appeal to the Kansas Court of Appeals or the corresponding District Court.

What fees are associated with requesting public records?

Public agencies typically charge “reasonable” fees to provide access to or copies of public records. The fees vary depending on the factors involved in researching and providing that specific record.

  • Updated October 13, 2020
  • States

Delaware Public Records

If you’ve ever tried to run a public records search for any records, you’ve probably noticed that the process isn’t exactly streamlined. Records are kept by different departments, some aren’t approved for the public, and some are just plain hard to find.

However, the Delaware Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) does give state residents the right to access records.

To help people understand what records they do have access to as a United States citizen and how to find specific records, we’ve created this state-specific guide. We’ll help people understand the state law and provide direction to access criminal, inmate, court, and vital records. 

What does the Delaware public records law say?

The public records law in the state of Delaware gives residents access to public documents. The requests are to be met within 15 days. However, if a request is denied, there is no appeals process. In other words, if a request for records is turned down, the law doesn’t offer any way to fight the decision. 

There are certain exemptions specified in the law. As with other states, records pertaining to public safety and security are exempt from public viewing. Any records created by the General Assembly, or the legislature of the state, can’t be accessed publicly either. 

How can a person access public records in Delaware?

For public records access in Delaware, a person must submit a public records request. The request can be sent via mail, 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 period that you’d like to receive the materials by. In Delaware, requests are answered within 15 days, as specified by the state public records law. 
  • 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. Some states are now encouraging people to use online portals to minimize in-person interactions. The availability of online options depends on what kind of record is being requested. 

Delaware criminal records

In Delaware, criminal records are most commonly accessed by employers who want to run a background check on a potential employee. To help employees find a person’s criminal records, we’ve provided some information and resources below.

What’s on a criminal record?

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

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

  • Personal information like a person’s name, birthday, nationality, etc.
  • A mugshot and a full set of fingerprints
  • A list of distinguishing features like tattoos and other physical attributes
  • The type of offense (misdemeanor or felony) and description of the crime

Where can a person find Delaware criminal records?

Background checks in Delaware are administered by the Delaware State Police, State Bureau of Identification (SBI). The SBI provides certified criminal history reports to requestors through fingerprint cards only, not name searches.  

This measure provides privacy protection for everyone. Since fingerprints are required to initiate a background search, a person can give consent for one to be conducted. There aren’t any criminal records provided without a person’s prior knowledge. 

Delaware inmate records

The state of Delaware has about 3,500 inmates within its corrections system. Inmate records can provide information on current inmates that are behind bars. 

What’s on an inmate record?

The information listed on an inmate record varies, but in Delaware, the records usually contain a combination of personal information and specific details about a person’s incarceration situation. Public access to inmate records can provide the following information when accessed: 

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

Where can a person find Delaware inmate records?

The Delaware State Department of Corrections website has information and links to help you locate offenders and a great deal of information for victims and advocates. 

If you are looking for inmate records, you can use their partner site, Vinelink.com, that will allow you to determine where someone is being housed, their projected release date, and other pertinent information about their charges.  

You will need to know the person’s Offender ID or their first name and last name to do a search.

Delaware court records

Court records can provide a wealth of information from court proceedings. For those looking to access court records, there are resources listed below. It’s important to remember that court records can be some of the most difficult records to access since they’re often held in different courts. 

What’s on a court record?

In most cases, court records are quite large and come with many different documents. Most people find the following documents the most helpful: 

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

Where can a person find Delaware court records?

The Delaware court system is fairly compact as there are only three counties in the state. However, the types of records that you wish to gain access to will determine where you’ll need to go. The administrator of the courts is the place to start. If the case is a civil case, you can access docket information and some records online through their CourtConnect website. For any other case, you can request transcripts from the particular court. The Delaware Courts can also provide some direction.

To request documents from the right court, you’ll need a basic understanding of how the court system works in the state. The Supreme Court is the highest authority and resides over the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals has authority over lower courts, which includes three superior courts or trial courts within the three counties (Delaware County, New Castle County, and Sussex County) in Delaware.

There are other tiers of court in the state that are worth noting. These tiers include the Justice of the Peace Court, the Court of Common Pleas, Family Court, Court of Chancery, and the Administrative Office of the Courts.

For those having trouble finding the records they’re looking for, you can send a request for records to The Renaissance Centre, which is located in Wilmington.  

Delaware vital records

Delaware, like most states, has an office that maintains its vital records. Vital records are kept for milestone moments. The state maintains birth records, marriage records, and death records. 

What information is needed to request a vital record?

To obtain a vital record in Delaware, 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 Delaware vital records?

Vital records in Delaware, such as birth, death, and marriage certificates are held by the state Office of Vital Statistics. Divorce records are not. Divorce records are always handled by the county in which the final dissolution of marriage took place.

Due to COVID, the state of Delaware is asking that people request copies of vital records online or by mail. Walk-in requests currently aren’t being accepted. 

The Office of Vital Statistics encourages people to use the online portal, Go Certificates to get certified copies of records. This site can help those looking for birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage certificates. 

Frequently asked questions about Delaware records

To further assist Delaware 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?

The law says that only Delaware residents can submit public records requests. However, other agencies and citizens of other states have requested records and have received them. 

Is there a records custodian in Delaware?

No. The state doesn’t have one designated person that handles public records.

What exemptions exist?

The Delaware FOIA spells out 16 specific exemptions. The exemptions focus on privacy for students, medical patients, law enforcement investigations, weapons permit carriers, and all records pertaining to labor negotiations. 

Records created by the General Assembly are also exempt from the law. 

How long does that state have to respond?

The state has 15 days to respond to a request. Some states don’t specify a timeline, but Delaware does. 

Is there an appeal process?

No. The state doesn’t have an outlined appeals process in place for denied requests. A person can petition the Attorney General if they believe their request was denied incorrectly. The Attorney General will make a decision one way or another.

What fees are associated with requesting public records?

While some states specify how much is charged per record or the cost to copy records, the Delaware state law just says that fees can be changed to cover the expenses of copying records.

  • Updated December 8, 2020
  • States
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