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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

Vermont Public Records

Vermont started keeping records back in 1776 in all 14 counties. Property records were some of the first records kept, but they grew to births, death, and marriages. Over the years, the records have gone from paper files to digital files, which makes them easier to access. 

While records are more accessible, the process to obtain them can still be difficult. To help citizens navigate the public records system in the state of Vermont, this guide can help. You’ll find specific information on where to find specific records, including criminal, inmate, court, and vital records, and how to go about accessing them in the easiest way possible. 

What does the Vermont public records law say?

Under the state’s Vermont Records Laws, the Department of Public Service must provide access to its records unless there are specific exemptions stating otherwise. The Public Records Act in Vermont was a result of the Watergate scandal and ensures that free and open examination of records held by state agencies is met, transparency and accountability are practiced, and better decision-making procedures are practiced by government agencies in order to recognize the rights of individuals to privacy.

There are some records created by the Vermont legislature and judicial branches that the state has deemed exempt from public access. The attorney general has ruled in favor of keeping these legislative records sealed.  

Under the law, there is a stated time frame with a list of procedures to be adhered to, authorizing any aggrieved person the ability to make a challenge in court if denied access to records. The Vermont Supreme Court has liberally construed this law, noting that the identity of the requester is irrelevant when it comes to deciding whether or not to provide documents.

How can a person access public records in Vermont?

In some cases, government records can be found online. In other cases, a public records request must 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 period that you’d like to receive the materials by
  • How to deliver the documents, whether by email or mail

Due to COVID-19, if you have public interest in records, be aware that 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. 

More information can be found on the state website, Vermont.gov.

Vermont criminal records

In the state of Vermont, criminal records are most typically utilized by employers who are executing background checks on potential employees. In order to assist employees in searching for a person’s criminal records, we have 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 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 Vermont criminal records?

The criminal records in Vermont are official documents that are provided through the Vermont Criminal Conviction Record Internet Service, a division of the Vermont Department of Public Safety. Under this service, users are able to purchase criminal conviction records from the Vermont Crime Information Center. 

The information contained in these files are usually gathered from several sources and are then organized in personal record depositories that are available to the general public for a criminal background report. These records include any misdemeanor and felony crimes, as well as any subsequent arrests, indictments, and/or convictions of their alleged involvement. A request for criminal conviction history records costs $30 each, which is non-refundable, whether or not a records search produces any actual records.

Vermont inmate records

Inmate records in Vermont consist of offenders that are incarcerated within the state and correctional facilities, detailing inmate-specific data like sentencing, offense class, parish information, and the location of the inmate. 

What’s on an inmate record?

The information listed on an inmate record varies, but in Vermont the records usually contain a combination of personal information and specific details about a person’s incarceration situation. 

A public records database 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 Vermont inmate records?

The Vermont Department of Corrections is in charge of maintaining all inmate records in correctional facilities throughout the state. You can easily access inmate information using the VTDOC website’s offender locator, which allows anyone the possibility of viewing information about inmates, including booking details, location, and identification numbers. Inmates can be searched by name, alias(es), and DOC number. Released offenders can also be found utilizing this tool.

Vermont court records

Court records in the state of Vermont contain a wealth of information that is produced via court proceedings across the state. Those that are requesting court records can use the resources below to ensure the most efficient methods. Keep in mind that records can be hard to access as they are typically held across several state courts within the state of Vermont. 

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
  • Judgment documentation
  • Jury records and files
  • Witness documentation

Where can a person find Vermont court records?

The majority of records in the state of Vermont are held at the local court clerk’s office, but many cases can be found online. VT Courts Online was developed by the Vermont Judiciary in order to allow requesters to access public information through the internet. 

Through this portal, anyone can search for case by case docket number, the name of the litigant in a case, or through court calendars. Currently, ONLY civil division cases are accessible by the general public. For other cases, like those heard in superior courts, you need to request records from the court clerk. 

Vermont vital records

Since 1857, the state of Vermont has required all of its town to record all births, marriages and deaths. These vital records have been used to research and monitor the health of its residents and includes the other vital records: civil unions, divorces, dissolutions, fetal deaths, adn abortions. 

What information is needed to request a vital record?

A request for information can be done via Health Statistics and Vital Records site, where interested parties can provide relevant information about a specific record. This information may include:

  • 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 Vermont vital records?

In order to access the vital records in the state, requesters can go through the registry that is maintained by the Vermont Department of Health. Also, Vermonters can access the vital records through the MyVermont.gov state portal. Accounts there are free to set up and can easily facilitate a request, like a request for a certified birth certificate.

Frequently asked questions about Vermont records

To further assist Vermont citizens in their search for public records within the state, here’s a list of commonly asked questions: 

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

Yes. Whether you live in Burlington, Montpelier, or New York City or nowhere near a New England State, anyone can conduct a public records search. 

Is there a records custodian in Vermont?

No.

What exemptions exist?

With 40 general exemptions, Vermont works under the type that are more specific and to be construed rather narrowly. Most of these are common throughout the state’s Freedom of Information laws. 

How long does that state have to respond?

Agencies in Vermont have 2 business days to respond to any requests, although this can be extended by up to 10 days with a written notification. 

Is there an appeals process in place?

Yes. However, Vermont’s public records law says a requester must be able to show that without litigation, the records would not likely be disclosed, plus any public benefits associated with the release of the documents. It is advisable to appeal sooner as chances to overturn an appeal are slimmer after 2 years. 

What fees are associated with requesting public records?

There are nominal fees associated with requesting public records in Vermont, with staff time fees kicking in after half an hour of search time. A public agency can only charge the actual cost to reproduce records.

  • Updated November 12, 2020
  • States

Maine Public Records

To request public records in Maine, you need to know how the process works. Every state differs in the way it handles its public records requests, but Maine is fairly straightforward. 

Maine’s Freedom of Access Act governs public records and gives everyone access to public documents, with a few exceptions. 

To assist your search for public records, we have created this state-specific guide that will help people understand state laws as well as provide directions on how to access criminal, inmate, court, and vital records. 

What does the Maine public records law say?

Maine agencies are generally described as helpful and responsive when it comes to public records searches. Anyone can request public records in the state of Maine. While some states only allow state residents to request records, Maine does not.  

Under the Maine Freedom of Access Act, government agencies have five days to respond to a request. If the request is denied or rejected, a notice must be sent within five business days from the date of submission. 

If a request is denied, the public records act does not provide an administrative way to appeal the decision. Instead, appeals must be made within 30 days of the denial of the superior court. 

There are some exemptions to records within the state of Maine; they are specific and mandatory exemptions that have been outlined in the law or mentioned in statutes. If any record is redacted or withheld, the state agency must provide a reason for it.  

The biggest exemption in the Public Records Act is the judicial branch of government. 

Maine.gov has more information on the public records act.

How can a person access public records in Maine?

Some records are readily available online, but other state records require an official records request. The request can be sent by mail, email, or by phone to the corresponding 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, some public offices may have limited hours of operation and may require that anyone inside wear a mask. As a result, online requests are best, but if you want to go in person you should call ahead. 

Maine criminal records

An individual’s criminal history record is available to the community and general public 24 hours a day/7 days a week, with some restrictions on how that information can be released. Individuals have the right to request public criminal history records maintained by the Maine State Police. 

What’s on a criminal record?

A criminal record provides a detailed record of a person’s history with law enforcement. These records are pulled from various sources and include arrest records, convictions, and incarcerations within the state’s 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, plus a full set of fingerprints
  • A list of distinguishing features like tattoos, birthmarks, or other identifying marks
  • Type of offense (misdemeanor or felony) and description of the crime

Where can a person find Maine criminal records?

Criminal background checks in Maine are executed by the Maine State Police, State Bureau of Identification. The system, called InforME, produces criminal records reports exclusively for the state of Maine. 

Either a name-based or a fingerprint-based check can be ordered, with a name-based report possible by request for anyone, with or without a consent. 

The Maine Criminal History Record and Juvenile Crime Information Request Service is an online service which provides electronic access to criminal history records and juvenile crime information maintained by the Maine State Police and the State Bureau of Identification. 

Through these records, you have 24-hour access to all the conviction and adjudication information for adult and juvenile crimes committed within the State of Maine that are currently on record, including pending issues that are less than one year old. 

Criminal history requests are only accessible up to 30 days. After 30 days, the records are no longer considered valid and a new request is necessary. 

For general public or non-governmental entities, there is a fee of $31 ($21 for inforME subscribers within the state of Maine) in order to process requests for criminal history records or juvenile crime information records. This fee is required for any records searches and doesn’t depend on the results of the search in question. The fee remains the same for a name-based check or fingerprint-based check. 

Maine inmate records

The state of Maine has about 5,000 inmates within its corrections system. Inmate records can provide information on current inmates that are housed within any correctional facility within the state. 

What’s on an inmate record?

The information on inmate records varies from state to state; in Maine 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 (first/last name, birthdate, gender)
  • A mug shot
  • Inmate location
  • Inmate registration number
  • Jail transfer information
  • Custody status

Where can a person find Maine inmate records?

Information on inmates can be accessed via the Maine Department of Corrections, which has its own page to search for inmate records. Using the portal, you can find an inmate’s address, case number, and expected release date. 

The Maine Adult Prisoner/Probationer Search Service is free for everyone to use and is the most convenient way to search for inmate records in the Maine Department of Corrections system. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is updated every day. 

Note that minors are not included in this search service. Those making requests should also know that the information provided from this service is not a complete criminal history, which must be obtained through the online Public Criminal History Request service. 

Maine court records

All court records in Maine are maintained by either state or local governments and can be accessed and disseminated to the public, providing full documentation of allegations, sworn affidavits, and proceedings taken in a court of law. Maine court records that can be searched online include only the opinions and orders from the state Supreme Court. 

What’s on a court record?

In most cases, court records are quite extensive and come with several varying documents. Most people find the following 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 Maine court records?

The State of Maine Judicial Branch has a new system in place for criminal and civil search requests. A case number must be presented in order to obtain documents on a person. 

The procedures listed below are applicable for Maine’s District courts, Superior Courts, and Violation Bureau records:

  • All record search requests are to be submitted using the Request for Records Search form
  • Requests via mail are sent to the Judicial Branch Service Center
  • Any individual that requests a record search on him/herself may query the court to learn where their record is held. Individuals requesting their own record are  exempt from a research fee. 

Maine vital records

Vital records are records of life events including birth certificates, marriage licenses/certificates, and death certificates. In some jurisdictions, vital records can also include records of civil unions or domestic partnerships.

What information is needed to request a vital record?

To obtain vital records in Maine, like a death record, for example, a person must provide certain information to aid in the search. The information 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
  • Date of birth for birth records 
  • The license number for a marriage record

Where can a person find Maine vital records?

There are a multitude of reasons why vital records are sometimes necessary and it is always advisable to have at least one personal copy in your possession. 

Vital records in Maine, including birth, death, and marriage certificates can be found at the Division of Public Health Systems in the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention.

For birth or death records that pre-date 1955, you should speak with someone in the Maine State Archives.

Due to COVID-19, the state of Maine is asking that people request copies of vital records by mail with payment by check or money order. To order through the mail, enclose a copy of your photo ID and a self-addressed, stamped envelope with the request. Applications for records can be downloaded on the site.

Frequently asked questions about Maine records

To further assist Maine citizens in the pursuit of government records, here’s a list of commonly asked questions: 

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

Yes. In Maine, there is no law dictating a residency requirement. 

Is there a records custodian in Maine?

In Maine, there is no single custodian of records. 

What exemptions exist?

There are more than 300 statutory exemptions to the Freedom of Access Act’s definition of what constitutes a public record. Many of these exceptions focus on personal information, medical information, and public safety information. 

How long does that state have to respond?

Responses typically take up to 5 days. 

Is there an appeals process in place?

The appeals process can be made to the Superior Court in the county where you live.

Can anyone access, review, and challenge their records?

In accordance with Maine laws, each person has the right to review and challenge their criminal history record information. If someone disagrees with any information contained on a record, it is possible to contact the State Bureau of Identification by person or mail to request either an amendment or correction of the criminal history record. The request should indicate the record in question, the nature of the correction sought, and the justification for the amendment. 

What fees are associated with requesting public records?

Fees cover copies and no search exceeds $15 an hour. 

  • Updated October 26, 2020
  • States

Nevada Public Records

Whether you’re working on a school project to trace your family tree, need proof of divorce, or are doing background checks on applicants for your company, Nevada public records can help you get the information you need.

Nevada updated its Public Records Act in 2000 and it applies to government agencies, as well as any subdivision of the state, including schools, university foundations and other entities that serve a role in the government.

Although there are some exceptions to the Nevada Public Records Act, they’re pretty standard limitations that you’ll find in other states under the Freedom of Information Act.

Ready to get started? Use this guide to help you find public records in the Battle Born State.

What does the Nevada public records law say?

The Nevada Public Records Act provides a way for residents and nonresidents to access public records of any governmental entity, including books and records. In most cases, there is no need to explain why you want the records and Nevada even provides a template to help requestors obtain information on the Freedom of Information Act.

Members of the public can learn more about the public records act by visiting Nevada.gov. 

How can a person access public records in Nevada?

There are several ways to request a public record, including email, fax, phone or via postal mail. Although it’s also possible to request Nevada public records in person, it’s recommended that you call first due to some limitations being created due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a general rule, any written (mailed, faxed or emailed) request for Nevada public records should contain the following information:

  • Your name, mailing address, phone number and email
  • A description of the requested records 
  • A written acknowledgment to pay any fees for searching and copying the records (with a request to be informed if costs will exceed the amount of your choosing)
  • A request to be notified if the request for public records will take longer than 5 days
  • A plea for the agency to cite specific exemptions if the request for public records is denied
  • A request to be notified if a different entity holds the public records

Nevada Criminal Records

The Nevada Department of Public Safety Records, Communications and Compliance Division maintains all Nevada criminal records. The information is collected from agencies of criminal justice and includes arrests, detention and indictments, as well as the status of an offender on parole or probation, among other things. In essence, a criminal record is a “rap sheet” that contains criminal activity within Nevada’s jurisdiction. Information concerning juveniles is not available. The detailed information is available to the person of record or through criminal background checks.

What’s on a criminal record?

The Nevada Criminal History Repository provides personal criminal history records for the state, but not for other states or the Federal Bureau of Investigations. To get your own record (in which you are the subject of the record) or to get a letter indicating that no State of Nevada Record was found, take the following steps:

Employers seeking to do a criminal background check can download forms and directions on the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation website.

So, what’s on a criminal record? The document provides a detailed summary of that person’s criminal activity within the state jurisdiction. This information covers arrests, criminal offenses, indictments, convictions and, in some cases, incarceration details. Depending on the scope, a background check may reveal any/all of the following:

  • Sex offender status
  • Felony and misdemeanor convictions that haven’t been sealed
  • Pending arrests
  • Whether the person is currently on parole or probation
  • Credit, employment and education history
  • Driving records
  • Credit history

Where can a person find Nevada criminal records?

Nevada uses the VINE online portal to provide those in search of public records with access to criminal records. A simple search by name (or ID number) will provide you with basic information on an offender or defendant. Although you don’t need to register to search, registering on the site will display the full date of birth and ID number of an offender. While the site was designed to empower victims of crimes with information, it’s available for anyone to use. Results show offenders who are currently in custody or who may have been recently released. It does not include federal inmates or those in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody.

The results of a VINE search will provide the following results:

  • Supervision type and status
  • Supervision status date
  • Supervision start and end date
  • Supervision event reason and date
  • Supervising officer and his/her phone number
  • Reporting agency

You can also sign up for notifications to be alerted when something changes with the offender’s status.

Nevada inmate records

The State of Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) maintains three types of facilities that include 11 conservation camps, nine correctional facilities and two transitional housing centers. Although searches for inmate records can be done through the NDOC inmate search portal, copies of public records can be requested. There are some nominal fees associated with requesting a copy of the public book or record, but the requestor will be notified in advance prior to the request being honored.

What’s on an inmate record?

Public records are available on most Nevada inmates who are currently incarcerated or have been released. Search results of inmate records will provide the following information:

  • Name and aliases
  • Offender ID
  • Gender, ethnicity, age, height, weight and build
  • Hair color, eye color and complexion
  • Institution
  • Offense
  • Sentence status
  • Sentence minimum and maximum
  • Sentencing county
  • Sentencing type and start date
  • Parole hearing date and location (if relevant)

Where can a person find Nevada inmate records?

In Nevada, you can search for inmates through the Department of Corrections. As a general rule, only offenders who have received a sentence of incarceration in a Nevada state prison will be in the database. Although information on parolees is available, it may not be current. Those serving probation or who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or sentencing may not be included. To find information on someone who has been arrested by not sentenced, contact the city or county where they were arrested. To search the inmate database, use the offender’s first and/or last name or the person’s Offender ID number.

Nevada court records

With some relatively standard exceptions, the majority of court records in Nevada are available to the public through a simple online search. In Nevada, there are three trial courts: municipal, justice and district. Municipal courts tend to handle the small stuff, such as ordinance violations, misdemeanors and traffic violations. Justice courts deal with small claims, landlord/tenant disputes and misdemeanors in their jurisdictions, as well as some other civil, criminal and domestic relations cases. But district courts usually preside over criminal cases that include felonies, gross misdemeanors and other cases that fall outside specific jurisdiction courts.

What’s on a court record?

Court records show the following information:

  • Case number
  • Party name and type
  • Charge
  • Filing date
  • Hearing date, time, type and judge
  • Docket information
  • Agency (e.g., Nevada Highway Patrol)

Where can a person find Nevada court records?

To conduct a records search for court records, you’ll need to go through the court where the case was heard. Although there is a Nevada Supreme Court, as well as appellate courts, you’ll most likely be searching individual district courts to find court records.

Some courts do provide searchable online databases, but others will require you to submit a request in writing or in person. If you must request a record in person, speak with the county clerk and be prepared to provide case information along with your contact information so records can be delivered to you.  

Always call your district court first to ensure they’re open as many have closed to walk-ins due to the pandemic.

Nevada vital records

There are a number of ways to obtain vital records—including marriage and divorce records and birth and death certificates—in Nevada, but your search will depend on the several factors, including the event date, whether you can access records in person due to COVID-related closures, and your relationship with person whose record you’re seeking.

Like most state agencies, Nevada has requirements for proof of identity in some cases, which helps protect the identity of the person of record and others, prevent fraud and preserve the record’s integrity.

What information is needed to request a vital record?

In some cases, you’ll need to provide proof of your relationship to the person of record in order to obtain vital records. If you order vital records online through a site like VitalChek, you may not need to provide much as the system uses an identity verification document.

Where can a person find Nevada vital records?

The Nevada Office of Vital Statistics is managed by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public and Behavioral Health. State records of marriage and divorce after September 2005 are handled at the county level. You can search for the various counties’ records offices here. For records of marriage and divorce events occurring after 1968 but before September 2005, fill out this form and send it to the address for the Office of Vital Records and Statistics at the top.

For birth and death certificates, the state uses Vitalchek. (You can also get some marriage and divorce certificates on this site.)

Frequently asked questions about Nevada records

Nevada isn’t necessarily one of the best states in terms of ease of access to all public records, but a little guidance can help you narrow down your search. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about public records in the state:

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

Yes. Nevada law does not require residency to submit public records requests.

Is there a records custodian in Nevada?

Although the law requires the appointment of an employee at each agency to serve as the records official for the entity, they don’t need to formally designate a records custodian.

What exemptions exist?

Yes, there is a list of exemptions.

How long does that state have to respond?

Although agencies have five business days to respond, they can also provide the requester with written notification of why the record is not yet available by the deadline and when it will be.

Is there an appeals process?

Although there is no administrative appeal option, you can take court action at the county district level where the request was made.

What fees are associated with requesting public records?

Nevada law allows agencies to charge fees, but they can’t exceed the actual costs to provide the record and fees top out at $.50 per page.

  • Updated November 16, 2020
  • States

Utah

The role of public records is crucial in an open government. While the Freedom of Information Act grants federal access to documents, each state has its own laws as well. 

Public records in Utah are governed by the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA). As you might expect, the law can be a little confusing. As with many states, records are often held by different agencies, which makes locating records difficult. Once located, the process to request records varies.

To help requesters gain access to Utah public records, this guide will provide valuable information to obtain criminal, inmate, court, and vital records.  

What does the Utah public records law say?

Each of the states has different policies and laws. In Utah, all government branches are subject to the law, and any member of the public can view records.

However, there are some exemptions. Records that contain any private information like medical records, addresses of elected officials, or details about government employees are exempted from open record laws.

Usually, a government agency responds to requests in ten days. If a media outlet makes a request, it’s usually answered a little faster; within 5 business days. 

If a request is denied, there is an appeals process. A requester can file a complaint with the head of the agency and the State Records Committee. If the case goes further, it ends up in district court. 

You can learn more about conducting a public records search at Utah.gov.

How can a person access public records in Utah?

For public records access in Utah, you may be able to access some online. Others are held by specific agencies. In some cases, you may need to file a request form. If so, it can be filed 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. 

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. 

Utah criminal records

The summary of a person’s criminal history is known as a criminal record. It’s also referred to as a rap sheet, which consists of convictions and arrests. These records are maintained by local law enforcement agencies. 

What’s on a criminal record?

A criminal record is the history of the individual that gives complete details related to the person’s interaction with law enforcement. Various resources are used to pull these records and ensure that the person’s previous arrest records, convictions, and incarcerations are recorded for the future. 

Information that is recorded within the criminal record more specifically includes:

  • The personal information of a person, for example, name, date of birth, nationality, etc. 
  • Biometrics of the person, including fingerprints and the mug shot. 
  • Highlights the distinguishing feature of an individual like physical attributes or any other tattoos.
  • Details regarding the type of crime. 

Where can a person find Utah criminal records?

The state of Utah has certain rules when it comes to requesting criminal records. Only certain businesses can gain access. Businesses that work with children, like a childcare center, or any state or local government can run a background check. Other private companies aren’t allowed to request records. However, a company can ask that an employee request his or her own record, which must be accompanied by a set of fingerprints.

The link above has more information and explains who can and can’t access records.

Utah inmate records

Utah inmate records contain information regarding a person’s current and past incarceration status. These documents can also include sentencing information. 

Maintenance of these documents is generally done by the Utah Department of the Corrections. 

What’s on an inmate record?

Inmate records contain an individual’s name, mugshot, and physical attributes. Furthermore, it also contains detailed information regarding an inmate’s conviction, incarceration, and the prospective release dates.

Where can a person find Utah inmate records?

Utah inmate records are maintained by the Department of Corrections. You can access information by visiting the website above and filling out the online form. You need the inmate’s first and last name or the inmate’s ID number. You’ll receive an immediate response if there’s a record on the inmate that you searched. 

Utah court records

Court records are recorded by the courts themselves. Information provided in court records includes allegation documents, proceeding, and affidavits that are taken under oath.

What’s on a court record?

A court record usually contains specific information that was presented during a trial. You’ll find copies of evidence, witness testimonies, and expert reports inside court records. Think of court records as a complete summary of a case. 

Where can a person find Utah court records?

Utah, unlike other states, has an online database of court records that’s easy to search. You can run an appellate docket search, look through appellate court records, or browse district court records. If you’re looking for a case that’s more than 50 years old, you’ll need to look through archived records.

While many records are available online, you may be directed to a clerk of court or a county clerk if a record is missing or not electronically logged into the Utah state courts system. 

To access supreme court records, visit the Utah Supreme Court website.

Utah vital records

Birth records, death records, marriage records, and divorce records are included in vital records. These records are maintained back to 1905 and can be accessed when ordered in person, through email, or requested online. 

For marriages that took place after 2011, certificates can also be obtained from the county where the event took place. However, many agencies are requesting that people place orders online due COVID-19.

Only the person listed on a vital record or a family member can obtain these records in Utah.

What information is needed to request a vital record?

When requesting other records, providing your personal information isn’t necessary. When you request a vital record, however, it is necessary. You must be listed on the record or be of blood relation to the person listed on the record. 

Where can a person find Utah vital records?

Vital statistics and records can be requested online. Many government agencies, including the Utah Department of Health, are encouraging residents to use the online ordering feature to limit the number of people inside of buildings due to the Coronavirus. 

To request a vital record, you’ll need to create an online account, prove your identity, and pay a fee. Certified copies of birth certificates or death certificates are mailed to your home, but it usually takes 2-8 weeks to receive them. 

Frequently asked questions about Utah records

There are lots of questions about utilizing the state’s records service. To provide further assistance, here’s a list of frequently asked questions that should further explain the Utah code.

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

Utah does not have a residency requirement in its constitution. In other words, you can live anywhere in the United States and request public records.

Is there a records custodian in Utah?

Yes. The state law does appoint a records custodian or an ombudsman who can handle all requests. 

What exemptions exist?

Utah’s public records law is fairly open. The only time records are restricted or exempt from the law is if they contain personal information or can impact public security. 

How long does that state have to respond?

In Utah, a state agency has ten business days to respond to a public request and five business days to respond to a request from the media.

Is there an appeals process in place?

Yes. Utah does have several administrative appeals options. A requester can file a complaint with the head of the public agency that holds the records or file a complaint with the State Records Committee in Salt Lake City. If these options don’t work, a case can be filed in district court. 

Are property records considered public?

Yes. Real estate transactions and unclaimed property are both considered public information. Most counties in the state, like Utah County, have an online database that can be searched online. If the records are older, consider visiting the Utah State Archives for more information.

What fees are associated with requesting public records?

Utah’s law says a state agency can charge a “reasonable fee to cover the actual cost of obtaining the record.” This language is meant to keep fees low. 

  • Updated December 3, 2020
  • States

Oregon

With the creation of open record laws like the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), it’s easier than ever to access documents that were once unavailable to the general public. That’s not to say finding criminal, court, inmate or vital records in Oregon is always simple; only that access to public records has improved over the past few decades.

In the Beaver State, the Oregon Public Records Law was designed to guarantee that members of the public have access to documents from every government agency at all levels. Sometimes, the information is exempt from the Oregon Public Meetings Law or the Oregon Public Records Law. Other times, the information falls under the public records umbrella but is harder to track down because it’s handled by different agencies or departments. 

Use this guide to help you track down the specific Oregon public records you seek. Whether it’s proof of a divorce, a court case, an incarcerated ex or birth record, this guide can help narrow down your search to save time. 

What does the Oregon public records law say?

Enacted in 1973, the Oregon Public Records Law is similar to the federal law and says that a public record includes “any writing that contains information that relates to the conduct of the public’s business, is prepared, owned, used or maintained by a public body regardless of physical form or characteristics.” This does not include information contained on a privately owned computer.

To learn more about the public records law, visit Oregon.gov. 

How can a person access public records in Oregon?

One simple way to request a public record is by using the Oregon Sample FOIA Request template. Created by the National Freedom of Information Coalition, the letter can be sent to the agency that you believe holds the record. 

The sample letter provides much of the information you’ll need to improve your chances of getting a prompt response, including:

  • A place to indicate your name and contact information
  • A place to detail the public record you are seeking
  • A place to limit the maximum fees you are willing to pay (and a request to be informed if the costs will exceed that amount) 
  • A request to be contacted if the agency expects a significant delay in fulfilling the public records request
  • A request to cite each specific exemption if the request is refused
  • An explanation of the appeal procedure if the public records request is denied  

Oregon criminal records

Oregon state law provides limited public access to criminal history records through the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division in Salem. You can request a copy of your own criminal record using your fingerprints or someone else’s using their name, date of birth, and last known mailing address.

By law, the Oregonian or the individual whose record you are requesting must be notified of your request. They have 14 days to challenge the accuracy of the criminal offender information. Employers or prospective employers are required to inform the person whose criminal record they will be requesting in advance and indicate on the request form how they informed the record-holder.

What’s on a criminal record?

Unlike more detailed background checks, Oregon’s criminal record results may provide less detailed information. If there is no “rap sheet” to report, or the person’s record consists only of non-conviction data, you’ll get nothing more than a notice that there is no criminal record. If the request turns up a criminal history, you will receive any Oregon record of conviction or Oregon record of arrest less than one year old in which there has been no acquittal or dismissal. This information will include:

  • Date of arrest
  • Offense
  • Arresting agency
  • Court of origin
  • Disposition, which includes the sentence imposed and if applicable, the date of parole and parole revocations

Although requests can be made by mail or email by submitting this Request for Oregon Criminal History Information, results that include a criminal history can only be mailed (not emailed).

Where can a person find Oregon criminal records?

The Oregon State Police is the state agency that manages criminal history information for the state. Access is provided through the Oregon State Police’s CJIS Division’s own record program or open records. 

For employers seeking to do a more thorough background check on employees or prospective employees, there is another option. In 2020, Oregon started using the Oregon Criminal History and Abuse Records Data System (ORCHARDS) as its background check system. The Background Check Unit (BCU) requires employers to obtain authorization from the subject individual (SI) to perform such a check. This gives the SI time to enter the authorization and any disclosures. This is done by requiring the employer to enter an email address for the SI when submitting a background check request. 

Oregon inmate records

There are currently around 30,000 offenders under supervision in Oregon with approximately 14,900 offenders serving their time in the state’s 14 prisons. To learn more about visiting, contacting or sending money to an inmate, visit Oregon’s prison locations page.

What’s on an inmate record?

Search results will show the following information for each offender:

  • Age and month/year of birth
  • Heigh, weight, race, and hair and eye color
  • Location (e.g., current correctional institution)
  • Status
  • Field admission date
  • Earliest release date
  • List of offenses (including docket number, county, crime, sentence type, start date and termination date)
  • VINE link for the offender

Where can a person find Oregon inmate records?

The Oregon Department of Corrections hosts a searchable web portal that the public can use to find offenders in the state. This public website displays information on offenders currently in the custody of the Oregon Department of Corrections or a local Community Corrections office. Results only include information associated with the offender’s current incarceration; not a full history of all charges, sentences or incarcerations. Searches can be done by first, middle or last name or State Identification (SID) Number.

Oregon court records

If you have public interest in court records, many Oregon court records are available through an online record search, although there are limitations. The Oregon Judicial Department (OJD) does not provide court related to adoption, juvenile or mental health cases, or cases that fall under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). 

What’s on a court record?

Court documents are not available through the OJD Online Records Search and personal identifying information—such as social security numbers, address or other private information—will not be shown in the results. However, most circuit courts have a court kiosk which provides some additional information and access to most documents on public court records. 

So what court records are available through the OJD Online Records Search?

  • Basic case information
  • Party information
  • Event entries
  • Dispositions on a particular court record

Where can a person find Oregon court records?

The Oregon Judicial Department provides free online access to limited case information in the state courts, circuit courts, court of appeals, and supreme court, although the results should not be relied upon as an official record of the court. 

There are two ways to obtain the full official register for non-confidential case types: Via the courthouse public terminals or, for some business entities, by subscribing to the OJCIN online

As for the specifics of what information search results will present, you may find:

  • Warrants (including the status, issue date, location and warrant number)
  • Cases (including the type, file date, status and location)
  • Judgments (including the date/time of judgment, type and award)

Oregon vital records

Oregon’s Public Health Division has a dedicated vital records department. The Center for Health Statistics issues requestors copies of vital records for marriages, divorces, deaths and births that occurred in Oregon. Some of these records can also be obtained through the local health department in Oregon counties.

Although the Oregon State Vital Records counters are currently closed for in-person records requests, orders are still being accepted by mail, phone and online. 

What information is needed to request a vital record?

As in other states, vital records in Oregon may be accessed restricted based on the relationship of the requestor to the person of record. To order by telephone or phone, regular mail or rush mail, you may need to provide any or all of the following:

  • A valid ID or alternative ID
  • The date of the birth, death, marriage, divorce, etc.
  • The full name of the person whose record you are requesting 
  • Relationship to the person of record or your interest in obtaining the vital record

A detailed list of required information for each type of vital record can be found on Oregon’s Vital Records page.

Where can a person find Oregon vital records?

The Oregon uses VitalChek to fulfill online orders for vital records. Although the identity of the applicant is typically screened using a Social Security Number, you may be required to provide a Valid ID or alternative ID to access the public record. 

There is a nonrefundable fee of $43.25 to order a record search and additional copies of the same record are $25 if ordered at the same time. Records are shipped within three business days in most cases, although Express Mail or UPS Next Day Air is available for an additional fee. Applicants can pay by credit or debit card.

Information on ordering by phone or mail is available on the Oregon’s Vital Records page.

Frequently asked questions about Oregon records

For any United States citizen who is curious about Oregon public records, here are some of the most common questions about Oregon public records:

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

There are no residency requirements for obtaining Oregon public records. In other words, you can live in Portland or Manhattan and request records.

Is there a records custodian in Oregon?

There is no designated records custodian in Oregon.

What exemptions exist?

The exemptions in Oregon are fairly straightforward. Records that contain personal information, deal with matters of public safety, or include addresses of elected officials, for example, are all exempt from public disclosure. Most exemptions of Oregon’s Public Records Law are standard and can be found here.

How long does that state have to respond?

There is no specific deadline to respond, although the law states that agencies should be given “reasonable opportunity to inspect and copy records.”

Is there an appeals process?

There is no appeals option in the state of Oregon. While many states offer an administrative appeals option through the attorney general, Oregon does not. A requester can, however, file a lawsuit. 

What fees are associated with requesting public records?

Fees must be kept to the actual costs of searching and copying records. Agencies must provide the requestor with an estimate if the fee will exceed $25 before proceeding. There are fee waivers for media outlets.

  • Updated December 3, 2020
  • States