Louisiana Public Records
Finding the public records you need in any state can be difficult as it is not usually a streamlined process.
With records maintained in departments across the state, some are tough to find. In contrast, others are not as accessible to the general public.
However, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) does give citizens the right to access records.
Every state has different processes, so it’s essential to know the state’s law before requesting any documents.
Table of Contents
- 1 What does the Louisiana public records law say?
- 2 How can a person access public records in Louisiana?
- 3 Louisiana Criminal Records
- 4 Louisiana Inmate Records
- 5 Louisiana Court Records
- 6 Louisiana Vital Records Records
- 6.1 What information do I need to request a Louisiana birth certificate?
- 6.2 Where can I find a Louisiana birth certificate?
- 6.3 What information do I need for a death certificate in Louisiana?
- 6.4 Where can I find a Louisiana death record?
- 6.5 What information do I need to request a marriage certificate in Louisiana?
- 6.6 Where can I find an existing Louisiana marriage record?
- 6.7 What information do I need to request a divorce certificate in Louisiana?
- 6.8 Where can I find a Louisiana divorce record?
- 7 Louisiana Property Records
- 8 FAQs
- 8.1 Can a request be submitted by non-residents of Louisiana?
- 8.2 Is there a records custodian in Louisiana?
- 8.3 What exemptions exist for public records requests in Louisiana?
- 8.4 How long does Louisiana have to respond to a public records request?
- 8.5 Is there an appeals process in place for public records requests in Louisiana?
- 8.6 What fees are associated with requesting public records in Louisiana?
What does the Louisiana public records law say?
The Louisiana Public Records Act, also known as the state’s Sunshine Law, first defines what constitutes public records (including books, records, writings, photographs, microfilm, and more) aside from those that the Constitution of Louisiana has exempted.
In three days or less, a public official must respond to requesters, no matter the state of the process. Within five days of submitting a request, it is possible to initiate legal proceedings if a request is ignored or denied.
However, there is no formal appeals process in Louisiana like seeking an Attorney’s General opinion.
Under the constitution’s authority, exemptions to these include pending criminal litigation, juvenile status offenders, sexual assault victims, security procedures, trade secrets, and some public employee data. Louisiana’s legislative records are covered by the law, with the Louisiana Revised Statutes covering the details.
How can a person access public records in Louisiana?
Some public records can be accessed in Louisiana online, while others will require a physical form to be submitted. If a request is necessary, it can be sent via mail, email, or phone to the record-holding department.
Every department is different, so expect some variation to the rules if you access records from multiple places.
General public records requests can be sent to the Secretary of State.
In general, a public records request should include:
- Your name
- Contact information
- The name of the document
- Details about the document
- A time frame that you would like to receive the materials by
- Document delivery method, mail or email
Louisiana Criminal Records
In Louisiana, criminal records are typically accessed by employers that want to check the backgrounds of any potential employee.
In order to assist employees in finding criminal records, we have provided some helpful information and resources below.
The Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information maintains criminal records in Louisiana.
What’s on a Louisiana 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:
- Date of birth
- Current and past addresses
- Former arrest records
- Current and past warrants
- Arrest report.
- Department of arrest, police department, sheriff’s office, state police, etc.
Where can I find Louisiana criminal records?
The state’s mission is to maintain thorough, up-to-date, comprehensive arrest and disposition information for arrested individuals and make it accessible to all criminal justice agencies.
Louisiana maintains information on criminal records, with the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information directly in charge of administration.
The Louisiana Computerized Criminal History System (LACCH) contains arrest, disposition, and incarceration data on individuals that have been arrested in the state of Louisiana. This system also contains data on individuals that have applied for specific positions requiring a fingerprint-based background check.
The majority of background checks done within the state require a signed authorization from the person being checked – you cannot run a check on another person as a private citizen. Employers, school districts, and licensing agencies have many options for requesting a background check.
They can fill out a form with a signed authorization and fingerprint card and send it to the Bureau of Identification and Information.
An online background check portal also provides name-based background reports only. Either of these options will return arrest and conviction information.
Louisiana Inmate Records
Inmate records in Louisiana consist of offenders held in state prisons, correctional inmate facilities, parish jails, and other penal institutions.
Inmate records may also include information on sentencing, the class of the offense, the parish where the case was tried, and the facility location of the inmate.
The Louisiana Department of Corrections maintains inmate records in the state.
What’s on a Louisiana inmate record?
The information listed on an inmate record varies.
However, in Louisiana, the records usually contain personal information and specific details about a person’s incarceration situation.
Public access to inmate records can provide the following information:
- Name and aliases
- Date of Birth
- Social security number
- Height and weight
- DOC ID
- Booking photo
- Assigned location
- Sentence summary
Where can I find Louisiana inmate records?
Through the Louisiana Department of Corrections, users are able to search for information on offenders within the Louisiana system.
Louisiana has two ways to locate offenders in Louisiana – calling the Imprisoned Person Locator automated number (225-383-4580) that allows users to enter the offender’s DOC Number and get their current status.
It is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Alternatively, you can go to www.Vinelink.com and do an online search where you will be given the offender’s present location, a list of all convictions, and their earliest possible release date.
Louisiana Court Records
Court records in Louisiana provide a wealth of information produced from court proceedings. There are resources listed below for people searching for court records.
It is important to remember that court records can be some of the most challenging records to procure since they are usually held across several courts in Louisiana.
What’s on a Louisiana court record?
In the majority of cases, court records are quite dense and come with several varying documents.
Most people find these documents the most helpful:
- Court minutes
- Case files
- Orders of the court
- Judgment documentation
- Jury records and files
- Witness documentation
Where can I find Louisiana court records?
Requesting court records in Louisiana is a bit difficult.
Some courts have online portals while others don’t. To start your search, research the court where the case was heard online.
Your research should tell you if the court offers public records search.
Louisiana Supreme Court records are available online and physically held at the Division of State Archives, Records Management, and History.
Louisiana Vital Records Records
The Louisiana Department of Public Health maintains public vital records in the state.
Louisiana public vital records include:
- Birth Certificates
- Death Certificates
- Marriage Licenses
- Divorce Decrees
Louisiana’s vital records requests differ depending on the agency you are submitting the request to.
Bureau of Vital Records and Statistics
P.O. Box 60630
New Orleans, LA 70160
Phone number: 504-593-5100
What information do I need to request a Louisiana birth certificate?
The Application for a Certified Copy of Birth Certificate will require specific details.
- Full name on the birth certificate
- Date of birth
- City of birth
- Parish of birth
- Parents’ full name
Where can I find a Louisiana birth certificate?
You can request a birth record online using VitalChek or by completing the Application for Certified Copy of Birth Certificate and submitting it in person or by mail.
The cost for a certified birth certificate in Louisiana is $15 per copy.
What information do I need for a death certificate in Louisiana?
The Application for a Certified Copy of Death Certificate will require specific details.
- Full name on the death certificate
- Date of birth
- City of birth
- Parish of birth
- Parents’ full name
Where can I find a Louisiana death record?
You can request a Louisiana death record online using VitalChek or by completing the Application for Certified Copy of Birth Certificate and submitting it in person or by mail.
The cost for a certified death certificate in Louisiana is $7 per copy.
What information do I need to request a marriage certificate in Louisiana?
The Application for Certified Copy of Orleans Parish Marriage Certificate requires specific information:
- Spouses’ full names
- Date of marriage
Where can I find an existing Louisiana marriage record?
If you live in Orleans Parish, you can request a marriage record online using VitalChek or by completing the Certified Copy of Orleans Parish Marriage Certificate and submitting it in person or by mail.
All other parishes must contact the Clerk of Court in the jurisdiction the marriage took place.
The price for a certified marriage record is $5 in Louisiana.
What information do I need to request a divorce certificate in Louisiana?
The Clerk of Courts maintains divorce records in Louisiana. The public records request forms may differ depending on the jurisdiction.
Where can I find a Louisiana divorce record?
You will need to contact the Clerk of Court where the divorce decree was issued.
Example – East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court
222 St. Louis Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Phone number: 225-293-1162
Louisiana Property Records
The Louisiana Parish Recorder maintains public property records, campaign finance records, and voter registration in Louisiana.
The property records you can access include:
- Property deeds
- Property tax assessment records
- Zoning information
- Appraiser information
- Real estate information
What information do I need to request property records in Louisiana?
Public property record requests vary depending on the parish.
Contact your Parish Recorder for fees, processes, and office hours.
Where can I find a Louisiana property record?
You will contact your local Parish Recorder to access public property records.
Example – Cado Parish
Cado Parish Recorder Forms
Caddo Parish, Louisiana Recorder Office
Clerk of Court – Records Division
501 Texas St
Shreveport, Louisiana 71101
Can a request be submitted by non-residents of Louisiana?
Whether you live in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, or Miami, you can request records from the state. You also have online access to most public records in the state.
However, the state board states that a person of the age of 18 or older must submit the request.
Is there a records custodian in Louisiana?
Louisiana has no designated records custodian for the state of Louisiana.
However, the law says that the head of any state government agency can respond to records requests.
What exemptions exist for public records requests in Louisiana?
The Louisiana Public Records law covers the legislative records in Louisiana.
However, many are classified as exempt via court ruling or statute.
How long does Louisiana have to respond to a public records request?
The Louisiana state agency is expected to respond within 3 days of a request, no matter whether the process is ongoing or not.
Is there an appeals process in place for public records requests in Louisiana?
Per Louisiana law, they have five days after submitting a request, there is the option to initiate legal proceedings for public records requests denied by any government agency.
Unlike other states with an administrative appeals process that goes through the Attorney General, Louisiana has no such process.
What fees are associated with requesting public records in Louisiana?
The agency that handles the request can only charge fees for situations where the requester asks to search records outside of regular business hours.
Then, a reasonable fee may be applicable.