Courthouse records can include a wide range of records pertaining to a person’s life. This can be information that someone might not want other people to know due to it bringing up dark moments from their past. Still, this is information you will want to know about these people -- whether they are trying to move past it or not.
Despite many believing these records are kept hidden from the public, courthouse records are legally filed and available to those who request it -- though some exceptions might apply for more confidential records. When talking about courthouse records, they could include files and documents from federal courts, state courts, city court, council courts, and local courts, all of which are required to keep track of these records.
When you think about all of the life situations and scenarios that are either handled by the courts or have documents that make their way through the courts, it’s easy to see how this information can be endless at times. Don’t worry, we’ll go over what you might find in these records and what they can be used for.
If you’ve ever had to experience the court system, you understand how stressful of a time it is -- whether you’re being accused of something or accusing someone else of something. There’s a reason why many people like to keep this information hidden from their family or friends, but it’s actually easier to find than one would think. Still, courthouse records are meant to be used fairly and for good reason, never to ridicule or discriminate against someone.
Let’s go through some of the more important courthouse records that might be viewable to the public.
Everytime someone is born, the county clerk’s office must properly file any documents pertaining to the birth. While your social security number will be safe, people will be able to confirm your date of birth and location of birth.
Birth records can also help link a person to possible relatives, whether it be parents, cousins, siblings, grandparents, and even distant relatives. Birth records are used in genealogy often, helping to uncover someone’s family tree one member at a time. Courthouse records can even help you learn more about these people, outside of just their name.
Courthouse records can also give you a detailed history about a person’s address history, including the full address, postal information, what type of residence it was, and a brief description of the property. Some public records will even give you a map overview of these places, allowing you to easily look at someone’s location history.
Since property records are kept by the court, you can also find out if someone owns a residential property, a piece of land, or even a business property. You’ll be given access to a history of that property or address because courthouse records must be kept for a long period of time before being disposed of.
One of the most popular reasons people search for someone through courthouse records is to reveal their criminal history. This can include any crime committed -- large or small -- since all crimes must go through a court system at some point.
For the most serious crimes, they will likely make their way to the state courts -- if not picked up by the federal court. County and local courts are normally reserved for smaller charges and offenses. Courthouse records will tell you whether the crime committed ended with an arrest, felony conviction, misdemeanor conviction, or an infraction.
If you suspect someone is lying about whether they’ve committed a crime or not, courthouse records will be able to uncover that information for you. This can be tricky at times because you’ll have to either know what courthouse database to search through or have access to a criminal background check.
Luckily, you can come across a person’s criminal records by searching for their public record.
Whether you’re being sued or doing the suing, courthouse records will file any and all documents related to your case. It’s very common for court judgments to show up in your records, even if you’ve never appeared in court. Judgments can be handed down for a variety of reasons, whether it be for a tax lien, property lien, a debt you owe, or even eviction from your house.
People will be able to view your full name, information about the court the case was settled in, the amount of the lien or judgment, the court case number (which can be used to find more information and documents), and any attorneys or judges assigned to the case.
Since all bankruptcy claims are handled by the federal courts, you can bet these files are well documented for all to see. Bankruptcy records can show loads of information related to your claim, including the name or business identity filing for bankruptcy, the date it was filed, the case number, and the court where everything took place.
If you’re looking at a public record and want more information about that particular case, you can take the bankruptcy case number to a clerk’s office to request more documents.
Courthouse records can help you bring out your inner detective when digging up more information about your family history, some of the events your friends have dealt with, and who that person you just met online really is. Many people use courthouse records to confirm the information floating around out there about them is accurate and up-to-date.
If you’re wondering how to conduct a courthouse records search yourself, it’s easier than you think. We have all the tools and resources right here on our website and the process can be started by heading over to the search engine -- which looks a bit like a Google search.
You will need the first and last name of the person you’d like to search for, but the good news is that’s all you’ll need. You can even give the search engine the first initial of their last name and it will still be enough to get a search started.
Once you hit ‘Search,’ you can sift through the possible matches to get to the right person before opening their report.
Below you fill find the Top Public Records sites according to our rankings. Read the reviews before you search.
TruthFinder offers comprehensive public records, easy-to-understand reports, and tools to help you protect your personal information from identity thieves.
PeopleSearcher was our second pick as it provides the widest array of public records.
Instant Checkmate is one of the longest-running online background check services and still one of the most popular. They offer comprehensive records on millions of Americans.
Affiliate Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Truthfinder.com, Instant Checkmate, and People Searcher. This means that I receive a commission if you click on a link on my website and make a purchase from one of these companies. However, this does not influence my reviews or opinions of these companies. I only recommend products and services that I believe are of high quality and value.