Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Top 10 Tips For Searching Court Records Online

Performing online searches for court records can be overwhelming. In addition to not knowing where to start, if you don’t know the proper places and way to search, you may not find what you are looking for. Below are the top 10 tips for searching court records online.

#1 - Research

Prior to starting an online search for a court record, you should thoroughly do any research you can. Try to narrow down important search ranges such as which counties the trial may have been in and a date range. The narrower your search, the easier it will be.

#2 - Read

You can find out a lot of information on performing court searches online by reading books about private investigating. In today’s day and age more and more people are performing things themselves, including investigating other people.

#3 – Skip the Registration

You should always skip the registration that is available on many search sites unless you need to perform an advanced search and it is required. Signing up to various websites will only cost you time with no benefit in return.

#4 – Skip the Arrest Records

County court records do not keep arrest records so skip this search.

#5 – Know the County?

If you know what county the trial was performed in, start your online court record search in that county.

#6 – Don’t know the County?

If you do not have the name of the county, you should start your court record search with the state. Keep in mind that not all states require all counties to send them their reports.

#7 – Family Records

If you are looking for family records, keep in mind that these records may be sealed. This is true in cases of domestic abuse or sometimes when a party to the trial is underage. You may have to search in another way.

#8 – Statute of Limitations

If you are searching for a court record that was completed over 7 years ago, it may not show up in your search result. This can be true even if the person is still currently in prison. The Fair Credit Reporting Act places limits on what information is accessible after 7 years.

#9 - When to Call

If the record you are searching for is over 7 years old can you cannot find it with an online search, place a call to the county courthouse. Find out what their procedures are in handling aged cases.

#10 – When to Call it Quits

If you have exhausted the most logical places and means of performing an online search for a court record with no results you may need to throw in the towel. The website will charge you whether you find what you are looking for or not. At some point, it can get cost prohibitive to remain searching.

By adhering to these top ten tips to performing your online court record search, you should be assured of relatively fair success. If you cannot find what you are looking for, it may not be available to be found.

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