Public Records Search and Guide
Public records and public records search are a very important aspect of our society. These records are used in many different ways within the United States to help make decisions about a person. This could be about trust, dating, or just curiosity. Finding public records in today’s day and age is much easier thanks to our technology. Databases are searchable from almost any computer, tablet or smart phone device and records can be searched and viewed in minutes. We are going to look at what a public record is, how they are created, what information you can find, and how you can go about running a public records search on your own.
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What is a public record?
Simply put a public record is a piece of information on a person that is not deemed confidential and can be viewed by the public if searched.
How long have public records been around?
Public records have been around for a very long time. In fact, some of the earliest records are from ancient Babylon where records have been kept on clay tablets. In Europe royal marriages and treaties were recorded and kept dating back as far as the early 1800’s.
The Freedom of Information Act
This law allows public records to be viewed in either its entirety or partial information in a record or documents controlled by the U.S. Government. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed this into law in 1996 of July 4.
The Freedom of Information act insist that there be a more local level when it comes to public record laws. This can be done on a state-by state basis or in some cases a municipality basis at each level of government law in terms of their own public record laws.
In access information an individual would need to contact each agency per state that would handle records such as State and municipal courts, clerk offices, town halls, and DMV offices.
What kind of public records can you find?
There are different types of public records that you can find when searching. Here are a list of the kind of records you can get access to:
Criminal and Arrest records
Civil and Vital records
Accessing of public record data
As we talked about public records are public information that can be assessed by the public, however not all records are available without restrictions.
Because all states within the U.S have FOI legislation to some degree it may depend on what state you’re trying to access public records from will determine how easy it is to obtain this information.
Some States make it quit easy to obtain data while others like Pennsylvania where current law presumes all documents are exempt from disclosure.
This was the case until a new law took effect in January 1, 2009 that all documents will be presumed to be open to the public unless the specific agency holding them can make the argument and prove otherwise.
Lets take a look at the court system in the United States at both the federal level and supreme court. We will explore how the court system works and what kind of records they hold.
Federal laws are approved by Congress and always signed by the President of the United States. The federal judiciary will operate separately from legislative branches.
Courts are the ones that decide if a person committed a crime and because of this decide what the punishment should be. Certain disputes will end up in federal courts while others will be in state courts.
United States Appeals courts
1st Circuit Courts of Appeals
2nd Circuit Courts of Appeals
3rd Circuit Courts of Appeals
4th Circuit Courts of Appeals
5th Circuit Courts of Appeals
6th Circuit Courts of Appeals
7th Circuit Courts of Appeals
8th Circuit Courts of Appeals
9th Circuit Courts of Appeals
10th Circuit Courts of Appeals
11th Circuit Courts of Appeals
District of Colombia Circuit Court of Appeals
Within the United States federal court system, you can find 12 circuit courts along with 94 district courts that sit below the United States Supreme court system. District courts are the courts that trials of federal law are held at. Remember, circuit courts are the appellate courts meaning they don’t actually conduct a trial but instead hear appeals from lower courts within the United States.
Most people have heard of the Supreme Court and know it’s the highest court within the United States of America. There are 94 district trial levels of courts and 13 courts of appeals that can appeal a court case to the Supreme Court.
Accessing Public Records from a National Search Service
Using a Public record Search Service is a great start to finding public records for a number of reasons. The first is because its a fast way for a very reasonable price to search public records on someone with just a first and last name. These searches can be done from a computer or smartphone with records being checked against federal, state, and local data sources.
There are many other features available to a user once they signup to use a service like this. Users will have access to many tools like criminal searches, arrest records, arrest warrants, sex offender searches, relative persons, social media searches and much more right from an easy to use dashboard.
This should definitely be one of the first areas someones searches when first starting out. Because of the low cost and speed users can dig up information quickly that could lead to other areas of finding information.
Public Records Search by State
Search public records by State. Click on the state below to access public records. Enter a first and last name and choose the state you wish to search for.
Remember running a public records search does not have to be intimidating. First try running an online search it faster and can be more cost affect in the long term. If your search subject lives near you and you want to visit your local court system that is also an option. Call your clerk of courts first to find out if you can find this data online or if you need to physical go to there place of business.
Also there many reasons to search for public data so if your feeling curious or feel like you need to learn the truth about someone running a public records search may just be the answer.