Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Obtaining Court Records and Certified Copies of Documents

Status of a Case

Information about pending or recently concluded civil cases (excluding family law, probate, small claims, traffic, appeals, juvenile traffic, unlawful detainer cases under $25,000, and juvenile cases) can be obtained by viewing the case on the Court's public access site, calling the Civil Division at 916-874-5522 (option 2), sending a letter including appropriate fees to the Civil Correspondence Clerk, hiring a private agency to retrieve information, or going to the Civil Records Unit, Room 102 (window 18) in the Gordon D. Schaber Sacramento County Courthouse. The Civil Unit is open Monday through Friday (except court holidays)from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and is located at 720 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. Civil staff can answer questions about the status of documents, about upcoming scheduled hearings and events, and can tell you when certain documents are due to be filed according to Case Management Program guidelines. Civil staff are not permitted to give legal advice, or tell you how proceed in your case pursuant to Government Code section 68082.

Viewing or Copying Court Files

To obtain copies or certified copies of a civil file or document, you may print them out from the court's public access site, hire a private agency to assist you, go to the Civil Records Unit in the Gordon D. Schaber Sacramento County Courthouse, or complete a Request for Copies of Civil Records and mail it with the appropriate fee(s) to the Civil Correspondence Clerk. To obtain certified copies of a civil file or document the court must provide a copy for certification (i.e. you cannot bring in a copy from home).

For cases and documents filed after November 13, 2007, all public documents may be viewed via the public access site.

For cases and documents filed before November 13, 2007, you will need to view the physical case file. All physical civil files are kept at an off-site retention facility and take approximately 10 business days to be delivered to the main courthouse. If you plan to view one of these files, you will need to order it by coming to the Civil Records Unit or calling the Civil Records Unit at 916-874-7186. Most civil court files are public records and may be viewed by anyone. To see a court file you must present valid picture identification, such as a current driver's license.

A copy machine is available in the Records Unit and copies cost $0.25 per copy. Copy cards cost $1.00 and can be purchased at the dispensers located in Room 101. The dispensers accept only $1.00 bills.

If customers have questions or wish to receive a refund on the balance of their copy card, they may contact Caltronics at 916-363-2611.

Written requests sent to the Civil Correspondence Clerk take approximately 4-6 weeks to complete and require fees for copying, certifying, and researching. If you do not know the court case number you can use the court's public access site for Unlimited Civil cases filed from 1992 to current, and Limited Civil Cases filed from 1996 to current. Cases that are not on the Court's public access site are on microfiche, which is located in the Civil Records Unit, or at the Sacramento County Public Library, 828 I Street, Sacramento.

Fees

The following charges apply if you wish court staff to search for and copy documents. You may send a blank check, made out to Sacramento Superior Court, bearing the words, "Not to exceed [amount] dollars" in the memo section.

  • $15.00 for searching records or files, for each search longer than 10 minutes
  • $0.50 per page for copies
  • $25.00 per certification of a copy of paper, record or proceeding on file (in addition to $0.50 per page for copies)
  • $50.00 per exemplification (in addition to $0.50 per page for copies)

Pursuant to Government Code Sections 70627 and 70633 - external link, ALL FEDERAL and government agencies within California are exempt from paying copy fees. All city, county or state agencies outside of California shall be charged fees for regular copies and certified copies. There is no fee for Exemplifications requested by government agencies outside of California.