Probate records are public records subject to public view and copying, unless they are confidential by operation of law or sealed by the court. Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) cases involve persons who may be placed in a locked facility, there are special protections to ensure that the conservatee’s rights are protected. LPS records are confidential. Documents within a court record may also be confidential, i.e. investigation reports, mediation reports, doctor evaluations, psychological evaluations, etc. Confidential records or documents may only be viewed and copied by the parties or their attorneys of record.
Valid state or federally issued photo identification
Valid state or federally issued photo identification is required to view records. Acceptable forms of state or federally issued photo identification that are unexpired include:
- Driver license
- U.S. Resident's Card (green card)
- State issued I.D.
- Military I.D.
- Voter's I.D.
If You Do Not Have a Case Number
If you do not know the case number, you may create an online account and pay a fee to look it up using the court's public case access system, or you may go to the courthouse in person to use the public kiosk located in room 214 at no charge. There is no need for a service ticket to use the kiosk.
Viewing or Copying Probate Records
Probate records are available on the public case access system or at the kiosks in Room 214 at the William R. Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse. The guidelines for viewing and requesting copies of records vary depending on how they are stored, whether you are a party, and whether you are representing a public agency. The various processes are as follows:
|Probate Records||Are stored...||And may be obtained...|
|With case numbers starting with:
||At the courthouse.||
|Filed between 1937 and 2006||Digitally at the courthouse.||By mail or drop box. Copies may be requested by submitting a Request for Copies of Probate Records form by mail or by placing it in the drop box located inside the courthouse. See instructions below.|
|Filed before 1937||At the Center for Sacramento History.||By contacting the Center for Sacramento History directly or by email at centerforsacramentohistory.org.|
In Person Viewing or Copying
To view or copy records in person, the Probate Unit is located on the second floor, room 214, at the William R. Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse. You do not need a service ticket to use the kiosk.
By Mail Viewing or Copying
To obtain a copy of records by mail or drop box, you must complete a Request for Copies of Probate Records and mail or drop it in the drop box at William R. Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse, 3341 Power Inn Road, Sacramento, CA 95826. The request must be accompanied with a copy of valid state or federally issued photo identification, the fees or copy of the fee waiver, if applicable, and addressed to the Probate Records Clerk. Fees can be paid by check or money order. Do not mail or drop box cash.
The drop box is located at the entrance of the William R. Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse and the building hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday (excluding court holidays).
Public entities inside the state of California may request a copy of records in person or by mail. If requesting by mail, complete a Request for Copies of Probate Records and provide a copy of your public entity identification.
Public entities outside the state of California may request a copy of records in person or by mail; the copy and certification fees pursuant to the court's fee schedule are required.
Pursuant to Government Code Sections 70626 through 70628 - external link, copy and record search fees are as follows:
|Standard Copy||$0.50 per page|
|Certified Copy of document or file||$40.00 per certified document or file + Standard Copy Fee|
|Exemplified Copy||$50.00 per case + Standard Copy Fee|
|Records Search||$15.00 if a case number is not provided|
|Postage fees||To be determined|