How to get a copy of a court record

You can get copies of a court order, decree, judgment, or other records filed in your case from the court where the case was filed. You can ask for a copy in person, by mail, and, in many courts, online. There is generally a fee to get a copy of a record unless you have a fee waiver.


For records available online, you may be able to get a copy of the record that day. For older records, which may not be stored at the courthouse, it can take many weeks to get a copy of the record.

How to get copies

Find out if you need a certified copy

Depending on why you need the record, you may need a certified copy of the record. Often government agencies or financial institutions, like a bank, will need certified copies. Ask whoever needs the record whether they need a certified copy or not. 

Go to the court's website or contact the court for instructions

You can use Find My Court to find the court's website and clerk contact information. Most court websites have instructions about how to ask for a copy of a record. 

When you ask for a record, you will generally need to know at least one party's name or the case number. It can help to know what year it was filed. If it takes a clerk more than 10 minutes to locate the record, you may be charged a $15.00 search fee.

Copies typically cost $0.50 per page (1-side). Certified copies are $40.00 per document. For some types of cases, like a restraining order case, the parties in the case can get a copy of the orders for free. Copies are also free if you have a fee waiver.

If a case or record is confidential, you will need to prove you have a right to access the record or case. For example, cases in juvenile court or adoption cases are confidential. Only one of the parties, their lawyer, or someone else authorized to see the case, can get a copy of the record or information about the case. 

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