How Can I Access Court Records?
Public Access Computer Terminals
Public computer terminals are located in the lobby of each divisional office at Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita. Case information may be researched by case number, party name or filing date range. Docket information is available for civil cases filed after 1991 and criminal cases filed after 1994. Document images in PDF format are available for civil cases after March 2003. Public hours are Monday – Friday, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm, closed on national holidays. For location information, click here.
Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER)
PACER is an electronic public access service that allows users to obtain case and docket information from Federal Appellate, District and Bankruptcy Courts, and from the U.S. Party/Case Index. Electronic access is available for most courts by registering with the PACER Service Center, the judiciary’s centralized registration, billing, and technical support center at http://pacer.psc.uscourts.gov.
Clerk’s Office Records Requests
The court maintains some closed files in the Clerk’s Office locations. Copies of these documents and open case files may be obtained by contacting the clerk’s office in person, by telephone, email or U.S. mail. Payment is due before copies may be produced. Completed copy work can be mailed, emailed or picked up in person. Extremely large copy orders may require the purchaser to provide postage or shipping information. For a list of court fees, please click here.
One of the primary responsibilities of the court reporter is to provide a written transcript of court proceedings upon the request of a party or order of court. Written transcripts are prepared within the Judicial Conference’s guidelines on page format, page rates, and delivery schedules. The transcripts of proceedings recorded by electronic sound recording equipment are produced by private transcription services designated by the court to transcribe federal court proceedings. For specific information on the availability and purchase of transcripts (including the Maximum Transcript Rate), CLICK HERE. To purchase a transcript, please contact the assigned judge’s court reporter or the clerk’s office.
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Closed files and/or documents not available electronically or in the clerk’s office are maintained at NARA. NARA offers an automated online ordering system to the public located at http://www.archives.gov/research/order/. For requests of 30 pages or less, your order can be scanned and emailed to you in PDF using the Record Center’s “SmartScan” at http://www.archives.gov/frc/smartscan.html .
If you wish to view the file in person, the fee for the clerk to retrieve a file from NARA is $64.00, payable in advance. All requests require the Accession Number and Location Number of the case file at NARA. The Accession Number and Location Number must be obtained from the Clerk’s Office. Questions regarding access to cases at the Federal Records Center can be addressed to the Clerk’s Office. If a file is retrieved from NARA, it may be viewed at the Clerk’s Office. If reproduction of documents is desired, the copy fee for work performed by the Clerk’s Office will apply.
All fees must be paid in the exact amount as the Clerk’s Office does not make change. Cash, personal check, money orders and credit card payments are accepted.