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Superior Court of California - County of San Diego: General Information: Accessing Court Records: Obtain Copy of Court File

Obtain a Copy Of a Court File

The San Diego Superior Court does not send out court files electronically or by fax. In addition, persons are not allowed to use cameras (including phones with cameras) to take pictures of the contents of a file.

General Order 010416-03 In re Procedure Regulating Photography, Recording and Broadcasting in Courthouse

Once you have located the case number and court location, there are a number of ways to obtain a copy of a court record. Records may be requested:

  • On-line when accessing imaged court records for limited case types/locations post 2011.
  • In person at the courthouse or branch location where the record is located.
  • By mailing a request for copies to the office where the record is located, along with appropriate fee.

Copies of sealed and confidential documents or case files  may not be available without a court order.

In Person

Go to the courthouse where the file is located.  Copy requests must be made to the clerk at least 30 minutes prior to the business office closing.

By Mail

Send a letter to the court facility where the case was tried. In the letter, include the following:

  • The case number
  • The names of the parties involved
  • The names of the documents that you want to have copied from the court file

Be aware that a research fee may apply if the search for the documents you have requested takes more than 10 minutes (GC§70627(c)).

Payment via Mail

  • You must include a self-addressed stamped envelope with sufficient postage to have your copies sent to you by Mail.
  • If you do not know how many pages are in the documents that you are requesting or whether a research fee will be charged, make your check payable to "Superior Court" and write on the Memo line Not to exceed $ _____ (on the Memo line you can specify an amount: $20, $30 or whatever you think will cover the cost).
  • To pay by credit card, use the Credit Card Payment form (SDSC Form #ADM-253)
  • A receipt indicating the fee charged will be mailed back to you with your copies.
  • Copy requests received by mail may take several weeks to process.

There are additional fees for certification of copies and retrieving older cases from off-site storage.  Click here for schedule of fees.

Methods of Payment

The court accepts:
  • Cash
  • Checks
  • Money orders
  • Credit cards (Visa, Master Card or American Express)
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