How to View a Court File
For viewing hard copy court files, the public may request to view a file by filling out the required court form and showing a valid driver's license or other valid photo I.D. at the appropriate business office.
All files must be viewed within the records section of the court's business office. Files cannot be removed from the court. Any person who willfully removes, destroys or alters any court record is subject to the penalties imposed by Government Code Sections 6200 or 6201.
Some Civil, Small Claims, Family, Traffic, and Older Records documents may be available at computer kiosks in the appropriate business offices.
Having a case number and/or party name(s) readily available will be helpful - please refer to the online case search for assistance in locating case numbers ahead of your visit to the courthouses.
Some documents in Civil, Probate and Small Claims cases may be available for download online. Learn more on how to obtain a copy of a court file online or by mail.
Because of limited space, many case files are stored at an off-site location after a certain amount of time. If the case for which you are searching for is housed away from a court facility, there is a retrieval charge that is due and collected at the time the request is made. Please refer to the Records-Related Fees on the current fee schedule for retrieval costs.
Government Code Sections 6200 and 6201
Unauthorized removal of records is a violation of Government Code Sections 6200 AND 6201 and will subject a violator to imprisonment, fine, or both. The statutes are set out below in full:
Section 6200. Offenses by official custodian
Every officer having the custody of any record, map, or book, or of any paper or proceeding of any court, filed or deposited in any public office, or placed in his or her hands for any purpose, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years if, as to the whole or any part of the record, map, book, paper, or proceeding, the officer willfully does or permits any other person to do any of the following:
(a) Steal, remove, or hide.
(b) Destroy, mutilate, or deface.
(c) Alter or falsify.
Section 6201. Offenses by persons other than officers
Every person not an officer referred to in Section 6200, who is guilty of any of the acts specified in that section, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, or in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both such fine and imprisonment.