Information that follows is from the Los Angeles Archives & Records Center.
Questions, not answered here, should be directed to that office.
See contact information, location and hours below.
PLEASE NOTE: as of yet, copies of documents from the Archives and Records Center may be requested only in person or by mail. Obtaining a case number for your request, however, may be done online.
The Archives and Records Center stores general jurisdiction court cases filed in Los Angeles County from 1910 through 2004. Records in the archives are from Civil, Small Claims, Divorce and Family Law, Criminal Felony, Probate, and Juvenile cases. If a case was filed after 2004, records must be obtained from the originating court where the case was filed or, in some cases, may be obtained online (see Los Angeles County Court Records). California law allows misdemeanor case records to be destroyed five years after their disposition.
Court records at the Archives may be viewed on either microfilm, paper or in digital images. Public computers are available to view case indexes or view imaged case documents. Before being allowed to view a confidential case, however, you must prove that you are a party to the case by presenting a valid government-issued driver’s license or identification card (including military ID cards).
Copies of all case documents may be purchased in person. There may be a cap on the number of pages that can be copied. Inquire about that if you expect to copy hundreds of pages.
Ordering case documents requires a case number. Some case numbers may be obtained online (see Civil Cases Online, Criminal Index Online, Divorce & Family Law Cases Online or Probate Cases Online). You may also visit the Archives and Records Center in person to obtain a case number. In-person index or record searches are free, unless the search takes more than 10 minutes (in which case, the fee is $15, at last report). If you are unable to find a case number from online indexes and cannot make an in-person search, you may mail in your request for a search and relevant documents. Your mail-in request should include 1) type of case (i.e. criminal, divorce, etc.), 2) names of parties in the case, and 3) approximate year in which the case was filed. Also include, in your mail-in request, what documents you hope to obtain (see following paragraphs).
Mail requests for case documents to Archives and Records Center, 222 N Hill St, Room 212, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Enclose a check, payable to the Los Angeles Superior Court, to cover the copying and certification cost of documents, which is, at last report, 50 cents per page and, if requested, a certification fee of $40 per record. If the document is a final judgment of divorce and certification is requested, add $15 for the certification fee ($10 if requested by a public agency).
In your correspondence, please indicate the case number and the approximate year in which the case was filed. Again, if you were unable to find a case number from online indexes listed above, please include, in your request, 1) type of case (i.e. criminal, divorce, etc.), 2) names of parties in the case, and 3) approximate year in which the case was filed. In addition, please be specific as to what documents you need copied and if certification is requested. Enclose a self-addressed-stamped envelope and a check made payable to “Los Angeles Superior Court” with “Not to Exceed $x.xx” written on the memo line (leave the actual amount line blank). Include an amount greater than or equal to the estimated cost of the order based on the Fee Schedule posted on the Court homepage. If the “Not to Exceed” amount is less than the processing fee, your request will be rejected and mailed back to you. A request by mail may take 8-10 weeks to process.
Divorce Judgements: If you know a case number, Divorce Judgment documents may be available online. Currently, only Family Law Divorce Judgments that have been imaged are available to order online. If a case has not yet been imaged, the online service will return a message to notify you that the records are not currently available.
Original Los Angeles County court records from 1850 to 1899 and probate case records from 1850 to 1910 that are archived are kept at The Huntington Libary, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108. Questions regarding access to these records should be directed to the library at (626) 405-2100.
Los Angeles County Archives & Records Center
Address: 222 N Hill St, Room 212, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday (except court holidays)
Telephone: (213) 830-0198 (please note that voicemail messages will not be returned)
Telephone Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Please note that the center does not respond to voice mail messages left on their telephone line.
Parking is available next door to the Archives beneath Grand Park and is accessible from Hill Street. Parking in the Los Angeles Civic Center area can be pricey. Depending on where and when you park, be prepared for parking fees that could range from $10 to $20-plus.