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Los Angeles County Court Records

Updated for 2019. More detail.

Stanley Mosk Courthouse, Los Angeles Superior Court

Stanley Mosk Courthouse, Los Angeles Superior Court. Photo by Felicia Aparicio.


Information that follows is from the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Questions, not answered here, should be directed to the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

COURT RECORDS

Copies of court documents - including orders regarding dissolutions of marriage and judgments of dissolutions, probate, name changes, criminal and civil cases – may be available at the courthouse (or judicial district) where the case was filed. To see what documents may be obtained directly from the court online, see Civil Cases, Criminal Cases, Divorce Records or Probate Records below. Court case summary information and, in some cases, court document images, may be available through the court’s online services. If you are unable to use the court's online services, you will have to obtain records in person.

OBTAIN COURT RECORDS IN PERSON

Los Angeles County Superior Court in Long Beach

Obtaining court records in person from the Los Angeles County Superior Court involves showing up at the courthouse where the case was originally filed, finding the Court Records Office, using their in-house computer system to identify your case number, and ordering copies of the records at the desk. Be prepared for traffic, cost of parking, and court fees for copies of records. Try not waste your time by searching for older records at a courthouse when, in fact, those records are found at the Archives and Records Center (cases filed before 2005).

It is possible that some older digital records (at least case unsummaries), depending on type of case and courthouse where filed, may still be obtainable through the court’s online services. You may find that in the appropriate sections that follow.

ONLINE COURT RECORDS, CIVIL & SMALL CLAIMS CASES

Los Angeles County Superior Court Website

If the civil case was filed before 2005, you will likely have to obtain case documents from the Archives & Records Center. For civil cases filed after 2004, summary case information and some document images may be obtainable online.

If you know the case number, you may obtain a case summary online at Case Access. It is cautioned that information is provided "as is" and may be subject to error or omission.

If you do not know a case number, a Case Index may be searchedonline, for a fee, at Search for Case Number by Name. This index, searchable by name, is updated daily and returns a list of litigant names, corresponding case types, filing dates, filing locations, and number of available imaged documents.

The Case Index includes the following case types within the following date ranges:

Civil Case Type Date Range in Index
Unlimited Civil (lawsuits greater than $25,000) 1983 to present
Limited Civil (lawsuits $25,000 or less) 1991 to present
Small Claims (lawsuits 5,000 or less) 1992 to present

Again, case documents for civil cases filed before 2005 must be obtained from the Archives & Records Center.

Some Civil case document images are available online as scanned images at Case Document Images. See table below:

Case Type Courthouse Filing Date
Unlimited Civil (lawsuits greater than $25,000) Stanley Mosk 1/2008 – present*
Central Civil West 8/1/2006 – present*
Other than Stanley Mosk & Central Civil West Contact courthouse directly
Limited Civil (lawsuits $25,000 or less) & Unlawful Detainer/Eviction All 7/31/2017 - present
Small Claims All 5/31/2016 - present

* Note: Not all documents filed or generated by the court within these filing date ranges are available. Newly-filed and previously filed cases are added daily.

Unlawful Detainer case information is not available to the public for the first 60 days after filing. For cases filed after January 1, 2004, it is required that the case remain unavailable in the event any defendant prevails during this 60 day period.


ONLINE COURT RECORDS, CRIMINAL CASES

Los Angeles County Superior Court Website - Criminal

If the criminal case was filed before 2005, you will likely have to obtain case documents from the Archives & Records Center. For criminal cases filed after 2004, summary case information may be obtainable online.

If you know the case number, you may obtain a case summary online at Criminal Case Summary.

If you do not know a case number, a Criminal Case Index may be searched online, for a fee, at Search for Case Number by Defendant Name. This index, searchable by name, is updated daily and returns a list of the defendant’s name, filing date, and filing locations. The Criminal Case Index includes criminal cases filed within date ranges as follows:

Criminal Case Type Date Range in Index
Felony Case Records

1980 to present

Misdemeanor Case Records

1988 to present

NOTE: Some misdemeanor index information goes back to 1983, but this data retrieval date varies based on when former Municipal Courts automated their criminal records.

Criminal case document images are not available online. Again, documents for criminal cases filed before 2005 must be obtained from the Archives & Records Center.


ONLINE COURT RECORDS, DIVORCE & FAMILY LAW RECORDS

Los Angeles County Superior Court Website - Divorce

If the divorce & family law case was filed before 2005, you will likely have to obtain case documents from the Archives & Records Center. For divorce & family law cases filed after 2004, summary case information may be obtainable online.

If you know the case number, you may obtain a case summary online at Case Access. It is cautioned that information is provided "as is" and may be subject to error or omission.

If you do not know a case number, a Case Index may be searched online, for a fee, at Search for Case Number by Name. This index, searchable by name, is updated daily and returns a list of litigant names, corresponding case types, filing dates, and filing locations. The Case Index includes divorce & family law cases filed from 1983 to present. Although family law case document images are not available online, copies of divorce judgements may be obtained through the court’s online services (see next paragraph). Again, case documents for divorce & family law cases filed before 2005 must be obtained from the Archives & Records Center.

Certified copies of Divorce Judgments, regardless of date, may be ordered online at Divorce Judgement Documents. The court charges fees to provide these copies. Although these may be ordered online, copies are delivered by mail.


ONLINE COURT RECORDS, PROBATE RECORDS

Los Angeles County Superior Court Website - Probate

If the probate case was filed before 2005, you will likely have to obtain case documents from the Archives & Records Center. For probate cases filed after 2004, summary case information may be obtainable online.

If you know the case number, you may obtain a case summary online at Case Access. It is cautioned that information is provided "as is" and may be subject to error or omission.

If you do not know a case number, a Case Index may be searchedonline, for a fee, at Search for Case Number by Name. This index, searchable by name, is updated daily and returns a list of litigant names, corresponding case types, filing dates, filing locations, and number of available imaged documents. The Case Index includes probate cases filed from 1983 to present. Only some probate case document images are available online (see next paragraph). Again, case documents for probate cases filed before 2005 must be obtained from the Archives & Records Center.

Probate case document images are only available online for decedent’s estate or trust proceedings. These probate cases, filed after July 1, 2008, are available online as scanned images at Case Document Images. Not every document, however, filed or generated by the court within this filing date range is available. Newly-filed and some previously filed documents are added daily.


Source: Los Angeles County Superior Court