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Obtain Court Records
From the Superior Court of California
County of Orange





Information that follows is from the Superior Court of California, County of Orange.
Questions, not answered here, should be directed to the court.


COURT LOCATIONS

Central Justice Center
700 Civic Center Dr West, Santa Ana, CA 92701

Lamoreaux Justice Center
341 The City Dr South, Orange, CA 92868

Harbor Justice Center - Newport Beach Facility
4601 Jamboree Rd, Newport Beach, CA 92660

North Justice Center
1275 North Berkeley Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832

Superior Court Service Center
27573 Puerta Real, Mission Viejo, CA 92691

West Justice Center
8141 13th St, Westminster, CA 92683

Court General Information Number
(657) 622-6878


ONLINE CASE ACCESS

The Superior Court of Orange County provides the following online services to the public:

  • Index information which provides limited case filing information.
  • Case access which provides more detail than the indexes such as specific hearing date information and dispositions.

Court indexes are retained permanently and are public information. The detailed information available via the Case Access service remains until such time case records (case files) are destroyed.

NOTE: Per California Rules of Court, case file documents are not available over the internet for Probate, Family Law, Civil Harassment, and Workplace Violence Prevention proceedings. Confidential and sealed cases and case documents are also not available over the internet.


Purchased documents may not be available via the court’s website when system maintenance is occurring (normally occurring after 6:00 p.m. on weekdays or on non-business days).

To search online for case information by Person or Business Name, you must have a Superior Court of Orange County online account. Enrollment for an account is free and may be done here.


CIVIL CASE & SMALL CLAIMS RECORDS & COPIES

The Superior Court of Orange County provides civil case summary and register of action information for cases dating back to 1996 for unlimited/complex civil actions and dating back to 2005 for limited civil actions. Additionally, most documents filed on or after January 1, 2008, may be viewed and downloaded (fees apply). For cases and documents filed prior to these dates, you must contact the court where the case was filed. You may search for available case documents by either a case number or a party name.

Civil Case Document Images Available Online

Most documents filed with or generated by the Court since January 1, 2008 are available online.

To locate a case document, you will need to provide a valid case number or perform a name search for a party in the case. A search by party name will display a list of matching cases and filing dates. Click on the case number to view case information and a list of available documents.

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view, save and print case documents.

Viewing Civil Case Files & Requesting Copies

  • Small Claims – Specific Actions of $10,000 and under
  • Limited Civil – Actions of $25,000 and under
  • Unlimited Civil – Actions over $25,000

Viewing Civil Case Files

Most Unlimited Civil actions may be reviewed from the computers located at the Central Justice Center. Limited Civil and Small Claims actions are found in the local Justice Centers:

Central Justice Center – covering Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Orange, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster.

Harbor Justice Center - covering Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano.

North Justice Center - covering Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton, La Habra, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Placentia, Stanton, Yorba Linda.

File Request Cards are available at each Justice Center. Review of file is dependent upon availability of the file. Older files may be stored off-site and take several days before being delivered to the Court. If the file must be delivered to the Court, the clerk will notify you upon receipt of the file. Check with the clerk for local practice.

Photo Identification

You must deposit a valid photo identification card with the clerk in order to view non-imaged files.

Civil Case Record Search

Superior Court records may be searched from 1889 to present. Current case information is available online. You may search the case by case number, person name, or business name. Indexes for prior years not available online, are located at their respective Justice Centers.

File, Image File, or Register of Actions (Case Summary) Copy Requests

Request for Civil Case File Copies by Mail

Provide the Court with the following information or complete the Copy Request (Form #L-696):

  • Case number (if unknown, see Record Search above).
  • Name of plaintiff/petitioner or defendant/respondent.
  • Name of document and date of filing, if known (please be as specific as possible).
  • If the document is 20 pages or less, write "not to exceed $25.00" below the amount line on your check. The correct amount will be filled in and you will receive a receipt with the copies. Do not send cash.
  • If the document is 21 pages or more and/or you are requesting a certified copy, certificate of fact or exemplification, write "not to exceed $60.00" below the amount line on your check. Again, the correct amount will be filled in and a receipt will be provided with the copies. Do not send cash.
  • Please provide your name, address, and telephone number, and include a 9” x 12” self-addressed, stamped envelope. Postage will be added to your check if postage is insufficient.

CRIMINAL & TRAFFIC CASE RECORDS & COPIES

You may access the Superior Court of Orange County website ONLINE SERVICES to conduct record searches by case number or by person’s name. However, you may also request searches or copies either in person at the Orange County Justice Center (see Justice Centers & Cities Served below) or via mail.

The information provided on and obtained from the Superior Court of Orange County website does not constitute an official record.

Case information provided is based on search criteria entered. Results may not always reflect accurate name/case association.

Note: Traffic citations may not be available through the online case access for up to 21 days from the date the citation was issued.

Government Code section 68152 regulating record retention sets the minimum retention periods as 75 years for felonies and 5 years for general misdemeanors. The Court is not required to destroy after the minimum retention period and the Court cannot destroy records prior to that time period. There are some exceptions to these retention periods as noted in the Government Code.

Record Searches

  • Requests for record searches may be made in person in the Criminal Operations Department at any Justice Center.
  • To request a record search by mail, provide as much information including case number, full name(s), date of birth and driver’s license numbers if known, location and date of violation, and any additional information available. Complete the form: Request for Record Search (Form L-6)
  • Additionally, Online Case and Calendar access allow you to conduct record searches online by case number, person name or business name. Indexes for prior years are not available online at this time, and are located at their respective Justice Center (see Justice Centers & Cities Served below).
  • Costs associated with records searches (see FEES below).

Justice Centers & Cities Served:

Central Justice Center – covering Orange, Santa Ana, Tustin, Villa Park.

Harbor Justice Center - covering Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano.

North Justice Center - covering Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Fullerton, La Habra, La Palma, Placentia, Yorba Linda.

West Justice Center - covering Costa Mesa, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, Stanton, Westminster.

Copy Requests

  • Requests for copies may be made in person in the clerk's office at the Justice Center (see Justice Centers & Cities Served in preceeding section) where the case is filed or by mail.
  • Provide the following information (if unknown, there may be additional fees for conducting a record search): Complete the form: Copy Request (Form L-0696)
  • Defendant’s name
  • Case number
  • Date of birth (if known)
  • Driver’s license number (if known)
  • Specific documents requested
  • A contact phone number of the requestor
  • To request copies by mail, provide the information or copy request form along with a check payable to “Clerk of the Court.” DO NOT SEND CASH. (see Justice Centers & Cities Served above and Court Locations above).
  • If the total amount is unknown, indicate under the amount line “not to exceed $25.00." The correct amount will be filled in and a receipt will be forwarded, along with the requested copies.
  • All checks must be preprinted with account holder's name.
  • Copy requests are generally filled within 7-10 working days.
  • Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope large enough to accommodate the request. Postage will be added to your check if postage on envelope is insufficient.
  • Costs associated with copy requests (see FEES below)

FAMILY LAW CASE RECORDS & COPIES

This section provides information about viewing Family Law records, name indexes, and ordering copies.

Family Law Case Categories
  • Divorce/Separation/Annulment
  • Paternity
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Domestic Violence
  • Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse

PATERNITY & SEALED CASES

Paternity Cases

All information in a Paternity case is confidential. Persons who may view the court file and request copies are:

  • Parties to the case
  • Attorneys of the parties
  • Department of Child Support Services if they are involved in the case
  • Those that have a court order allowing them to do so

A valid photo identification is required to view a Paternity case.

If you are not a party to the paternity case, you must file the form Declaration and Order for Inspection of Confidential Parentage File (Form L-1038) to obtain a court order to view the case.


Sealed Cases

Sealed cases require a court order to view. A valid photo identification is required to view and copy Sealed cases.

VIEWING FAMILY LAW CASE FILES

Viewing Files Online

You may view a summary of proceedings, list of documents filed, party and hearing information on the above Family Law case categories online for cases opened in 1990 to date. A limited number of cases filed prior to 1990 may also be available. If you do not find the record you are looking for, you may have the clerk perform a record search either in person or by mail (see Requesting the Clerk Perform a Case Index Search below).

Note: California Rules of Court prohibit viewing the actual Family Law document itself online, except at a courthouse computer.


Viewing Files at the Courthouse

You may view a summary of proceedings, list of documents filed, party and hearing information for cases opened in 1990 to date at any Orange County Justice Center (see Court Locations above) via public computer terminals. A limited number of cases filed prior to 1990 may also be available. Additionally, the actual documents may be viewed for the following cases:

  • Dissolution/Legal Separation/Nullity cases from 1997 to date
  • Domestic Violence Restraining Orders/Cases initiated by the Department of Child Support Services from 2000 to date

Family Law cases opened prior to these dates are available for viewing, but may be stored offsite. You may order a case by calling (657) 622-8457. The case will be available for viewing and copying within approximately four (4) business days at the Lamoreaux Justice Center (see Court Locations above), Family Law Division Clerk’s Office, 7th floor. The clerk will contact the requesting party when the case is available.

Photo Identification

A valid photo identification is required in order to view a case not on the public computer terminal.

REQUESTING COPIES OF FAMILY LAW CASE FILES

You may request copies for most types of Family Law cases. You may also request that the copies be certified.

Requesting Copies Online

Family Law public records may be ordered and paid for online for the following cases:

  • Dissolution/Legal Separation/Nullity cases from 1997 to date
  • Domestic Violence Restraining Orders/Cases initiated by the Department of Child Support Services from 2000 to date

A limited number of cases opened prior to these dates may also be available. (Copies will be mailed). If you do not find the record you are looking for, you may have the clerk perform a record/document search either in person or by mail (see Requesting the Clerk Perform a Case Index Search below).

Requesting Copies in Person

Copies of documents for Family Law public records stored electronically may be ordered at any Orange County Justice Center (see Court Locations above), via public computer terminals for the following cases:

  • Dissolution/Legal Separation/Nullity cases from 1997 to date
  • Domestic Violence Restraining Orders/Cases initiated by the Department of Child Support Services from 2000 to date

A limited number of cases filed prior to these dates may also be available.

Family Law cases opened prior to these dates are available for viewing and copies, but may be stored offsite. You may order a case by calling (657) 622-8457. The case will be available for viewing and copying within approximately 4 business days at the Lamoreaux Justice Center (see Court Locations above), Family Law Division Clerk’s Office, 7th floor. The clerk will contact the requesting party when the case is available.

To request copies:

Requesting Copies by Mail
  • Complete the form: Copy Request (Form L-696)
  • Include payment (see FEES below)
  • Include a self-addressed, stamped appropriate size envelope depending on the number of copies ordered. Postage fees will be added to the check/credit card if postage on the envelope is insufficient.
  • Mail to: Lamoreaux Justice Center, Attn: Family Law Records, 341 The City Drive, Orange, CA 92868

PROBATE CASE RECORDS & COPIES

Probate Case Information from the Orange County Superior Court is available online.

Per California Rules of Court, however, Probate proceedings case file documents are NOT available online.

Case Types online:

  • Probate
  • Mental Health

Case Types NOT online:

  • Adoption or Sealed cases

Date Range of Online Information:

Information available online is limited to what the California Rules of Court (CRC) 2.503 (b) and (c) allow.

Information available:

Index: You may search the index for probate cases by the person's name, in order to get a Superior Court Case Number. A case number is needed to look up case information in the Register of Actions and Calendar.

Register of Action: The Register of Action is a list of documents filed within each case, the date filed and which party filed it. You must have a case number in order to search in the Register of Actions.

Calendar: You can look up hearing dates both past and future. This information includes time of the hearing, and which department it was or will be scheduled in. You must have a case number in order to search the calendar.


CASE INDEXES

Case indexes contain a listing of cases filed. They are retained permanently.

Viewing Case Indexes Online

You may perform a search for a case online by party name or the Superior Court of Orange County case number. Cases opened in 1990 and after are generally available. If you do not find the record you are looking for, you may have the clerk perform a record search or go to the Lamoreaux Justice Center (see Court Locations above) for assistance (see Requesting the Clerk Perform a Case Index Search below).

Viewing Case Indexes at the Courthouse

You may perform a search for a case at the Lamoreaux Justice Center (see Court Locations above), Family Law Division Clerk’s Office, 7th floor for cases opened in 1968 or later.

If the case was opened prior to 1968, the search must be performed at the Central Justice Center (see Court Locations above), Records Management Unit, 1st floor.

Requesting the Clerk Perform a Case Index Search

You may request that the clerk perform a record search. The fee for each search longer than 10 minutes is $15.00. Complete the Request for Record Search (L-0006) FORM and mail it with the fee to the Lamoreaux Justice Center, Attn: Family Law Records, 341 The City Drive, Orange, CA 92868

Purchasing Case Indexes (see below)


PURCHASING CASE INDEXES

Person indexes (currently available via compact disk) are available for purchase for the following categories:

  • Civil and Small Claims
  • Criminal and Traffic
  • Family Law
  • Probate (includes Name Change, Guardianship, Conservatorship, Minor Emancipation, and Minor's Compromise)

Criminal and civil CD's contain name index for cases filed in the limited and unlimited jurisdiction. CD's may be purchased from the court for $50.00 each.

A Monthly CD and a Legacy CD are available for purchase for each operational area. Each CD contains a readme file showing data layout and general information about the index records. For the Monthly CD, the file for the current month is generated on or about the 15th day of the following month and is cumulative for the year. For example, a file generated on July 15, 2005, will contain data for the period from January 1, 2005 through June 30, 2005. The Legacy CD contains all index data for prior years, back to the earliest index data residing in the database. Legacy CD's are prepared based on the time period specified in the CD Order Form, such as Legacy 2001 – 2005.

The files included on each CD are plain text files that can be viewed in any word processor or spreadsheet program. Based on the size of the Legacy CD for civil, the data may be broken down into 25 megabyte pieces.

Complete the form: Order Form For Name Indexes on Compact Disk (Form L-457).

For additional information regarding indexes or to check on an index order, e-mail the Superior Court of Orange County Records Management Unit at: cjcrecordsmanagement@occourts.org or call (657) 622-7809.


FEES

Make Checks Payable to: Clerk of the Court (Return check service charge: $45.00)

Flat fee for each case document downloaded (up to 10 pages) $7.50
Fee for each additional document page for document with 11+ pages (maximum $40.00) $0.07

Online Public Name Search – 1 name $1.00
Online Public Name Search – 5 names $4.00
Online Public Name Search – 10 names $7.50
Online Public Name Search – 75 names $50.00
Unlimited Online Public Name Searches for 30 Days $250.00

Other Service Fees

Certifying a copy of paper, record, or proceeding on file $25.00
Preparing a copy of any record, proceeding or paper on file (per page) $0.50
Searching records or files, for each search longer than 10 minutes $15.00
Certified copy of marriage or domestic partnership dissolution record (requested by public agency) $10.00
Certified copy of marriage or domestic partnership dissolution record (requested by any other applicant) $15.00

Purchase may consist of multiple documents from multiple cases.

Documents will be available online for fourteen (14) days from the date of purchase.