PUBLIC RECORDS NO. 2: CIVIL RECORDS

Welcome! I am so glad that you are here, whether this is your first time to my blog, or you are a frequent flyer, I am honored that you have decided to spend a few minutes of your time with me.

I spend countless hours in court houses, and recorders offices all over southwest Idaho, researching and providing documents, and data for my clients. Working with this information has provided me with some unique insight on the types of information that can be found, and exactly where to find it. I am hopeful that I can share some of that knowledge with you. Please be sure to read all of my posts relating to Public Records for more tips, and tricks.

This is the second issue of a series of blog posts focused on Public Records. Each post in the series will focus on one type of record, including its source, and what type of information you may find in it. In PUBLIC RECORDS NO. 2, I will focus on civil records from the local county courthouse.

It is important for you to understand that all records are not considered Public Records, and just because it is a Public Record, does not always make it accessible to you. Many types of court cases are sealed, and therefore not accessible to just anyone. Laws, and the rules of the courts vary by location, it is important that you familiarize yourself with each institution where you are conducting your research to see which types of processes occur there, and what types of information is available for public view. Please always remember to be polite to the clerks.

Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. 

Civil matters come in all shapes, and sizes including but not limited to, small claims actions, civil lawsuits, unlawful detainer/eviction cases, domestic actions, and probate matters, etc. Many types of civil matters may contain information in them that may be of assistance to you in locating someone of the living, or can also be a great resource for gathering historic genealogical information pertaining to your family tree. 

In the event of a civil lawsuit, for example, there are documents that must be served to the parties of the case. Generally, an Affidavit of Service or Certificate of Service will contain the address information for the parties to the case. When reviewing a case to locate this type of document, you can refer to a Docket, Register of Actions, or a Case Summary to locate documents within that case.

Sometimes, only the addresses of the attorney's in the cases appear, you'll need to check to see that the name that is listed with the address matches the name that you are researching. If you are unable to locate any useful information in the case, be sure to check for other cases within that institution. 

If you are able to locate address information that turns out to be no longer a current address, I recommend that you inquire with the United States Post Office about requesting an address correction, perhaps they have a forwarding address on file. I also recommend checking within other county institutions such as the Recorder's Office. (More about the Recorder's Office coming in my next post in the series.)

So, whats the take away from this? Life happens, and when it does it generates a paper trail. You just need to know where to look. 

In closing, I hope that you find something in this article that will provide you with some direction for your search. I wish you the best of luck. I have had much success with this method. Should you be in need of professional assistance to further your research please contact me for your free 30 minute consultation, I would be happy to assist you in your endeavor.

Questions? Comments? Please feel free to start a conversation. I am happy to take suggestions for future blog articles. Thanks for reading, and don't forget to subscribe today, so you won't miss any future posts. - A Research Guru