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How To Find Court Records In New York

How To Access New York Divorce Records Online

Court Records in the New York State Archives

The online portal for accessing divorce case files in New York is the New York State Department of Health online platform. This platform provides records of divorce case files in all 62 counties of New York. The information required to obtain a copy of a divorce record online include:

  • A $30 fee payable by credit card only
  • A $15 fee for priority handling
  • A $8 vendor processing fee
  • A valid photo-ID or copy of one
  • A proof of address or copy of one

Should accessing or finding a record prove difficult, third party websites can help not only locate, but obtain a record in question. Note that records obtained in this way may not be considered official or certified, and record availability may vary from government sources.

Are New York Records Public

New York public records refer to government-generated documents accessible to state residents and non-residents. The New York Public Records Act or Freedom of Information Law is a series of laws that enables public members to access public records. As defined by the New York Freedom of Information Law, public records are any data stored, held, filed, created, or re-created by the state legislature or agency. For example, the following documents are classified as New York public records:

  • Court record
  • Public death records
  • Public New York divorce records

New York Public records may exist as physical documents, such as photographs, maps, graphs, charters, manuals, pamphlets, folders, books, designs, opinions, reports, or letters. In contrast, public members may also access New York public records in digital format, which may include formats such as videos, sounds, and electronic communication . Per the New York Public Records Act, public members can obtain public documents by contacting the custodian agency responsible for maintaining the records.

Note: documents generated outside the government but currently in a custodian agencys possession are subject to the New York Freedom of Information Law.

New York District Courts

The New York District Court is a state court whose jurisdiction cuts across eight counties in the State of New York. District Courts are special courts that arraign defendants accused of felonies, misdemeanors, and lesser offenses. These courts also deal with civil suits involving claims up to $15,000 and matters of small-claims not in excess of $5,000. It also handles landlords and tenants matters. Its jurisdiction in Suffolk County also covers town ordinance offenses that are prosecuted by the towns.

New York District Courts are located in counties outside New York City. They are located in Nassau County and parts of Suffolk County. In Suffolk County, the District Courts consist of six districts. The first district covers all the other districts and towns, while other districts have courthouses covering one town each.

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How To Find A Divorce Record In New York

Divorce – commonly referred to as a dissolution of a marriage – occurs when two people who are currently married choose to reverse, annul, or otherwise repeal the marriage. There are three ways that this decision to dissolve a marriage are recorded, and being aware of the differences between the three can save time when attempting to obtain a divorce record.

Divorce records are considered court records. They may therefore be searched on third party public record websites. Divorce records can offer personal information on minors, finances, and sensitive criminal information like domestic abuse. Because of this, divorce record, certificate, and decree availability is usually much lower than other types of public records because of the personal nature of divorces. Simply put, divorce records are significantly harder to obtain and search for than other types of public records.

How To Access Records


The Unified Court System maintains two types of records administrative records and court records. Administrative records are those records maintained by the different divisions within the Office of Court Administration , which do not constitute court records. Administrative records are subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law . Court records, however, are not subject to disclosure under FOIL. Public Officers Law, § 86. Rather, court records are subject to disclosure under section 255 of the judiciary law.

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Does New York Hold Remote Trials

According to The Revised Pandemic Procedures in the Trial Courts issued by the New York Chief Administrative Judge, trial courts in the State of New York may conduct virtual bench trials and hearings. The memo stated that taking effect from November 16, 2020, all future bench trials and hearings will be held virtually unless with the permission of the respective Deputy Chief Administrative Judge. It also notified that new jury trials, whether criminal or civil, will be suspended till further notice. Summons for new grand jurors are also suspended till further notice. Pending criminal, civil, and grand juries will continue till they are concluded.

The provision for remote hearings was due to the unfavorable trends in the rate of transmission of coronavirus in the New York state. However, in-person court conferences might continue under strict social distancing rules, health, and safety procedures. These decisions may be open for further amendments depending on the state of the public health situation.

What Is A Mugshot

As you look at criminal records, youll often come across mugshots. A mugshot is a photo taken when the person was arrested and booked into jail. It typically shows the individual standing and facing the camera. Some mugshots may include identifying information, including the date of the booking and the height of the individual. Jails may also include photos that show any identifying marks on the person, including tattoos and scars. This helps you make sure that the person you searched for is the same one in the report.

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Information On Qualification And Promotional Materials

Exempted documents in this category include testing or investigative materials used for determining appointments or promotions in federal government service. The materials are restricted from public view if it will compromise the integrity of the appointment or promotion process. The exemption also includes documents detailing the criteria for promotion in the armed forces, which may reveal the identity of the documents creator.

Where Can I Access Public Criminal Court Records In New York

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Interested public members can access public criminal records via various online and offline databases maintained by local and state custodian bodies. Section 225 of the New York Judiciary Law governs the process of obtaining criminal court records, and interested persons can access these records via the following custodian agencies:

  • The County Clerk or the Clerk of the Court where the criminal court case occurred
  • The New York State Office of Court Administration .

All public access to New York criminal court records starts with the request to a custodian agency. To obtain public criminal records in New York, record seekers must submit a request to the county clerk or clerk of the court. Record seekers sending a written request must provide enough information to the Clerk of the Court to get public criminal records in New York. Instead of submitting a written request, interested persons may visit the Clerk of the Court in person to view or photocopy publicly available criminal court records.

In contrast, the OCA maintains online and offline databases of all criminal court cases recorded in New York. To obtain online copies of New York criminal court case records, interested parties must create an account on the On-Line Direct Access platform. There are two account options on the online platform – public and corporate account options.

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Who Can Access New York Public Records

Per the New York Freedom of Information Law N.Y. Pub. Off. Law § 87, state residents have the statutory right to access public records. In addition, both residents and non-residents can access, make copies, and request corrections to public records under the supervision of custodian agencies. However, custodian agencies may restrict access to certain documents due to particular circumstances. For example, divorce records in New York are not available to the general public – only the record subject and legal practitioners can request access to the documents.

What Are The Federal District Courts In New York

The District Courts of New York are located in Nassau County, as well as the five towns in Suffolk County. These courts have jurisdiction over civil cases, which include amounts going up to $15,000. Additionally, they have jurisdiction over various criminal matters, including misdemeanors and less serious offenses.

New York has four federal district courts. These include the Northern, Souther, Western, and Eastern Districts in the State of New York. There are two instances when a federal court has jurisdiction over a case. These include federal question jurisdiction and diversity jurisdiction.

  • Diversity jurisdiction: When a civil case includes citizens of different states or there is more than $75,000 involved.
  • Federal question: When a case involves federal laws, which appear in the United States code or constitution.

If the cases fall in jurisdiction of the district courts and the state courts, the plaintiff is able to pick which court they would want to have the trial in. However, the defendant can have some input as well. They can change the case from state to federal, if they would rather have it filed there.

Additionally, the district courts hold jurisdiction over bankruptcy, copyrights, patents, maritime law, and when the federal government needs representation in the case. This could be when they’re included as a party in the trial, for instance.

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How Can You Access Public Records

One of the best ways to access public records is through the web. You should start with different departments and offices such as the tax assessors office, which is responsible for maintaining property records. The recorders office often provides more information about property owners and can tell you if there are back taxes due on the property or if the property is in foreclosure. You can also use those records to see the value of the property as it stands. Some websites will gather public records and let you view all records in one place. You can do a search for the individuals name and pick that person based on his or her age and other identifying information. Most of these sites charge a fee though.

You also have the option of visiting the courthouse and offices in the county or city where the individual lived or lives. This is helpful because there are often workers who can assist you with going through the records and make sure you find the info that you need. Most of these offices also make it easy to create copies of all those records that you can take home with you.

New York Criminal Court

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New York City Criminal Court hears cases concerned with misdemeanors and lesser offenses. Criminal Court judges may also conduct arraignments and preliminary hearings for felonies. As the name suggests, the court only exists in New York City. Unlike in other trial courts where judges are elected, the Mayor of the City of New York has the responsibility of appointing the judges for the court.

The judges are usually appointed to a 10-year term in office. Only persons who are charged with serious crimes may face a jury trial. Serious crimes in New York state are defined as those which may attract more than six months of jail terms. Defendants charged with non-serious crimes may be entitled to a bench trial.

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New York Public Records

New York citizens have the right to seek out, obtain, study, and use public records held by government agencies, municipal bodies, and law enforcement authorities. This right is presented to them by both New Yorks and the United States Freedom of Information Law, which states that any record generated by a government authority is considered public unless officially sealed.These records are available to all members of the general public, who are able to access these records in a concise and immediate manner, and without requiring the divulgence of personal information unless such information is required to access confidential information.Criminal records, court records, vital records, and arrest records from over 330 million transparent public records are available on this website.

Records for New York were created from as far back as 1850, and include information from all 62 counties in New York State. The digitization of public records has become the standard over the last 30 years, allowing websites both governmental and third party to offer these records online. This fulfils the mission of Freedom of Information Laws from a country, state, county and municipal level, which is to offer transparency to further assure a fair and just society for all.

Confidential Or Personal Information

The exemption covers documents that lead to an unwarranted invasion of an individual’s privacy. For instance, an individuals medical history and personal information of government personnel are exempt under the New York Freedom of Information Law. Also, it protects the personal data of crime victims from public access. Furthermore, it prevents record custodians from revealing data protected under attorney-client privilege.

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New York City Court Information

New York City has five types of courts:

The Supreme Court, Civil and Criminal: The New York State Supreme Court is a trial court that hears civil and criminal cases. The Supreme Court has two branches: Criminal Term and Civil Term in each of the five boroughs. The Criminal Term of the Supreme Court handles various felony and misdemeanor cases, including murder, burglaries, conspiracies, weapons charges, and drug, and traffic cases. The Civil Term of the Supreme Court handles civil cases over $25,000 and hears medical malpractice cases, labor law disputes, motor vehicle cases, and other torts.

Criminal Court: The New York City Criminal Court handles misdemeanors and lesser offenses and conducts arraignments and preliminary hearings for felonies. For general information on the NYC Criminal Court system, call the NYC Criminal Court Information Line at 646-386-4500.

Family Court: The New York City Family Court hears cases that involve children and families. The Family Court has the authority to make decisions over cases involving:

For general information on the Family Court, call the NYC Family Court Information Line at 212-347-3700.

Civil Court: The New York City Civil Court hears civil cases involving amounts up to $25,000, as well as other civil matters that are referred to it by the Supreme Court. The Civil Court also hears small claims cases involving amounts up to $5,000 and housing-related civil cases.

Federal Court Records Of The National Archives At New York City

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The National Archives at New York City has legal custody of records filed in the Federal Courts located in New York, New Jersey, and Puerto Rico. We also have a selection of pre-Federal court records.

Please see our Federal Court Records of the National Archives at New York City Finding Aidfor detailed information about these records and how you can research them. The finding aid provides a description of the records including a Brief Administrative History of the Courts, a list of our holdings , and includes Pre-Federal Court Records, U.S. Circuit and District Court Records, and Records of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

The finding aid also lists some notable cases in our records including the Alger Hiss and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg espionage cases, the prosecution of Susan B. Anthony for illegal voting, the trial of Marcus Garvey for mail fraud, and copyright cases involving Charlie Chaplin, Cole Porter, and Oscar Hammerstein, and the song “Happy Birthday.”

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What Is A New York Divorce Decree

New York state divorce decrees are sealed documents that contain all of the information included in a divorce certificate, plus the court’s final judgement. Generally, a divorce decree serves the purpose of stating the rights and responsibilities of both parties. This includes spousal support, child support, child custody, visitation schedules, division of property, life and health insurance responsibilities, and how the parties will divide debt or future payments. Most often, a divorce decree is requested by one of the parties when they wish to review and make changes to it. This document is available for purchase by either spouse, and also by anyone with a New York State Court Order.

New York Court Records Search

This page provides information about Court Records Search resources in New York.Links are grouped by those that cover courts statewide, for multiple counties, and then by individual county.

Bronx County Supreme Court Civil Case RecordsChemung County Public RecordsCheektowaga Town Court Records InformationErie County Offcial RecordsLewis County Court RecordsMonroe County Court RecordsNassau County Judgment RecordsNew York County Supreme Court Civil Branch Records and DocumentsSuffolk County Civil Court Minutes and JudgmentsTompkins County Court Records

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Locate The Proper Probate Court

If you have been named in the estate plan either as a fiduciary or a beneficiary, you need to stay updated on the information about the case.

The first step is to know where the estate is to be probated. Depending on New York law, the estate probate happens in the county of residency of the person till his death. In other cases, the estate can be probated where the person had real estate.

How Much Do Public Records Cost In New York

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Most custodian agencies may charge for providing copies of public records in New York. Generally, it costs $0.25 per page for copying public records ). Note that custodian agencies may charge additional fees for certified and notarized copies of public documents. Also, postage or mailing fees alongside fees for online payments are included when requesting public records.

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