Court files are public records and subject to public inspection. California Rules of Court, rule 2.400(a) states that all papers in the court files may be inspected by the public in the office of the clerk. Rule 2.550(a) says that unless confidential or sealed by law, all court records are presumed open. The District Attorney’s Office does not release copies of court files. Reporters wishing to obtain copies of a court file should go to the Clerk’s Office in person and request the file. The Superior Court Clerk’s Office will not fax or send electronic copies of court files.
The public may view and obtain copies of the following case types:
- Domestic (Divorce, Child Custody, Legal Separation, and Domestic Violence)
- Mental Health (Civil and Criminal)
- Minor Offense (Traffic and Infractions) Civil
- Small Claims
In most cases you can locate a court file either via the court's online case search or by going to the court location where the case was tried.