Finding Georgia court records was once a difficult task. However, modern laws and updated technology have made court records readily accessible to the general public. Like all U.S. states, Georgia keeps an extensive log of all court filings. Court records consist of information that has been filed by federal, state and local governments, including trial dates, arrest and conviction records, divorce settlements and trial dates. These records are accessible via the courthouse, can be requested over the phone and are also available online. The following steps will provide you with the necessary tools to acquire any court records you need.
Visiting the Courthouse
A trip to a Georgia courthouse will provide access to all court records on file. Search online or look through the yellow pages to find the courthouse nearest you. Travel to the courthouse and request the records from a court clerk. Since court records are open to the public, clerks must provide copies to everyone who requests them. Be sure to have the name and if possible, the date of birth of the person you are looking for. This information will be necessary in order to narrow the search. After taking the information, the clerk will search for the records and you should receive them in less than an hour.
Obtaining Court Records by Phone
If you are not able to visit the courthouse in person, you can request court records over the phone. The court clerk will ask for information on the person you are searching for and will also need your mailing address. The records will then be mailed to you for a small fee. The mailing process only takes a few days and the desired court records should be received in approximately one business week.
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Finding Georgia Court Records: The Online Approach
Georgia’s online court records are accessible to the public. Sites such as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Georgia Free Public Records and various Georgia courthouses offer accessibility to records through their websites; records are also searchable via a central database known as Georgia Casenet. State records websites request the name of the person you are searching for before you sign up for their service. After a quick search, they will provide results listing every similar name in the state.
Once you have matched the name that you are looking for against the Casenet Georgia records, you will be asked to select between a series of records results. Be sure to choose carefully since some records are more extensive than others. Read through each record result for a clear understanding of what will be included in the record you select.
Searching for court records online is a much quicker process, but it tends to be much more expensive than getting the records from the courthouse or requesting them by phone.
How Much Will It Cost?
The cost will vary depending on whether you are simply reviewing records or ordering copies, how many copies you are ordering, and which court the case is filed in – superior, magistrate, probate, civil court and so on. For up-to-date information about Georgia superior court fees, visit the CourtTrax website. For the magistrate's court, each court will have its own fee schedule posted on the website. You're looking at around $2 to $3 per copy for the first page of a document and $0.50 to $1 for every page after that.
When searching for court records on the internet, be sure to read the fine print on the records websites. Some websites require that customers sign up for annual memberships that are billed monthly.