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Policy for Record Viewing and Copying

 

SECTION I. PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF POLICY

The following is the policy for the viewing and copying of public records in the Placer Superior Court. This policy must be adhered to by all who wish to view and/or copy court records, including members of the general public and the media. Some files may not be immediately available because they are located offsite or they are or have been on calendar. Files that are calendared are not available two (2) days prior to and three (3) days after the hearing. Files that are located offsite will be retrieved and available for viewing or copying within three (3) weeks. The requester is advised to call first before returning to the Court.

NOTE: In accordance with California Rules of Court, Rule 2.400(a), under no circumstances will anyone other than court personnel be allowed to disassemble documents in court files or remove files from the clerk’s offices.

All documents in court files are public record, with the exception of those items deemed confidential by statute, regulation, court rule, court order or case law.

You must have a case number. Case numbers can be looked up online at www.placer.courts.ca.gov or at our Santucci Justice Center Courthouse via our public terminal. If you do not have a case number, but wish to view a file or obtain copies, you will need to request a name search. There is a $15.00 charge per name for a name search that takes the clerk more than ten minutes to complete, and copies are subject to the copy charges dictated by the Statewide Civil Fee Schedule.

SECTION II. FILE VIEWING

If a member of the public wishes to view one or more files, he or she must request them in person at the counter.

Individuals must remain at the designated file viewing table or a location as directed by the clerk. Parties must leave a photo ID (i.e. driver’s license) and keys with the clerk while viewing the file.

SECTION III. FILE LIMITS

The following are the limits for how many of each file type clerks will locate and give to individuals for viewing at one time:

• Appeals: 5 files
• Civil/Family Law/Probate: 5 files; 50 if in chronological order
• Criminal: 5 files
• Small Claims: 5 files; 50 if in chronological order
• Traffic: 5 files

SECTION IV. COPYING

If individuals requesting files in person wish to have copies of certain documents, they may do one of the following three things:

• Have a clerk make the copies. The clerk will copy up to 25 pages while you wait. For more voluminous requests, the Court will schedule a date to pick up the copies within two (2) weeks of the request. The Court cannot guarantee this date and the requester is advised to call first to confirm that the copies are ready.

• Make an appointment in advance to make copies on their own copier or by using a bonded copy service. The Court will make its best effort to schedule this appointment within a reasonable amount of time (usually two weeks), but this is not a guarantee as staff availability can vary.

Individuals may also request copies through the mail. Mail the Court a completed Records Request form available on the Court’s website at www.placer.courts.ca.gov.

• Include a self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage so the Court can return copies.

If needed, clerks will use the phone number provided to contact individuals for clarification on their requests, or to notify them of significant delays in processing their requests.

For copy requests of different file types, a separate request must be mailed to each division. For example, copies of both Criminal and Civil records cannot be requested in the same letter.

Phone, email, or fax copy requests will not be accepted.

Copy Exceptions

Court reporters transcripts may not be copied. To request a copy of a court reporters transcript please contact 916-408-6153 or use the online request form at http://www.placer.courts.ca.gov/comments/transcript_request.html. You may also visit the court’s website for more information.

Please note that parties must bring the appropriate number of copies of their document(s) at the time they present them for filing with the clerk. The clerk will not make copies of a submitting party’s original documents to support their compliance with California Rules of Court or the Placer Superior Court Local Rules.

SECTION V. PAYMENT

• Individuals will be charged for copies and/or research in accordance with the current Placer Superior Court Uniform Fee Schedule (see the Court’s website at www.placer.courts.ca.gov).

• Copies must be paid for at the time of copying.

• For mail requests or for large copy orders that have arrangements to be picked up at a later date, individuals must pay at the time of the request. You may send a check made out to Placer Superior Court, bearing the words “not to exceed (amount) dollars” in the memo section of the check. A receipt will be returned with your copies.

• Fee waivers: In accordance with California Rules of Court, Rule 3.55, the Court will provide a single copy of any reasonably necessary document contained in a file to a party who has received a fee waiver. Further copies must be paid for unless there is a court order dictating otherwise. Fee waivers will be honored for one year from the date signed.

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