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Connecticut Court Records

Connecticut Court Records, also known as case files, are official documents containing detailed information regarding all legal proceedings within the Connecticut judicial system.

These records are an essential source of information for legal professionals, researchers, journalists, and members of the general public who seek to understand the state's legal system or to obtain information about specific cases.

They provide a comprehensive and accurate account of legal proceedings, which can be used to inform decisions in future cases or to support legal research.

Court records may contain information such as the names of the parties involved in a case, the charges or allegations made, the evidence presented, witness testimony, and the court's decisions and judgments.

In addition, court records in Connecticut may also contain information on court orders, motions, and other legal documents filed in connection with a case. This information can help determine attorneys' legal strategies and identify potential precedents.

Connecticut law makes these court records publicly accessible, subject to certain limitations. The Connecticut Freedom of Information Act mandates that court records are open to the public, with limited exceptions.

For example, certain sensitive information, such as social security numbers, may be redacted to protect personal privacy. Additionally, some records may be sealed or restricted under specific court orders.

Lastly, court records are confidential in juvenile cases, but with certain exceptions. The Connecticut General Statutes (CGS) 46B-124 allows only the victim of a crime committed by a minor to access information about delinquency proceedings or any part of the case.

Which Connecticut Courts Maintain Publicly Accessible Records?

Individuals must comprehensively understand the state court system to locate court records efficiently in Connecticut. By becoming familiar with the various courts in the state, one can simplify the process of determining which court has jurisdiction over a particular case and where to search for relevant court records.

Most publicly accessible records are in the trial court system in Connecticut. This system includes the following courts:

Connecticut Superior Courts

Connecticut Superior Courts have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases and typically hear matters exceeding Probate Courts' jurisdiction.

Every Superior Court in Connecticut has civil, criminal, family, and juvenile court divisions.

The Civil Division of the Superior Court in Connecticut is responsible for hearing various civil cases. It is divided into five parts, each with its specific jurisdiction.

The Administrative Appeals section handles appeals from state agencies and boards, while the Civil Jury and Non-Jury sections hear cases that involve disputes between individuals or organizations. The Landlord/Tenant section handles matters related to rental property, including evictions, and the Small Claims section handles claims for money damages of $5,000 or less.

The Criminal Division handles many criminal cases, including misdemeanors and felonies. Some matters that may be heard in this division include drug offenses, theft crimes, assault and battery charges, and homicide cases.

The Family Division handles cases related to family relationships, such as divorce, child custody, and child support. Finally, the Juvenile Division/Subdivision is responsible for cases involving the care of children or a child's behavior, including delinquency and termination of parental rights.

Connecticut Probate Courts

Probate Courts in Connecticut typically handle legal matters related to estates, wills, probate, trusts, guardianships, conservatorships, adoptions, and other related issues. Superior Courts and Probate Courts share jurisdiction over name changes, mental health cases, and associated matters such as property ownership, child custody, child support, and paternity.

In addition, although Probate Courts do not offer jury trials, if a valid request for a jury is made in Probate Court, a case may be transferred to Superior Court for a jury trial and then moved back to Probate Court after the jury trial has concluded.

Apart from the trial courts, the Connecticut court system comprises the Appellate Courts and the Supreme Court. These higher courts allow individuals to appeal rulings made by lower trial courts, ensuring a more comprehensive and equitable judicial process.

Additionally, the Appellate Courts and the Supreme Court oversee certain Connecticut Court Records, ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the state's legal documentation.

What are the Common Public Court Records in Connecticut?

Connecticut's judicial system is committed to openness and public access to justice by making various court documents available upon request. Some of the most frequently requested categories of court records in Connecticut are as follows:

Connecticut Civil and Small Claims Records

Connecticut Civil Court Records and Small Claims Court Records are two crucial legal resources for individuals and businesses seeking justice in Connecticut.

While both types of court records offer information about civil disputes, there are some critical differences between them regarding the cases they contain, the courts responsible for them, and the amount of monetary damages involved.

Small Claims Court Records document disputes involving smaller amounts of money. In the Connecticut court system, Small Claims Court allows individuals to sue for money damages only up to $5,000.00 or up to $15,000 in the case of a home improvement contract. These cases are typically resolved quickly and with less formal procedures than civil court cases.

Small Claims Court Records include debt collection cases, broken or damaged property disputes, and breach of contract claims.

On the other hand, Connecticut Civil Court Records document disputes involving more significant amounts of money. Generally, Civil Courts handle cases where controversy exceeds $5,000. These cases are usually more complex and require more formal procedures than small claims.

Examples of cases under Civil Court Records include personal injury claims, divorce proceedings, and employment-related disputes.

Generally, individuals who wish to obtain Connecticut Civil and Small Claims Records may visit the appropriate Superior Court that heard the case in Connecticut. The Clerk's Office typically keeps these records; individuals can request copies by filling out a request form and paying a fee.

The fee for obtaining court records can vary depending on the type and length of the record.

Alternatively, individuals may obtain court records by submitting a written request to the Clerk's Office. This request should include the name of the case, the case number, and any other relevant information that may help to locate the record. A fee may also be charged for this service.

What Information Do Connecticut Civil and Small Claims Records Contain?

Connecticut Civil Court Records and Small Claims Court Records have similarities in their information. While the specific information may vary depending on the type of case, both types of court records generally include the following information:

  • Case Information, such as the case number, the name of the parties involved, and the kind of case
  • All documents filed with the court, such as pleadings, motions, and other legal documents
  • Any orders or judgments issued by the court, including final decisions, default judgments, and other court orders
  • The dates of any hearings or trials and any relevant information about the proceedings
  • The outcome of the case, such as whether it was settled out of court, dismissed, or resolved through a judgment or court order
  • The amount of damages sought by the plaintiff, as well as any damages awarded by the court

Connecticut Criminal Records

Connecticut Criminal Records are essential for law enforcement agencies and employers to screen potential candidates for criminal histories. These records provide information about an individual's past convictions, arrests, and other relevant unlawful activities. The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) maintains the records.

The DESPP manages Connecticut Criminal Records, including adult and juvenile records. The agency operates the State Police Bureau of Identification (SPBI), the central repository for all criminal records in the state.

The SPBI collects, stores, and maintains records related to criminal history information, including fingerprints, photographs, and criminal records. They can provide access to most records by filling and submitting a Criminal History Record Request Form along with the appropriate fee.

The DESPP's State Police division offers two types of criminal record searches: a name-only search and a conviction history record search. A smaller fee is charged for the name-only search, which details any criminal charges or arrests related to the individual's name.

Conversely, the conviction history record search carries a significant fee and provides information on any convictions or guilty pleas associated with the individual. This search can be based on the individual's name or fingerprints.

Connecticut Traffic Records

One of the standard Connecticut Court Records is the traffic records. Connecticut Traffic Records, also known as Motor Vehicle Records (MVRs), document traffic incidents, violations, and accidents on Connecticut's public roads and highways.

An MVR typically includes an individual's driving history, date of birth, license number, accidents, license status, traffic points, violations, and convictions. Aside from the state courts, the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) maintains these records.

When an individual in Connecticut receives a citation, it will reflect on their traffic record. If it is for a traffic violation classified as a misdemeanor or felony, the individual may be required to stand trial in court. If convicted, this information will appear on their driving and criminal records.

In Connecticut, police can issue a citation to individuals who violate traffic rules, such as running a red light, speeding, or driving without proof of insurance. Law enforcement agents categorize the citations as major or minor.

Major citations, which may result in jail time and a substantial fine, are given for severe offenses such as reckless driving, driving under the influence (DUI), hit and run, or leaving the scene of an accident.

On the other hand, minor citations are issued for less severe violations and only require a fine. However, failure to pay the fine within the specified time frame may result in legal consequences.

How To Access Connecticut Traffic Records

In Connecticut, members of the public have easy access to traffic records through online, in-person, or mail requests.

To make an in-person request, one can schedule an appointment at a local DMV station, complete a Copy Records Request Form, and pay the applicable fee in cash, money order, or cheque. Requestors may also need to present some form of identification.

For mail requests, the requester needs to print and fill out the same form above, include a cheque made payable to the DMV for the fee, and send it to the DMV postal address provided in the form.

To make an online request, the requester must create an account with to access the DMV Customer Center and a specific DMV Online Service for a driving history request in Connecticut. The requester must provide personal information and pay a fee using a debit or credit card.

After completing the request, the driving history document will become available for download or printing. However, the online document will only be accessible for 30 days without additional payment.

Connecticut Probate Records

Connecticut Probate Records are an essential resource for genealogists, historians, and legal professionals who seek information about the state's past. These records offer a window into the lives of Connecticut residents from colonial times to the present day, documenting their births, marriages, deaths, and property transactions.

Probate records are the official documents created by Probate Courts to settle the affairs of deceased individuals. These records provide a wealth of information on the individuals who lived in Connecticut and the communities in which they resided. They contain documents, including wills, inventories, distribution lists, and court orders.

Wills are legal documents that outline an individual's wishes for the distribution of their property after their death. Inventories list the deceased's assets and liabilities, providing a detailed picture of their financial situation at the time of death.

Distribution lists record the division of the deceased's property among their heirs. Court orders document the proceedings of probate court hearings and decisions made by the court.

The information contained in Connecticut Probate Records can uncover essential details about an individual's life. For example, probate records may reveal the identity of an individual's spouse, children, and other family members. They may also provide clues about an individual's occupation, social status, and religious affiliation.

Generally, interested individuals can access Connecticut Probate Records at the Connecticut State Library (CSL). These records are also available online through the CSL's Digital Collections.

Furthermore, the Connecticut Judicial Branch (CJB) has created a database of Connecticut Probate Court Records accessible online. Interested parties must select the case type and district from the respective drop-down menus to use this.

Additionally, they must enter the party's name, select the case status, and then click the search icon. Note that this portal only contains Probate Court documents from January 5, 2011, to the present.

Connecticut Family Records

Connecticut Family Records from courts are an essential source of information for individuals and families involved in legal proceedings related to family matters. These records contain information about cases handled by Family Courts in Connecticut, including divorce, child custody, child support, and domestic violence cases.

Family court records in Connecticut contain a wealth of information, including case documents, court orders, judgments, and transcripts of court proceedings. These records may also include information about the parties involved in the case, such as names, addresses, and other personal identifying information.

In addition, family court records may contain information about witnesses, expert opinions, and other evidence presented during court proceedings.

Accessing Connecticut Family Records from courts can be challenging, as these records are often considered confidential and not readily available to the public.

However, individuals involved in a case may obtain copies of the records by filing a request with the appropriate court that heard the case. Typically, a person can make this request in person or by mail and may need to pay a fee.

It is important to note that family court records may be subject to certain restrictions, such as limitations on who may access them and under what circumstances. In addition, some information contained in family court records may be redacted or withheld to protect the privacy of individuals involved, especially in cases involving children.

Connecticut Bankruptcy Records

The state trial courts hold most of the Connecticut Court Records, but the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Connecticut is specifically responsible for managing bankruptcy records within the state.

Connecticut Bankruptcy Records contain information about individuals or businesses who have filed for bankruptcy in the state.

Bankruptcy is a legal process in which an individual or business can seek relief from their debts through court intervention. This process can be complex and requires the assistance of a bankruptcy attorney.

Bankruptcy records in Connecticut include information about the individual or business filing for bankruptcy, including their name, address, and contact information. These records also include details about the type of bankruptcy filed, the date of filing, and any associated court hearings or rulings.

Connecticut's most common types of bankruptcy filings are Chapters 7 and 13. Chapter 7, or "liquidation bankruptcy," involves liquidating a debtor's assets to pay off creditors.

On the other hand, Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or "reorganization bankruptcy," allows debtors to reorganize their debts and establish a repayment plan over three to five years.

Additionally, bankruptcy records in the state may contain information about the assets and debts of the individual or business filing for bankruptcy. The court uses this information to determine the amount of debt to discharge and the assets that may require liquidation to satisfy creditors.

Connecticut Bankruptcy Records are available to the public, but obtaining them requires a formal request through the court system. While bankruptcy records can be helpful for research or investigative purposes, it is crucial to respect the privacy of those who have filed for bankruptcy.

How To Obtain Bankruptcy Records in Connecticut

Contacting the appropriate court administrator will grant access to bankruptcy records submitted in Connecticut. Connecticut has one federal bankruptcy court, with branches in Hartford, Bridgeport, and New Haven.

To access records from these courthouses, interested parties must provide specific information on their requests, whether in person, by mail, or through phone, such as a case number or the debtor's name. Unless the file is accessible through the public access terminals, there is a record search fee.

In addition, the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system provides online access to Connecticut Bankruptcy Records. To retrieve records using this portal, requesters must register an account with a unique login and password.

To search for or view a record, the requester must provide case-specific information, such as the courthouse where the case occurred and the case number.

Furthermore, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) facilitates the retrieval of closed Connecticut Bankruptcy Records. The agency permits requesters to either order copies of records or view them in person.

To gain access to records maintained by NARA, requesters must first contact the court registrar to determine which courthouse handled the case. Once identified, interested parties may order copies of the bankruptcy records by downloading and mailing this order form

One can also request bankruptcy records from NARA by phone at (816) 268-8000, from its off-site location, or through email.

To obtain closed records from NARA, individuals must provide the court name, names of persons involved, case number, filing date, and box, transfer, and location numbers.

Connecticut's robust judicial system handles various cases, including civil, criminal, and family law matters. As such, many people involved in Connecticut's legal proceedings may wonder whether a case search is available to them.

The answer to this question is yes, Connecticut does have a case search system. The CJB operates an online portal known as the CJB Case Look-Up.

This portal offers users information on various cases, including Appellate and Supreme, civil, housing, criminal, family, motor vehicle, and small claims cases through different sections such as the Superior Court Case Look-up, Supreme and Appellate Court Case Look-up, and Centralized Small Claims Case Look-up.

By entering the name of a party, case number, or other relevant information, users can retrieve information about the status of a case, including the date of the next court hearing, the attorneys' names, and the case history.

Moreover, the CJB Case Look-Up may also provide certain documents related to a case, such as motions, orders, and opinions. This feature is handy for attorneys preparing for a hearing or trial. It enables them to access relevant legal documents from anywhere with an internet connection.

It is worth noting, however, that not all information about a case is available through the case search system. Certain confidential documents, such as those related to juvenile matters or issues involving victims of domestic violence, are not accessible through the online portal.

Additionally, the system may not provide up-to-date information in real-time, as it is reliant on court clerks to update the data manually.

Any Connecticut Court Records not accessible at the CJB Case Look-Up portal will be available at the local courthouses where the case occurred.

Counties in Connecticut

Courts in Connecticut

Danbury District Superior Court146 White Street, Danbury, CT
Fairfield District Superior Court1061 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT
Stamford-Norwalk District Superior Court123 Hoyt Street, Stamford, CT
Fairfield District Superior Court (G.A. 2)172 Golden Hill Street, Bridgeport, CT
Greenwich Probate Court101 Field Point Road, Greenwich, CT
Stamford Probate Court888 Washington Blvd., 8th Floor, Stamford, CT
Darien-New Canaan Probate Court2 Renshaw Road, Darien, CT
Norwalk-Wilton Probate Court125 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT
Westport Probate Court110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport, CT
Shelton Probate Court40 White Street, Shelton, CT