criminal court records
Indexes to Criminal Court Records
Each criminal court has an alphabetical name index a reporter can use to find criminal cases filed against people in that court. The index should be on a computer terminal at the criminal court clerk's office.
Each case listed in the index will have the person's name, the criminal case number, the date the criminal case was filed, and sometimes the penal code section for the charge that was filed against the person.
To get the actual criminal case file, copy down the case number and present it to a court clerk.
Each individual court keeps its own index. There is no free, publicly available master index of all criminal cases you can search to find all the cases filed against a particular person in every court.
So you have to go to each court - both county superior courts and U.S. district courts - separately to check its index of criminal cases and look up the court files there.
Criminal cases involving federal law are filed in U.S. district courts. There usually are several U.S. district courts in a state, each serving a particular geographic area.
Criminal cases involving state law will be in a county superior court. There is a superior court in each county in California, and in larger counties there may be several branches of the superior court in different sections of the county.
Each county superior court will have an index of the criminal cases it has handled. In counties with multiple superior court branches, the main superior court should have a master index of all the criminal cases being handled in all the branches in that county.
Sample Criminal Indexes
At the page, click at the bottom on Proceed to the Search System. At the next page, in the pull-down menu select Criminal.
Then type in a last name and first name to search for criminal case listings.
For example, do a search for:
Last Name: Puente
First Name: Dorothea
This will retrieve the criminal case filing against a woman accused of murdering nine of her boarders so she could collect their government benefits checks (she was convicted of three of the killings).
This index for a county district court (the equivalent of a superior court) in Texas has only the names of the defendants, the case numbers (indictments) and the dates of the filings.