In accordance with the California Public Records Act, the government provides the rights to the citizens of California the right to obtain and examine public records in California.
State Records contain the following –
1. Criminal Records
2. Vital Records
3. Court Records
4. State Background Checks
California Court Records are available to the public, in accordance with the California Access to Public Records Act. Access to the public record is considered as a fundamental right. This law is designed to make sure that all public records are accessible.
The structure of Indiana’s court system is as follows (from the lowest to the highest court)
1. Superior/ Trial Courts (one each in 58 counties)
These are the first level courts, and most trials begin here.
2. Court of Appeals
The Court of Appeals stands higher in authority, as compared to Superior courts.
The legislature has divided the state records of California geographically into six appellate courts.
The courts usually handle cases where there is a review of the judgment passed by the trial courts when there is an appeal by one of the parties involved in the case.
3. Supreme Court
The Supreme court has the highest authority in the hierarchy of courts.
The main function of the Supreme court is to review judgments in the cases passed by the Court of Appeals in case there is an appeal from one of the parties involved.
The Supreme Court also steps in to resolve conflicts among Court of Appeals.
Structure of California Court Records
Court records are of two categories –
1. Small Claims Court Records – In this case, the petitioner can seek damages up to a maximum of $10,000. A petitioner cannot be represented by counsel.
In case you cannot speak English and need a translator, you will need to a person by yourself. The court does not give you an interpreter.
A small claims court can either grant monetary claims to the petitioner or solve the case by asking the defendant to do something, in addition to paying for the damages.
Cases are usually completed within 30-70 days from the day of filing in a small claims court.
2. Civil Court Records – A petitioner can file cases that seek damages for a minimum of $250,000 in a civil court.
In addition to seeking monetary damages, civil courts can also be used to solve non-monetary disputes regarding property title, issuing restraining orders, change of name etc.
Cases filed in a civil court are usually completed in 120 days from the day of filing. A petitioner is allowed to be represented by a counsel in cases that filed in the civil courts.
The Californian Public Records Act (CPRA) has made it mandatory for the State of California to make all necessary public records accessible to the residents of the state and the country. As per the act, any citizen of the United State can request for public records of California on the state archive after the payment of nominal charges.
Classification of Records in the Californian Public Record Archive
The Californian Department of Public Health manages and maintains birth, death, marriages and divorces in California. Specific certification is given only to the family members, but other state records residents can apply for carbon copies of the records. In the state archive, all the details in between 1905 to 2018 is made available, however, for records prior to 1905, a specific notice must be given to the state clerk for getting the information.
Birth & Death Record
The Californian Department of Public Health maintains the vital records, or also called the birth and death records of the State of California. From the respective counties Health Department, the birth record of the current year and the previous year can be requested.
The Californian Department of Justice (DOJ) maintains all the records of the crimes and criminal in the state of California. The criminals can access their own report after paying a respective nominal charge for upgradation and time analysis of the records. At the same time, even other stakeholders like government and private organizations can access the record for the purpose of employment, licensing volunteering and other purpose as per their varying requirements.
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