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criminal case records

This page tells you about:

  1. Can I see or get a copy of any record from a criminal case?
  2. How do I see or get a copy of public records?
  3. What do I do once I have the case number?
  4. What if I need a certified copy?
  5. How much will the Clerk charge me?
  6. How do I get a copy of my local criminal history?
  7. How do I get a copy of a police report after a traffic accident?
  8. How do I get a copy of a police report after a crime?
  9. Can I get a copy of the police report if I was not involved in the crime?
  1. Can I see or get a copy of any record from a criminal case?

    No. Not all documents in a court file are public. You are not allowed to see or copy the following:

    • an arrest report or any other document that lists a victim’s name, address, or telephone number
    • probation reports
    • domestic violence protective orders
    • Own Recognizance (O.R.) reports
    • criminal history information
    • financial or medical information

  2. How do I see or get a copy of public records?

    To see or copy public records, you must have the case number.

    There are three ways to get the case number:

    1. If the case was filed in 2004 or later, use the criminal case index search. You can search for a case number using either the defendant's name and date of birth, or the defendant's name plus the month and year the case was filed.

    2. Go to the Clerk’s Office where the case is filed. The information below will help you identify
      Courthouses where criminal cases are filed in Santa Clara County:

      • Hall of Justice, 190 West Hedding Street, San Jose, CA 95110 (handles criminal matters for San Jose, Milpitas, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, and Santa Clara)

      • South County Courthouse, 301 Diana Avenue, Morgan Hill, CA 95037 (handles criminal matters for San Martin, Morgan Hill, and Gilroy)

      • Palo Alto Courthouse, 270 Grant Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94306 (handles criminal matters for Cupertino, Mountain View, Palo Alto, and Sunnyvale)

      At the courthouse you can search the criminal index online, or search the microfiche. If the case was filed before 2004, it will not be in the online index. To search the microfiche, you will need the defendant's name, date of birth, and the year the case was filed.

    3. Mail or take a letter to the Clerk’s Office asking them to search for you. Your letter must include the:

      • defendant’s name,
      • defendant’s date of birth and
      • years you want searched.

        There is a fee for any record search that takes longer than ten minutes. The local fee schedule  is linked to the Court's Fees page. Check for the search fee on the fee schedule .
  3. What do I do once I have the case number?

    Write a letter saying what documents you want. Be specific. Give the case number, the full name of the defendant and his/her date of birth and the name of the documents you want.

    For example:

    • minute order from [you must list a specific court date]
    • docket
    • sentencing
    • complaint

  4. What if I need a certified copy?

    Ask for a certified copy on your letter. Check for the fee for copies and certified copies on the local fee schedule .

  5. How much will the Clerk charge me?

    The Clerk’s Office charges you for each page you want copied. So, if you are not sure of the number of pages, check the fee schedule  and make a check out for an amount you think will be enough. On your check you can write “not to exceed $10.00”

    Make your check payable to: Clerk of the Superior Court
    Memo: [your case number]

    Attach a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your letter.

  6. How do I get a copy of my local criminal history?

    Go to the Sheriff’s Office 
         55 West Younger Avenue,
         San Jose, CA 95110
         [Open 24 hours]

    To make an appointment, call:
        (408) 808-4700 

    Bring identification and be prepared to pay a fee.

  7. How do I get a copy of a police report after a traffic accident?

    Contact the police agency that investigated the accident.

  8. How do I get a copy of a police report after a crime?

    If you were the victim, contact the police agency that investigated the crime.

    If you were the defendant in a criminal case and your case is complete, get a copy of the police report from the court. The court will charge you a copy fee for the front and back of each page.

    If you are the defendant in a criminal case and your case is not complete, (you have not been sentenced or the case has not been dismissed), get a copy of the police report from the District Attorney’s office.

  9. Can I get a copy of the police report if I was not involved in the crime?

    If you are not the victim or defendant, you can get a copy of the police report from the court. You must give the clerk the case number. Click here if you don’t know the case number.

    The court will charge you a copy fee for the front and back of each page.
© 2014 Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara