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U.S. Government ManualU.S. Government Manual Comprehensive information on the agencies of the Legislative, Judicial, and Executive branches.

Need to learn more about how to find and use archival records?

Records of the Judicial Branch

What's Here

This information will help you identify and locate Federal court documents within our holdings. These documents are records of hearings and trials, often including exhibits offered as evidence, of Federal jurisdiction.

To Access Records

You can see a limited number of court case files in our Online Catalog. However, at this time most of the information available on this website describes the records, rather than shows them to you. Start with search tips for our Online Catalog.

If the records you want to see are not available for viewing online, your options are:

  1. Visit the National Archives facility that holds the records
  2. Hire an independent researcher to explore the records for you
  3. Order a reproduction (unofficial copy) of the records

To view or order a copy, you should find where, among our facilities nationwide, the records are physically located and how they are organized (arranged) in the archives. The approximate date of the case also will help to determine if the records are in our holdings.

General descriptions of the broad scope of our Federal court records are available in:

For Civil Rights Related Cases, see:

If you know the state or territory where a case was filed, you may locate the National Archives facility that may contain the records you seek.
Also, you can view a list of National Archives facilities that hold court records, and links to general descriptions of those records.

Jump to:
Bankruptcy Case Files
Naturalization Files
Judicial Records relating to American Slavery
Records of The Supreme Court of the United States
• Records of the District Courts of the United States
Watergate-Related Case Files
Research Guide to the Criminal Case Files of Fort Smith, Arkansas, 1866-1900

Other web sites:

United States Federal Judiciary, U.S. Courts to learn more about the Federal system of courts in the United States.
• The Supreme Court for information about current activities of the United States Supreme Court.
• The Federal Judicial Center for information about this official education and research agency for the Federal courts.
United States Department of Justice for information about how the Department of Justice (part of the Executive branch of the United States Federal Government) represents the United States Government in courts.
• The National Center for State Courts for links to information about state courts and to web sites of state courts.

• More web resources relating to Federal Courts and Court Opinions from the Archives Library Information Center (ALIC).

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Court Records in the Guide to Federal Records

Electronic Records

Records of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, RG 116.

Bankruptcy and Other Court Case Files are located at the following Regional Records Services Facilities


Photocopying Costs Rise

Effective October 1, 2012, fees have increased for reproductions at all National Archives facilities, including for all commonly-requested genealogical records.

California
Riverside

San Francisco

Colorado
Denver

Georgia
Atlanta

Illinois
Chicago

Maryland
Suitland - Washington National Records Center

Massachusetts
Boston

Missouri
Lenexa
Lee's Summit

New York
New York City

Ohio
Dayton

Pennsylvania
Philadelphia

Texas
Fort Worth

Washington
Seattle

Note: You can also find the location of bankruptcy records based on the state or territory where the case was filed.

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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272

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