National Personnel Records Center

Court Order Requirements

Access to the specific military personnel and/or medical records on file at the National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis, Missouri, or Valmeyer, Illinois, may be gained pursuant "to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction." Valid court orders should be addressed to this center. Subpoenas qualify as orders of a court of competent jurisdiction only if they have been signed by a judge. To be valid, court orders must also be signed by a judge. Authority for these requirements is 5 U.S.C. 552a(b) (11), as interpreted by Doe vs. DiGenova, 779 F. 2d 74 (D.C. Cir. 1985), and Stiles vs. Atlanta Gas and Light Company, 453 F. Supp. 798 (N.D. Ga.1978).

Please furnish the address of the clerk of the court so that photocopies may be furnished in the form of a certificate under seal to the clerk of the court issuing the order. Or, the photocopies may be sent to a recipient other than the clerk of the court as long as the order of the court names another recipient and gives the appropriate address. Under applicable Federal law, photocopies so certified shall be admitted into evidence as original records 44 U.S.C. Sec. 2116(b). It is also helpful to furnish the names and addresses of the attorneys involved.

The court order must describe the records and information desired in sufficient detail to identify them with accuracy. A minimum of detail would include as many of the following as possible: complete name, service number, social security number, date of birth, branch of service, and dates of military service (active, reserve, or retired). If clinical treatment (inpatient) records are needed, include also the dates, places, and type(s) of treatment given.

The court order should be addressed and mailed to:

National Personnel Records Center, (NARA)
(Military Personnel Records)
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138-1002

National Personnel Records Center, (NARA)
(Civilian Personnel Records)
1411 Boulder Boulevard
Valmeyer, IL 62295-2603

NA Form 13027, Court Order Requirements

"NARA ensures, for the Citizen and the Public Servant, for the President and the Congress and the Courts, ready access to essential evidence."