New Access Procedures for Court Records at National Archives Federal Records Center
Press Release · Monday, August 29, 2011

Washington, D.C. . .The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is now providing access to court records exclusively by online ordering or by mail/fax/e-mail. NARA will no longer provide on-site court case review services to the public at its Federal Records Centers.
This change applies to all closed bankruptcy, civil, criminal, and court of appeals case files that remain in the legal custody of the courts but are physically stored at NARA’s Federal Records Centers.
The National Archives is making this change because records can now easily be ordered electronically. It is no longer cost-effective to operate satellite research rooms to provide access to these records.
Access to court cases is now available only via online ordering or mail/fax/e-mail at the following facilities:

  • Atlanta Federal Records Center
  • Boston Federal Records Center
  • Dayton Federal Records Center
  • Denver Federal Records Center
  • Philadelphia Federal Records Center
  • Seattle Federal Records Center
  • Washington National Records Center (Suitland, MD)

Effective October 1, access to court cases will be available only via online ordering or mail/fax/e-mail at the following facilities:

  • Chicago Federal Records Center
  • Fort Worth Federal Records Center
  • Lee’s Summit Federal Records Center
  • Lenexa Federal Records Center
  • Riverside Federal Records Center
  • San Bruno Federal Records Center

To order court records online:

  1. Visit the National Archives “Order Online” page (
  2. Click on “Order Reproductions,” then “Court Records.”
  3. Select the appropriate court (Bankruptcy, Civil, Criminal, or Court of Appeals).
  4. Follow the onscreen prompts to set up an account and place your order.

To order court records via mail/fax/e-mail:

  1. Visit the National Archives Court Records information page (
  2. Download and complete the appropriate request form (Bankruptcy, Civil, Criminal, or Court of Appeals).
  3. Mail/fax/e-mail the form to the appropriate facility (see page 2 of the request form for contact information).

Customers wishing to access the records in person can do so at the appropriate Court office (

Please note that fees to obtain copies of court records from NARA’s Federal Records Centers will not change under this new policy.


This page was last reviewed on January 7, 2013.
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