Any information or details that are created, gathered, stored, written, produced or kept on behalf of a Texas state government agency is regarded as public information in Texas. This implies that anyone who wishes to access this information is allowed to do so. In order for a person to access these details, they need to know how and where to find them. That’s where this article comes in. This guide will help you find Texas court records in name.
A court record can be defined as the proceedings that are recorded and preserved in a Trial Court or Appellate Court for the possibility of an appeal. These are oral proceedings that are recorded down by a court clerk or court reporter. The written record is kept until such a time when all appeal attempts are exhausted or until a certain period of time that is stipulated by law. An example can be the case of a death penalty statutes. Some states request that evidence must be kept up to a certain time.
The Texas Public Information Act which was adopted in 1973 is the one that makes it possible for the public to access public records in the state. The Texas Judiciary is however an exception to this Act. In as much as court records form part of public records, the Texas Judiciary is the one which determines which records can be accessed for a people lookup.
The Trial Courts and the Appellate Courts in Texas
The court system in Texas comprises of Trial Courts and Appellate Courts. Trial Courts are responsible for hearing all criminal and civil cases that are initiated in Texas. Witnesses are heard, evidence is presented and testimonies are received prior to rendering a verdict. Verdicts that were taken in Trial Courts can generally be appealed from the Courts Appeal of that particular state.
Appeals from the Texas Justice Courts and a lot of the Municipal Courts are normally heard in the Texas County or District Courts. This is because the Justice Courts and Municipal Courts are not courts of records. This makes the cases to be tried as if there was no trial before.
The Texas Courts of Appeals are the intermediary Appellate Courts since they have authority over most of the appellate matters in Texas, set apart cases that are completely under authority of the Court of Criminal Appeals. There is no hearing of new testimonies or submission of new evidence on these courts. The records of the trial are reviewed by the judges and the appealing parties submit their briefings before decisions on the case are rendered.
There are 14 appellate districts in Texas with a Court of Appeals that serves the counties found in all these districts.
The Supreme Court of Texas or the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals can be used to challenge or appeal decisions made in the Courts of Appeals. The Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals in Texas are the highest authorities in the state, making decisions taken by them to be final.
There is at least one District Court in every district in Texas, one County Court and one Justice Court. Each of these courts have a judge that presides over cases in them.
Find Court Records in Texas
In order for you to find court records in Texas, you will need to first determine which court the case was filed in. Once the court has been identified, the next step would be to get in touch with the custodian of the records.
Normally, it is the Office of the Court Clerk that keeps court records for each and every court. Texas court system contact details for courts can be found on the state judiciary’s online directory.
Individuals who are looking to get Texas records can get them in person or by mailing their request to the relevant court record custodian. There are also courts which offer an option of obtaining these records online. You can visit your county’s or city’s website to find out if they offer them.
People who are looking to obtain court records online, in person or through mail, are expected to provide necessary details to help facilitate the process. This is information like the names of the parties involved in the case and the case number. Requesters must be aware that these records come at a cost.
There are also third party website that can help you obtain court records in Texas. Searching from them is much easier as they are not restricted by location geographically. All you need for a search is the name of the person, their last known or assumed location and you are ready to go.
These are some of the ideas you can try out in order to find Texas Court records in name. They are obtainable online, in person and through the mail.