Sunshine Week: How to access Utah court records

Friday , March 17, 2017 - 5:15 AM

TIM VANDENACK, Standard-Examiner Staff

March 12-18 is Sunshine Week, recognized by journalists and nonprofits as a time to focus on and highlight the importance of government transparency. This year, we’re providing how-to guides to explain which records Utahns ought to have access to, according to state laws. These records have a number of critical public-facing purposes, including protecting consumers and preserving civil liberties.

Have questions or want us to investigate a government transparency issue? Email cityed@standard.net or mail your proposal and supporting documents to 332 Standard Way, Ogden, UT 84044.

What is the record?

Utah court records.

What are some ways it’s useful?

Find out how a court case is proceeding involving a family member or acquaintance or how a court case has been decided. Get details of the case involving a registered sex offender in your neighborhood or another matter.

Where can you get it?

Public computer terminals to search district court court records are located at most district court locations.

Weber and Davis counties are located within the state’s 2nd District. Weber County cases are housed at the courthouse at 2525 Grant Ave. in Ogden while Davis County has three court locations: 805 S. Main St. in Bountiful, 800 W. State St. in Farmington and 425 N. Wasatch Drive in Layton.

Call your local district court to double-check if they have terminal access. Courthouse contact information is at www.utcourts.gov/directory.

Utah Supreme Court and Utah Court of Appeals decisions are accessible online at the Utah courts website, www.utcourts.gov/opinions/index.html.

What information is available?

One of the online case catalogue systems, XChange, allows users to search for criminal and civil district court cases by location, name and case number. Once you’ve located a case, you may access a listing of documents in the matter, like indictments in criminal cases, and open them for viewing, with certain exceptions. Another option allows users to see a chronological listing of each proceeding in a case.

Another system, CORIS, is also available at many court locations.

Court clerks may provide photo copies of documents for a fee.

What information is excluded?

Not all court information in publicly accessible — expunged records, information on adoptions and more, for instance. Some records are sealed and unavailable for public viewing.

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