Alaska Court Records Search
A court record is a document, information, data, or other item created, collected, received, or maintained by an Alaska Court in relation to a case. A court record contains the papers and motions filed in an Alaska court, orders issued by the judge, the exhibits, and the electronic record of court proceedings. Court records are generated based on the Alaska Court Rules. These records help in providing insight into the operations of Alaska Courts. A case party can retrieve a court record to know the status of their case. A researcher can use court records to conduct research on Alaska's judicial system and legal processes. With the help of court records, individuals can access basic information about a case. Also, court records can be used for legal documentation and personal purposes.
Court records are generally accessible to the public except deemed confidential pursuant to a court order, court rule, case law, or state statute. A requester can conduct court records search online, by email, fax, mail, or in person at the courthouse where the case was filed. A court record search gives requesters insight into case information like a case party's name, case number, case type, case status, judge's name, docket information, case action, and disposition.
Are Alaska Court Records Public?
Public access to court records in the State of Alaska is regulated mainly by two State laws; the Alaska Public Records Act (APRA) and the Access to Court Records Rule. According to the Alaska Public Records Act, state and municipal agencies may allow the public to access public records in their custody. Courts in the State of Alaska are state agencies, and as such, court records are accessible to the general public unless the law specifies otherwise. As stipulated by the Supreme Court of Alaska, access to court records is a fundamental right of both the State's citizens and residents.
The Access to Court Records Rule is found under Rule 37.5 of the Alaska Rules of Administration, adopted in 1982. It states that access to court records is the same for all members of the public, as provided by the rules. It also stipulates that the exclusion of a court record from public access, whether in part or in full, must be properly indicated. The indication of the exclusion and not the excluded content must also be publicly accessible.
However, the law provides greater access for certain entities who are considered not to be members of the public. The level of access depends on their functions in the judicial system of the State. Such entities include the parties to a case regarding their court case records and personnel of the court who seek the records only for purposes related to case processing. They also include public agencies that access court records based on definitions from other statutes, policies, or orders, and governmental and private entities assisting the court in the provision of court services.
How Do I Find Court Records in Alaska?
The first step to take when trying to obtain court records in Alaska is to ascertain the particular courthouse keeping the records. A court record in Alaska is usually kept by the Clerk or Records Department of the court where the case is filed. Requesters may seek to view or inspect the records or obtain copies of the record information. Inspection of court records must be done within the court's working hours and must follow the Court Administrative Director's guidelines.
Alaska Court Records Public Access
To obtain copies of court records, interested entities may submit a request form to the Records Department or the Clerk of the court involved. The request forms for different courts may be obtained as follows:
- TF-311 FBKS for case files from the Fairbanks Trial Courts
- TF-311 PA for case files from Palmer Trial Courts
- TF-311 ANCH for case files from Trial Courts in Anchorage, Saint Paul Island, and Sand Point
- TF-311 for records from all other locations
Information required on the form includes the requester's name, agency, phone number, case name, case number, case documents applied for, preferred means of payment and collection, etc. Instructions on the forms indicate that omitting any required field may elongate the request's processing time. Requestors may submit the request form to the court via mail, email, or in person.
How to Obtain Alaska Court Records in Person
To submit in person, interested entities may visit the Clerk's office in the courthouse where the case was filed. The Clerk may give further instructions on how to process the request. The physical address and contact details of all the courts in Alaska are provided in the Court Directory on the Alaska Court System website. However, due to the effects of COVID-19, requesters are advised to explore other remote options. The in-person request should only be used when it is the only available option.
Requestors may also submit court record requests to the court via their respective mails. For online access, requestors may also obtain court records by submitting the request forms via email. The mail and email information of the courts are also available on the Court Directory. To view a court's contact information, click on that particular court's link on the Court Directory page.
Requesters are required to indicate the type of documents requested. If the information is not specified, the requester will receive plain copies by default. The type of document specified in a court record request determines the processing fee that will be charged. Below is a breakdown of the fees according to the documents requested.
- For Plain copies, the fee is $10 for the first document and $3 for subsequent copies requested at the same time.
- For Certified copies, a fee of $10 is required for the first copy. Additional copies of the same document cost $3 each, provided the requests were made at the same time.
- For Exemplified or Authenticated copies, each document attracts a fee of $15.
- Requests that require research attract a fee of $30 per hour.
Interested entities may also request copies of court records in audio recordings. Such requests are processed by the court where the case was heard and at a fee of $20 per CD. The forms for audio recording requests are different from the ones for case files. Below is a listing of the audio recording request forms for different courts.
- TF-304 ANCH for courts in Anchorage, Saint Paul Island, and Sand Point
- TF-304 FBKS for courts in Fairbanks
- TF-304 PA for courts in Palmer
- TF-304 for courts in all other locations
Audio recordings request forms may be submitted to the appropriate Court Clerk either in person or via mail. Requesters may find the address and contact information of courts in Alaska on their official website. Authorized entities may also request search Warrant records by obtaining and submitting the form to the appropriate quarters.
Considered open to citizens of the United States, public records are available through both traditional government sources and third-party websites and organizations. In many cases, third-party websites make the search easier as they are not limited geographically or by technological limitations. They are considered a good place to start when looking for a specific record or multiple records. In order to gain access to these records, interested parties must typically provide:
- The name of the person listed in the record. Juveniles are typically exempt from this search method.
- The last known or assumed location of the person listed in the record. This includes cities, counties, and states.
While third-party sites offer such services, they are not government-sponsored entities, and record availability may vary on these sites when compared to government sources.
How to Conduct an Alaska Court Record Search by Name
The Alaska Court System has two online portals where individuals can conduct court record searches by name. To locate these tools, scroll down on the Alaska Court System homepage and click on "SEARCH CASES / PAYMENTS". The first is the CourtView tool which can be used to search for cases filed with trial courts. This tool allows a requester to conduct a search by party name or business name. The second tool is the Case Management System which can be used to search for cases filed with the appellate courts. A search can be conducted by a party name (last name, first name, company/agency name) or attorney name.
Alternatively, record seekers can request copies of court records by name from the records department or clerk of court where the case was filed. Requests can be submitted to the court by email, fax, mail, or in person. Requesters must submit Records Request forms where they would be asked to provide the case party names. The first copy of a case document costs $5.00, additional copies cost $3.00 each. Certified copies cost $10 for the first certified copy, and additional copies requested simultaneously cost $3 each. Exemplified/authenticated copies cost $15 each. The courts charge a search fee of $30 per hour.
How to Get Court Records Online for Free
Requesters can get court records online for free from the Alaska Court System. The appellate and trial courts have online tools where court records can be retrieved for free. With the Appellate Courts Case Management System, one can conduct a search by case number, party name, attorney name, or most requested case files. The Trial Courts' CourtView tool allows for a free search by case number, name, or ticket/citation number.
Requesters can choose a low-cost option using the PACER tool provided by the United States Bankruptcy Court District of Alaska. Retrieving court records via this tool costs $0.10 per page. This service is also available for free for eligible individuals.
What are Alaska Bankruptcy Records?
Alaska bankruptcy records are a list that contains financial information of people and businesses that have filed for bankruptcy in Alaska. Entities that have incurred debts beyond a manageable threshold may seek help from the Government in paying their debts. This happens when they lack the financial capacity to offset their debt or need a flexible structure to repay their debts.
People and companies file for bankruptcy when their assets and income are valued less or equal to the value of their debts. Filing for bankruptcy in Alaska is voluntary. In some cases, a creditor may request the court to pronounce a person bankrupt.
How to Find Bankruptcy Records in Alaska
Per Alaska Public Records Act, bankruptcy records are public records. Therefore, anyone can request to inspect or obtain copies of bankruptcy records from the United States Bankruptcy Court District of Alaska. These records can be obtained:
- By phone: The court's Multi-court Voice Case Information System (McVCIS) allows people to dial (866) 222-8029 and receive basic bankruptcy case information for free. The search criteria is by case party name, case number, or social security number.
- Online: Order bankruptcy records electronically via the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) tool. A requester must have a PACER account to be able to obtain records. The search criteria is by a specific court or national index. Access to PACER costs $0.10 per page and $3 per document. Eligible individuals can request fee waivers.
- In-person: The court has a public terminal where individuals can view bankruptcy records for free. However, printing copies of such records comes at a fee. Also, a requester can speak with the court staff to help with the search. All record searches should be directed to this court location:
The United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Columbia sits on bankruptcy cases in Alaska. It is a federal court because bankruptcy cases fall under the jurisdiction of federal courts. However, Alaska's laws are imperative in determining which properties the debtor can keep. Alaska bankruptcy records are part of legal proceedings and can be accessed by the public. This is done in person at any of the court offices located at the addresses below.
605 W. 4th Ave, Suite 138
Anchorage, AK 99501
Toll-free: (800) 859-8059
101 12th Ave, Room 332
Fairbanks, AK 99701
Toll-free: (866) 243-3813
This location is currently not staffed.
Please contact the Anchorage office.
Toll-free: (800) 859-8059
The bankruptcy records in Alaska can also be accessed all day round via the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service. While most financial information will be available to anybody, sensitive information such as social security numbers, residential addresses, and dates of birth will not be accessible.
Interested and eligible persons may request records of bankruptcy proceedings, Alaska Liens, judgments, contracts, and related documents pursuant to the provisions of the Alaska public records information law.
What are Alaska Judgment Records?
Alaska judgment records are court documents containing information about a court’s decision on contested matters in its jurisdiction. A judgment is the court’s declaration of an individual’s rights and the appropriate remedy for infringing on those rights. It may also order a litigant to perform specific responsibilities or penalties. This judgment becomes binding when the court clerk enters it into the court’s record.
The Alaska Public Records Act (APRA) and the Access to Court Records Rule make court records, including judgment records, available to interested persons. Generally, obtaining a judgment record involves visiting the clerk’s office in person during regular business hours. There, the individual must submit a request to view the court document - courts have standard request forms for this purpose. Upon receiving the request, the administrative staff shall search court archives and retrieve the requested document. Then, the staff shall make regular copies of the judgment record unless the requester specifically requests certified copies. Either way, the individual must have the necessary details to facilitate a search, e.g., the case number and litigants’ names, and pay the associated fees. Cash, money order, certified check, and credit cards are acceptable payment methods.
Persons who obtain Alaska judgment records can expect to see the litigants’ names, the judge’s name, and judgment date. In addition, judgment records contain the specific claims of the parties involved (civil cases) or the charges against the defendant (criminal cases), as well as the issued judgment in the case of interest.
Can You Look Up Court Cases in Alaska?
The Alaska State Court System provides online access to Alaska court case information through the CourtView web portal. The online portal guarantees access to information about court cases from the Alaska State Trial Courts. There are three search options available for obtaining case information via CourtView. Users may either search by case number, by name, or by Ticket/Citation Number.
To look up court case information by case number, follow these simple steps.
- Visit the CourtView website.
- After going through the instructions on the page, click on the blue "Search Case" button.
- The Case Number Search is the default search criteria. Enter the case number for the case record and click on Search.
- Follow the prompt and complete the process.
For a case search by name, follow these simple steps.
- On the CourtView website, click on the Search Case button.
- Click on the Name tab to access the Name Search option.
- Fill the form with the appropriate information and click on Search. You can also search for a case by Company Name. Some other additional options on the page include case type, party type, case status, file date range, etc.
For case search by ticket number, below are the recommended steps.
- On the Search Case page, click on the Tickets/Citation tab to access the Ticket Search Option.
- You may search for case information by providing any of the following information:
- Ticket number
- Drivers License and State issued
- Vehicle License and State issued
- Click on the Search button and follow the prompts to complete the process.
Alternatively, users may access court case information via the Alaska Appellate Courts Case Management System. The Case Search facility allows the user to search case information using three different criteria. The search options include case number, party name, and attorney name. To obtain case information via the Case Management System, follow the steps listed below.
- Visit the Case Management System Portal.
- From the list of search options available, click on the desired criteria.
- Fill in the required information and click on Search.
Alaska Court Case Lookup Exemptions
Most court records are available for public inspection per Alaska Public Records Act. However, some court records are deemed confidential. Per Alaska R. Admin. 37.5 (c) (4), only case parties, the counsel of records, court personnel, and persons with court orders authorizing access are allowed access to confidential records. The following are the court records excluded from public access:
- Juvenile proceedings
- Adoption records
- Some administrative records
- Any legal research and analysis prepared by law clerks or judges
- Records sealed or deemed confidential by court rule, statute, case law, or court order.
- Notes, memoranda, or preliminary drafts created by a judicial officer that relates to adjudication, resolution, or past, current, or future disposition of a legal issue.
What is a Court Docket in Alaska?
An Alaska court docket is a permanent and cumulative record of all proceedings in a case. It contains civil judgment information and documents and motions filed in a case. The results of those motions would also be available. A court docket also contains judicial assignments and/or reassignments and information on any money spent on a case, like filing fees, bail, fines, restitution, and payments applied to judgments. Individuals can search for court dockets via the CourtView tool provided by the Alaska Court System.
Types of Courts in Alaska
The Alaska Court system can be broadly divided into appellate and trial courts. Alaska has two appellate courts, which are the supreme court and the court of appeals. The supreme court is the highest court in the state. It handles appeals from lower courts and performs administrative duties in matters of Alaska's judicial system. The supreme court has five justices. The court of appeals handles appeals in cases relating to juvenile delinquency, habeas corpus, criminal prosecution, probation and parole, post-conviction relief, extradition, bail, and sentencing matters. The court of appeals has 4 judges.
Alaska trial courts are in two levels which are the superior courts and the district courts. Superior courts are general jurisdiction courts that handle all civil and criminal cases. It also handles appeals from district courts, guardianship and conservatorship cases, domestic relations matters, and juvenile delinquency. There are 45 superior court judges in Alaska. District courts are trial courts of limited jurisdictions. Alaska has 30 district court judges. District courts issue summons, arrest warrants, and search warrants and handle:
- Domestic violence cases
- Preliminary hearings in felony cases
- Civil cases that do not exceed $100,000 per defendant
- Minor offenses and violations of city and borough ordinances
- Small claims that do not exceed $10,000, wage claims brought by the Department of Labor that do not exceed $20,000
What are Civil Court and Small Claims in Alaska?
Civil cases refer to lawsuits between entities, usually involving monetary claims. It may be between individuals, an individual and an organization, or between organizations. Examples of such cases include breach of contract cases, evictions, customer complaints against businesses, and landlord-tenant disputes.
In the State of Alaska, most civil cases are heard and decided by the District Courts. The Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure govern the judgment of civil cases. The monetary claim in civil disputes under the District Courts' jurisdiction must not be more than $100,000. The Superior Court hears appeals from the District Courts over civil cases. When the Superior Court judgment over civil cases is appealed, the Court of Appeals decides the appeal.
Small claims cases are simpler civil cases in which the plaintiff seeks to recover monetary or property claims worth not more than $10,000. They are heard and decided by the Alaska Small Claims Court, a subdivision of the District Courts. Anyone who decides to file a case with claims of more than $10,000 must forgo the amount excess of the limit. Court costs or interests are not calculated as part of the $10,000 limit. However, certain cases are not permitted to be filed as small claims cases. They include:
- Claims filed against the Alaska State Government or the Federal Government
- Recovery of real property possession
- Disputes involving real property title
- An injunctive relief
Only persons who are up to 18 years and above can file small claims cases. Plaintiffs under 18 years may be permitted to file a small claims case only with either a guardian or a parent's assistance. In the State of Alaska, small claims cases are decided by the District Courts. They are basically handled under the less strict Small Claims Rule of Procedure.
Parties to a small claims case are permitted to represent themselves. This implies that the services of attorneys are not necessary, unlike in formal civil lawsuits. Anyone interested in filing a small claims case may start by obtaining the Small Claims Case form from the State Judiciary official website. The plaintiff may then follow the steps specified by the Rules of Procedure for Small Claims to complete the process.