When I first learned how to research court records, it was a multi-step process involving research guides, paper binders, and at least two sets of microfilm. Finding a particular case required me to:
- identify the court or jurisdiction (perhaps using the Historical Jurisdiction guide)
- identify available name indexes or alternatives (using the Court Records guide)
- retrieve and search the microfilm
- identify case number when a name is found
- identify microfilm reel that contains case number
- retrieve microfilm and lookup case file by number
- make copies
To shorten this process, or at least allow researchers to begin before visiting or calling, the Utah State Archives and Records Service is digitizing many of the most-used court indexes for online access. Using court records isn’t any less complicated, since identifying the correct jurisdiction and other steps are still required, but we hope to move toward better access to records by providing these tools online for all.
Salt Lake County (Third District)
Weber County (Second District)
Box Elder County (First District)
Beaver County (Fifth District)
Is there a court index you’d like to see online? Let us know in the comments!