Records & Information

California Rules of Court provide the public with reasonable access to court records for viewing and copying. Court records are presumed to be open, unless they are considered confidential by statute or are sealed by a judge. Access to confidential cases is limited to parties to that case and government issued picture identification must be shown.

 

Accessing Court Records

Documents that are filed into a specific case can be viewed and copied as outlined below.

Online Access:

Currently, online access to documents electronically filed (or scanned) within a case are only available to be viewed by the attorney of record for a party in the case.

In-person Access: 

Documents filed into a case are available for viewing at the clerk’s office. You must go to the specific location where your case type is handled to view documents.

Santa Cruz location:

• Civil

• Probate

• Appeals

• Criminal

• Traffic

Watsonville location:

• Family Law

• Small Claims

If it is a current case, or the records have been scanned you should be able to view the file that day. If it is an older case, it may need to be retrieved from storage. Records needing to be retrieved from storage cannot be viewed the same day they are requested.

Older Records:

To request an older file you will need to fill out the Research and Copy Request form and pay the fee to retrieve the file (See the fee schedule under Copying Court Records). The Clerk’s Office will give you the estimated time it will take to retrieve the file from storage. You will be contacted by phone at the number you provide when the file is ready to be viewed.

Copying Court Records

Copies of court records may be requested from the appropriate Clerk’s Office. These requests can be made in-person or by mail. You may request the copies be held for pickup, mailed to you, or emailed to you. Specific instructions for the type of record you are requesting are outlined in section Information You Need to Know to View or Copy a Court Record. Please note that if you are requesting a certified copy of a court document, it cannot be sent via email.

If you are requesting copies of a small number of pages from a recent case, we may be able to fulfill your request while you wait. If we are unable to do so, the standard turnaround time is 5 weeks. Please plan accordingly.

FEES APPLICABLE TO VIEWING AND COPYING RECORDS

Search Fee (records searches exceeding 10 minutes): $15.00 per search
File Retrieval Fee (for older records stored offsite): $15.00 per file
Photocopy Fee: $0.50 per page
Certification Fee (does not include copy fee): $25.00 per document / standard packet
Comparison Certification Fee: $1.00 per page + Certification Fee Exemplified Copies: $50.00
Certified Copy of Dissolution (Divorce): $15.00 + Copy Fee
Postage and Handling: See Research and Copy Request Form

Effective July 1, 2015, public (governmental) agencies will be charged photocopy fees, along with other applicable fees, on all copy requests. See the Court's notice regarding charging public agencies for copy fees. 

Information You Need to View or Copy a Court Record

The easiest way to find a court record is with the case number. If you do not have the case number, you will need to know the parties’ names and approximate year the case was filed. For cases opened after June 1985, you may search online at https://portal.santacruzcourt.org/portal to find the case number. For cases opened prior to June 1985, a search will need to be done through the microfiche in person. If you are requesting staff search for the case number, a fee for searching will be charged.

Civil, Probate, & Appeals

Fill out the Research and Copy Request Form. Submit the completed form to the Civil Division, Room 110. You can do this in-person or by mail.

In-person: Bring the form to the Santa Cruz Courthouse location Room 110 701 Ocean St, Santa Cruz during the Clerk’s Office hours. If it is a request we can process while you wait, you may pay any applicable fees by cash, credit card or check. Otherwise, payment is to be made by check made out to Santa Cruz Superior Court with not to exceed $75.00 written in the memo line. SEE EXAMPLE. If you would like the copies mailed to you, please bring a self-addressed stamped envelope (Postage calculation is found on page 2 of the Research and Copy Request Form).

By mail: Mail the completed form to Santa Cruz County Superior Court, ATTN: Civil Division Records Requests 701 Ocean Street, Room 110 Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Include a check made out to Santa Cruz Superior Court with not to exceed $75.00 written in the memo line. SEE EXAMPLE. Also include a self-addressed stamped envelope (postage calculation is found on Page 2 of the Research and Copy Request Form) if you are asking for the copies to be sent to you by mail.

Completed requests will be held for pick up, mailed to you in the envelope you provide, or emailed to you at the email address you provide.

*Certified Copies can only be mailed or picked up in person.

Criminal & Traffic

Fill out the Research and Copy Request Form.

Submit the completed form to the Criminal Division, Room 120. You can do this in-person or by mail.

In-person: Bring the form to the Santa Cruz Courthouse location Room 120 701 Ocean St, Santa Cruz during the Clerk’s Office hours. . If it is a request we can process while you wait, you may pay any applicable fees by cash, credit card or check. Otherwise, payment is to be made by check made out to Santa Cruz Superior Court with not to exceed $75.00 written in the memo line. SEE EXAMPLE. If you would like the copies mailed to you, please bring a self-addressed stamped envelope (Postage calculation is found on page 2 of the Research and Copy Request Form).

By mail: Mail the completed form to Santa Cruz County Superior Court, ATTN: Criminal Division Records Request 701 Ocean Street, Room 120 Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Include a check made out to Santa Cruz Superior Court with not to exceed $75.00 written in the memo line. SEE EXAMPLE. Also include a self-addressed stamped envelope (postage calculation is found on Page 2 of the Research and Copy Request Form).

Completed requests will be held for pickup, mailed to you in the envelope you provide, or emailed to you at the email address you provide.

*Certified Copies can only be mailed or picked up in person.

Family Law

Fill out the Research and Copy Request Form.

Submit the completed form to the Family Law Division, Room 300. You can do this in-person or by mail.

In-person: Bring the form to the Watsonville Courthouse location Room 300 1 Second St, Watsonville during the Clerk’s Office hours. If it is a request we can process while you wait, you may pay any applicable fees by cash, credit card or check. Otherwise, payment is to be made by check made out to Santa Cruz Superior Court with not to exceed $75.00 written in the memo line. SEE EXAMPLE. If you would like the copies mailed to you, please bring a self-addressed stamped envelope (Postage calculation is found on page 2 of the Research and Copy Request Form).

By mail: Mail the completed form to Santa Cruz County Superior Court, Family Law Division Records Request 1 Second Street, Room 300 Watsonville, CA 95076. Include a check made out to Santa Cruz Superior Court with not to exceed $75.00 written in the memo line. SEE EXAMPLE. Also include a self-addressed stamped envelope (postage calculation is found on Page 2 of the Research and Copy Request Form).

Completed requests will be held for pickup, mailed to you in the envelope you provide, or emailed to you at the email address you provide.

*Certified Copies can only be mailed or picked up in person.

** Paternity cases are confidential and only the parties involved in the case can have access to the file. If you are unable to come in person to view the file due to a disability or you are now living out of the area, then you may submit your request in writing using the Research and Copy Request Form with a photocopy of your driver’s license or other valid state issued photo identification.

***Adoption record requests made by anyone other than an adopting parent must be made using our local form, Petition for Authorization to Inspect Adoption and Birth Record Information and to Obtain Copies, and require a judge’s approval.

Small Claims

Fill out the Research and Copy Request Form.

Submit the completed form to the Small Claims Division, Room 300. You can do this in-person or by mail.

In-person: Bring the form to the Watsonville Courthouse location Room 300 1 Second St, Watsonville during the Clerk’s Office hours. If it is a request we can process while you wait, you may pay any applicable fees by cash, credit card or check. Otherwise, payment is to be made by check made out to Santa Cruz Superior Court with not to exceed $75.00 written in the memo line. SEE EXAMPLE. If you would like the copies mailed to you, please bring a self-addressed stamped envelope (postage calculation is found on Page 2 of the Research and Copy Request Form).

By mail: Mail the completed form to Santa Cruz County Superior Court, Small Claims Division Records Request 1 Second Street, Room 300 Watsonville, CA 95076. Include a check made out to Santa Cruz Superior Court with not to exceed $75.00 written in the memo line. SEE EXAMPLE. Also include a self-addressed stamped envelope (postage calculation is found on Page 2 of the Research and Copy Request Form).

Completed requests will be held for pickup, mailed to you in the envelope you provide, or emailed to you at the email address you provide.

*Certified Copies can only be mailed or picked up in person.

Judicial Administrative Records

California Rules of Court specify conditions under which the public may be granted access to judicial administrative records. These types of records are administrative in nature and do not include records related to cases or court proceedings. 

Effective January 1, 2010, Rule 10.500 of the California Rules of Court sets forth comprehensive public access provisions applicable to judicial administrative records maintained by state trial and appellate courts, and the Judicial Council.

Please direct requests for access to judicial administrative records to:

Superior Court of California
County of Santa Cruz
Public Information Request
701 Ocean Street, Room 110
Santa Cruz, California 95060

Submit email request

The Superior Court will make identifiable judicial administrative records available upon request, unless the records are exempt from disclosure under Rule 10.500. Records may be subject to the payment of a fee (see Fee Guidelines and subdivision (e)(4) of Rule 10.500).

Electronic Recordings & Court Reporters Transcripts

A transcript of court proceedings is a verbatim record of everything said by the judge, attorneys, witnesses, and others during a court hearing or trial.

Electronic recording is used in civil limited, misdemeanor and traffic cases:

There is a $25.00 fee for an audio CD. If your request includes multiple days or proceedings, there is an additional $5.00 charge per day. Because the Court cannot extract individual cases from the day’s hearings, an entire audio CD(s) for the date requested will be created.

To request an electronic recording of a proceeding, please use the Court’s request form (click here). Completed forms may be faxed to (831) 420-2260 or droped off in Judges Chambers at the Santa Cruz Courthouse. Upon completion of the CD, a Court staff member will notify the requesting party that the CD is available. Once notified, go to the appropriate Clerk's office, Room 110 for Civil cases or Room 120 for Criminal cases, to pay for and pick up your completed CD(s). Payment and pick up may be made Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  

You may contact the Court at 831-420-2300 if you have any questions.

Requests for court reporter transcripts:

Court reporters are only provided by the Court in the following types of cases:

  • Felony cases,
  • Juvenile Dependency and Delinquency,
  • Freedom from Control,
  • Contested LPS Conservatorships,
  • Domestic Violence Prevention Act and Elder Abuse Restraining Orders and,
  • Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) contested contempt matters.

If a hearing or trial was reported by a court reporter, that court reporter is responsible for preparing the transcript of the hearing as required by law or upon request. Except for those transcripts prepared for the court for certain criminal matters, all other parties requesting transcripts are required to pay reporters for the preparation of transcripts at the rate prescribed by law.

If you are seeking a reporter’s transcript, you must contact the court reporter directly. If you would like a court reporter’s transcript from a case where a reporter was provided by the court, then you will need to complete the transcript request form (click here). Email the form directly to the court reporter that is responsible for preparing the transcript. If you hired your own court reporter, contact that individual directly. The name of the official reporter is included on the court minute order. (In the state of California, a reporter’s transcript is the property of each individual court reporter. The Court cannot supply a copy of the transcript, so requests must be made with the reporter.) The following is a listing of the court reporters provided by the Court as required by law and their desk phone number:

Deanna Pfaff – 831-420-2415 - deanna.pfaff@santacruzcourt.org

Retta Parsons – 831-420-2468 - retta.parsons@santacruzcourt.org

Tanis O’Connor – 831-420-2408 - tanis.oconnor@santacruzcourt.org

Heidi Bloemker – 831-420-2397 - heidi.bloemker@santacruzcourt.org

Janette Hill – 831-420-2392 - janette.hill@santacruzcourt.org

Heather Roseman – 831-420-2382 - heather.roseman@santacruzcourt.org

Ellarae Ramey – 831-420-2403 - ellarae.ramey@santacruzcourt.org

CONTACT INFORMATION

Mailing Addresses:

Civil Division:
Superior Court of California,
County of Santa Cruz 

701 Ocean Street, Room 110 
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Criminal Division:
Superior Court of California,
County of Santa Cruz
701 Ocean Street, Room 120
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Family Law Division:
Superior Court of California,
County of Santa Cruz
1 Second Street, Room 300
Watsonville, CA 95076

Probate Division:
Superior Court of California,
County of Santa Cruz
701 Ocean Street, Room 110
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Small Claims Division
Superior Court of California,
County of Santa Cruz
1 Second Street, Room 300
Watsonville, CA 95076