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Where to Find Idaho Civil Court Records

Idaho civil court records refer to official reports and documents containing relevant information regarding civil court proceedings filed within the jurisdiction of the state courts. These records include details generated during a civil case as well as motions and judgments documented on paper or recorded electronically. In Idaho, civil court records are primarily maintained by the office of the clerk of courts in the courthouse where the case was originally heard. Alternatively, these records may also be found through third-party composite sites such as

Are Idaho Civil Court Records Public?

As per § 74-102 of the Idaho State Statutes, almost anyone can obtain a public civil court record in the state. Interested parties can access case information, such as pleadings and motions filed by different parties, docket information, court transcripts, and court decrees. Court records can be obtained as long as they protect proprietary business information and do not violate the interests and privacy rights of civilians and neutral parties. Even then, members of the public can only access documents exchanged between civil parties and filed with the court. Records of cases settled via alternative dispute resolution are unavailable for public inspection. Also, some other records deemed confidential by statute or court rule are strictly reserved for selected persons including civil parties, their legal designees, members of the law enforcement agencies, and individuals with court orders or subpoenas.

Types of Cases in Idaho Civil Courts

In Idaho, there are a variety of case types considered to be civil in nature. Such cases are generally non-criminal in origin and are heard by judges and magistrates tasked by duty to handle civil cases. Some cases heard by Idaho civil courts include:

  • Defamation and other claims following alleged character assassination
  • Claims arising as a result of negligence and liabilities
  • Assault and battery cases
  • Other torts and equitable claims
  • Minor traffic cases such as wrong parking
  • Family-related disputes such as divorce, paternity, child custody, and adoption cases
  • Probate of decedent estates
  • Landlord & tenant disagreements
  • Consumer complaints
  • Work-related disputes such as workers compensation
  • Breach of contract
  • Landlord-tenant disagreements
  • Personal injury claims
  • Bankruptcy

Idaho civil court cases are handled by different courts with varying jurisdiction. The Idaho small claims departments exercise limited jurisdiction over civil claims of $4000 or less. The 87 Magistrate Divisions Judges oversee civil cases not exceeding $10,000 while District Court Judges hear civil cases outside the jurisdiction of lower courts. The Chief Judges and associate judges of the appellate-level courts also review civil cases handled by trial courts.

What is the Difference Between Criminal Cases and Civil Cases in Idaho?

Although the anatomy of criminal cases and civil cases are somewhat similar, both case types are adjudicated in accordance with different rules in the Idaho State laws. Trial court judges resolve civil cases based on the preponderance of evidence as defined by the Idaho Rules of Civil Procedure (IRCP). On the other hand, criminal cases are tried and prosecuted in accordance with Title 18 of Idaho State Statutes. Generally, the standard of proof in criminal cases must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

In Idaho, attorneys are not allowed in trials of small claims civil cases. While legal representation is permitted in magistrate divisions and district courts, civil parties are within their legal rights to represent themselves. This is not true for criminal cases. Criminal defendants must be legally represented by hired attorneys or lawyers assigned by the public defender's office.

Criminal defendants usually face jury trials while civil trials may be listened to by bench or jury trials. However, jury trials are not possible in Idaho small claims departments.

The verdict in criminal cases usually falls in line with acquittal, conviction, and sentencing. Unless held in contempt of court, a civil case defendant may be instructed to pay compensations awarded to the aggrieved party or even asked to do or refrain from doing something.

How Do I Find Civil Court Records in Idaho?

Members of the public may find Idaho civil court records by locating the appropriate courthouse where the case proceedings took place and making requests in person, by mail, or online.

To make a request for a civil court record in person, go to the appropriate county courthouse and apply at the clerk's office. Make sure to bring along the case identification details such as the names of the parties in the case, case number, and case status. Most Idaho state courthouses have public access terminals where interested persons can view electronic versions of court records. Those in need of paper documents, should apply in writing at the clerk's office. Some courthouses provide court record request forms to hasten the process. If the record of interest contains confidential information, eligible querying parties must provide their picture identification. In addition, court visitors must pay copy fees before the clerk can reproduce and release requested documents. The district court clerks charge $1 for each page copied and $1 for certification.

To obtain civil court records by mail, residents must first establish that the court offers this service. Interested parties can confirm this by contacting the clerk of court using the Idaho County Courthouse Directories or by visiting the particular court's official webpage. Mailing details, as well as the cost for copying official court records, can be found on most court websites. While the rules vary with different clerks, most courts require a physical address for mailing records. Payment for records may be made by credit card or check. Interested parties are advised to include a self-addressed stamped return envelope. Requesting parties are also required to query the clerk on other requirements limited to the court. Obtaining records by mail may take 3 days to 2 weeks depending on the court and associated difficulty in finding the record.

How Do I Find Idaho Civil Court Records Online?

The Supreme Court of Idaho manages the unified case search portal, which allows members of the public the right to access civil court records electronically. A sign-up registration is not required when accessing this online service. However, in cases where compiled court data is requested, registration (by authorized individuals) becomes necessary. Essentially, the iCourt portal reveals the general case information when smart-searched using the case number, the full name of any of the parties involved, or by business name. To render a search by case number, the requesting party is required to input the case number in full or at least enter not less than four characters of the case number. While the complete case number search is precise, the incomplete "wildcard" search turns up all the results of cases bearing similar numerical arrangements.

What Is Included in an Idaho Civil Court Record?

Typically, information on civil cases depends on the case type. However, some general information seen on civil court records include:

  • Description of the case
  • Personal information of the defendants and plaintiffs
  • Information of the attorneys of the parties involved
  • Case status
  • Evidence presented in the case
  • Statements made by the witnesses
  • Court transcripts including motions and petitions
  • Summons
  • Court's verdict
  • Agreements and settlements reached by the parties involved

How to Access Idaho Civil Court Records For Free

The general public can access Idaho civil court records for free electronically. Some county courthouses provide electronic public access terminals that interested persons may search for court information. Members of the public may search records by the details of the cases.

How to Seal Civil Court Records in Idaho

Parties involved in civil cases may have the records of the court proceeding sealed on the court's order. The sealing of records restricts information from public access. Interested parties in a civil case can file a written request with the court's clerk to seal desired records. Upon the filing of the request, the court will notify all the parties involved and a court hearing will ensue. The court will pass an order to seal records if the request meets the requirements. Generally, the court may seal records on the following basis:

  • To protect the privacy of persons involved
  • The involvement of minors in the case
  • If certain information could lead to potential harm

How to Access Sealed Civil Court Records in Idaho

To access sealed civil court records, requestors may file a motion at the court where the case hearing occurred. Typically, the court grants a request access to sealed records if the requestor has a legitimate reason and motive of use. The court would weigh the requestor's request for the sealed record with the initial reason(s) the court record was sealed. If the court grants a request to access sealed civil court records, there might be some terms and conditions governing how the requestors may use the desired information. Sealed records are also available to certain persons and government agencies at all times, including law enforcement agencies, attorneys of the parties involved, and other government employees.

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