You may request and pay online for: 1) retrieval of an archived court file; 2) photocopies of most court records; and 3) certification of most court records. The request process is simple, and you may request up to $1000 in documents and/or services at a time. (Requests larger than that must be broken into multiple online submissions.) You will be directed to a secure website where you must complete a form and submit payment with a credit or debit card using Pay.gov. Please contact the clerk's office if you require any assistance.
File Retrieval, Copies, and Certifications
To request a file, photocopy, or certification, you must be able to provide enough specificity to enable the clerk’s office to fulfill your request. For example, to request a particular document out of a case file, you should provide the case number, style of the case (e.g., Smith v. Jones), the document number, and the total number of pages that you want to have copied. In old cases that are not in electronic form, a paper file may have to be retrieved from the Federal Record Center (FRC) in order to fill a copy request. If so, you must first request that the file be retrieved and pay the cost of retrieval before ordering copies. To request a file from FRC, you will need to know the number of boxes that contain the file. If you do not know the information required, contact the clerk's office for assistance.
Additionally, the National Archives and Records Administration offers the SmartScan service, which may allow you to obtain one or more documents (up to 100 pages) from the same case stored at the FRC without the cost to retrieve the entire file. Please contact the clerk's office for assistance and payment instructions if you are seeking just a few documents from a particular case. Online payment is not currently available for this service.
The fees for certification, exemplification, and apostilles are per certification and in addition to the cost for copies. If multiple documents are needed, you may choose to have them certified individually or bound together under a single certification form. To issue an apostille, the clerk must first certify the document, so two (2) certification fees apply for each apostille requested.
A Certificate of Name Search may be provided for a search of civil and criminal records in the Northern District of Texas dating back to 1/1/1957. Specifying the type of record (civil or criminal) or narrowing the length of search (e.g., a 10-year search, a 15-year search) will reduce the time it takes to complete your search. Since many names are the same, you may wish to provide a person’s date of birth and/or last four digits of their social security number for a criminal defendant search to ensure correct identification.