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What are Idaho Criminal Court Records?
Idaho criminal court records refer to the documents created during the judicial processes of Idaho criminal courts. They contain official accounts of the court proceedings during trial, judgment or appeal. They also contain details of the criminal offense being prosecuted, as well as information regarding the accused and plaintiff, court actions, motion and motion arguments as well as the court's final verdict. These records are typically generated to furnish interested persons with information pertaining to the court's legal processes. As such, members of the public may obtain or view these records upon request. However, the right of public access to criminal court records is not absolute in Idaho. Where a record is sealed or deemed confidential by the court, requestors will be required to meet specific eligibility requirements in order to obtain the record of interest.
Understanding Idaho’s Criminal Court System
The judicial system of Idaho is composed of different courts, all of which operate with varying authorities. All courts in Idaho are submitted to the administrative authority and supervision of the state Supreme Court, which also serves as the state’s court of last resort. While Idaho trial and appellate courts have distinct functions, the supreme court has exclusive and original jurisdiction to entertain specific felonies and claims involving the state. The Idaho court system comprises of:
- Idaho Supreme Court
- Idaho Court of Appeals
- Idaho District Courts
- Idaho Drug Courts
- Idaho Mental Health Courts
- Idaho District Courts
- Idaho Court of Appeals
As per Idaho’s judicial laws, District Courts are the state’s primary courts of general jurisdiction. However, jurisdiction is shared with drug courts and mental health courts in cases pertaining to drug crimes or mentally unfit offenders. Generally, criminal cases proceed from district courts unless the offense is drug-related or the offender is eligible for the insanity defense in which case the case is handled by the drug or mental health division of the court.
Following the verdict of a district court, the defendant may opt to request an appeal from the state's Court of Appeals or Supreme Court (in selected cases). Judgments issued by the Court of Appeals may also be reviewed by the Supreme court, however, verdicts issued by the Supreme Court are final and binding.
What’s Included in an Idaho Criminal Court Record?
Given that criminal records are designed to provide a formal account of the proceedings of the state’s courts, they often feature general case information regarding the crime being prosecuted, the accused as well as the plaintiff. However, Idaho criminal court records are usually unique to the case and the judicial district where the case was heard/filed. Nonetheless, most court records share many similarities. Idaho criminal court records usually feature:
- Details of the criminal charges, including the date and place of the crime(s)
- The personal information of both plaintiff and defendant as well as the names of respective litigants
- Information regarding the legal severity of the offense
- The plea of the defendant, as well as court summons, search and/or arrest warrants issued for persons involved in the case
- Documents containing information regarding the physical and psychological/mental competence of persons involved including key and expert witnesses.
- Evidence presented by either or both parties, witness statements, and expert testimonies
- Details of the litigation proceedings including court actions and appearances motions, and motion arguments, etc.
- Details of the court's final verdict and revisions made by appellate courts including details of penalties such as jail sentences, probation conditions, community services, court-mandated therapy, fines, etc.
Obtaining Idaho Criminal Court Records
Idaho's public record laws allow interested members of the public to view or obtain copies of criminal court records on request. Given the unique processes employed by most judicial districts, the requirements for accessing these records generally varies depending on the case and its custodian. However non-confidential records can be obtained by members of the public while records that are confidential or sealed by court order are restricted to eligible persons. To access these records, interested persons may use state-managed or third party online resources, make in-person requests to the courthouse where the case was heard or making mail-in queries to the appropriate record custodian
How Do I Find Idaho Criminal Court Records Online?
In Idaho, online access to court records is provided through the iCourt Project website. The project unifies court case information from participating courts in Idaho into a central database, allowing interested persons to gain access to court records through the online judicial system. To access a court record, interested persons may utilize the tools available on the iCourt Portal.
This requires the requestor to conduct name-based or case-number based searches.
To search for a criminal court record by name, the requesting party must provide the full names of either or both parties involved in the case -- i.e plaintiff and/or the defendant. Where the plaintiff and/or defendant is a business or businesses, searches can be conducted by furnishing the search too with the official business name of either or both parties. If some of the information required is not known, wild card searches can be conducted using a combination of the known information and the wild card symbols Similarly, case number-based searches require the requestor to provide a case number for the search, along with the approximate date the case was filed and/or heard (if known)
In addition to the above, some, but not all of Idaho trial courts and court clerks maintain independent websites and online repositories with which records can be retrieved. Publicly available records are also accessible from some third-party websites. These websites offer the benefit of not being limited by geographical record availability and can often serve as a starting point when researching a specific or multiple records. To find a record using the search engines on these sites, interested parties must provide:
- The name of someone involved providing it is a not a juvenile
- The assumed location of the record in question such as a city, county, or state name
Third-party sites are not government-sponsored websites, and record availability may differ from official channels
How Do I Access Idaho Criminal Court Records in Person?
While most public court records can be obtained using the iCourt tool, Idaho public record laws restrict the electronic publication or dissemination of selected court cases. As such criminal court records which are confidential or sealed by court order are not accessible through online but can be made available to persons who make in-person requests to the office of the record custodian -- which is typically the office of the clerk of courts in the courthouse where the case was filed/heard. Given these limitations, persons interested in obtaining full criminal court case information are advised to request the record in-person. Idaho in-person record requests may proceed thus:
Locate the Record Custodian
According to the operations of Idaho’s judicial system, criminal court records are generated and maintained by the court clerk in which the case was heard. As such in-person court record requests require the requestor locate and confirm the judicial district in which the criminal offense occurred and the court which heard the case.
Generally, records are best located by considering the most current status of the case and the severity of the crime being prosecuted. While Idaho district courts are the state's court of general jurisdiction, selected Records of cases with appealed judgments are typically updated and maintained by the appellate court which reviewed the verdict. This is usually Idaho’s Court of Appeals or State Supreme Court. Information regarding the state's various courts and the contact details of their respective court clerks can be obtained using the resources available on the iCourts website.
Collect the Required Information
Upon confirming the location of the desired record in the judicial district where the case was heard, the requesting party may proceed to contact the record custodian i.e. the clerk of courts for information regarding the court’s record retrieval process. While the requirements for record retrieval generally varies from court to court and may depend on the case, persons seeking access to criminal court records are often required to provide all the details needed to facilitate record searches. This information typically includes the full name(s) of either or both of the parties involved, the case file number of the record (if known) and the approximate date on which the case was filed/heard. In selected instances, requestors may also need to provide the name of any of the attorneys involved in the case.
Visit the Court Record Custodian
To make in-person record requests, interested persons may visit the office of the court clerk during official working hours. Ideally, requestors must schedule each visit to the courthouse to ensure that any required resources and personnel will be available. Most requestors may self serve using the public-access computer terminals available at most courthouses. However, if the requestor requires confidential and/or certified records, the court clerk will process the search and authenticate the document. To proceed with the search, the requester is usually required to complete an implication indicating the required information as well as the personal and contact details of the requesting party.
Provide Identification and Fee Requirements
To obtain a record, requestors are required to confirm their eligibility by presenting a government-issued photo ID. In some cases, requestors are also charged a nominal fee to cover search/copy costs depending on the requested record. Where this is the case, the court clerk will only proceed with the search after the fee and ID requirements have been met. Additionally, records that are confidential are usually restricted to persons with specific legal authorities. As such, persons interested in obtaining confidential records must also provide a court-issued order/subpoena along with the ID and fees.
How Do I Access Idaho Criminal Court Records via Mail?
The Idaho state judiciary supports the dissemination of some criminal court records via mail. To obtain a court via mail, interested persons are required to prepare a written request to be delivered to the applicable court clerk. Given the specificities of most records, the requirements for accessing most records depends on the case type and the judicial district where the case was heard. As such, requestors are advised to contact the record custodian for information regarding the requirements of the court prior to preparing a request. Most requestors will be required to provide the following information in writing:
- The full name and contact information of either or both parties involved in the case
- General case information including the place/date on which the case was heard
- The case file number, docket number and or appellate case number of the record (if applicable)
- The names of the attorney involved and in some cases, their state bar number
- The personal and contact information of the requesting party.
- General information regarding appellate reviews to the original verdict (if applicable)
Additionally, requesters may be required to enclose a photocopy of their government-issued photo ID, a payment to cover search/copy fees in cheque or money order form as well as a stamped, self-addressed envelope with which to receive the requested record.
Are all Idaho Criminal Court Records Public?
The state of Idaho supports the right of the public to view and obtain copies of criminal court records. However, this right is not absolute, and following Idaho state Public Record laws, selected records are not available to the public.
Typically, criminal court records which are accessible through third-party sites and state-managed online repositories are considered public record. The information provided to the public includes details of the prosecuted offense, court actions, motions, and oral arguments, summons, dispositions, and details of the court's final verdict and indicated penalties. Also available to the public are court minutes, calendars and schedules as well as court opinions.
What Records are Automatically Sealed by Idaho State Statutes?
Idaho court records can be sealed, expunged or restricted from public dissemination for a variety of reasons. Most popularly, records are sealed at the discretion of the court following an order. However, selected records are automatically sealed, and may only be released to persons with specific legal authorities. These records include:
- The identifying information of selected persons including minors, juveniles, and assault or domestic violence victims.
- The personal and contact information of selected jurors and/or witnesses
- Records pertaining to the mental/psychological evaluation of persons involved in the case
- Paternity or adoption-related records if relevant to the criminal case.
- Financial bank account numbers, social security numbers, and related information.
Can I Access Idaho Sealed Criminal Court Records?
Records sealed by court order may be made available to eligible persons if the record has been deemed relevant in a legal dispute, crime or for security and financial purposes. Interested persons may obtain sealed records by challenging the sealing order. This requires the requestor to petition to obtain a subpoena from an Idaho-licensed judge. Requestors may also require a written and notarized permission from the subject(s) of the record to access the record of interest. These records are generally not available using online resources but can be obtained by making in-person requests to the office of the record custodian.
Are Idaho Juvenile Criminal Records Open to the Public?
Typically records of court proceedings during the prosecution of juvenile crimes are automatically sealed by state statutes. However, if the juvenile has recorded prior offenses and adjudications, or if he/she were tried as an adult or involved in a traffic-related violation and/or if the offense committed is a felony, then the record may not be sealed. Sealed juvenile criminal records may be released if the requesting party is authorized by or is a school district, the district attorney or the legal representative of the juvenile. It may also be released to selected persons who are authorized by a court order. However, to obtain the required legal authority to access an Idaho juvenile criminal record, the requestor must provide a justifiable reason for the release of the requested document.
How to Find Idaho Criminal History Records
While criminal court records feature information pertaining to the litigation processes of criminal courts in Idaho, criminal history records detail the criminal and conviction history of persons resident in the state. These records may not be used interchangeably. Pursuant to Idaho public record laws, criminal history information can be provided to interested persons for a variety of purposes including employment, licensing and general background checking.
The service of providing criminal records is provided by the Bureau of Criminal Identification of the Idaho State Police Department. Criminal history information can be obtained by requesting name-based or fingerprint-based background checks. To make either request, interested persons are required to download and complete the name-based criminal background check form or the fingerprint-based request form. The Applicable form must be completed legibly and submitted along with the indicated documents and fees to:
Bureau Of Criminal Identification
700 S. Stratford Dr. Ste. 120
Meridian, ID 83642
Phone: (208) 884-7130
Fax (208) 884-7193