Alaska Public Records

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The following is for informational purposes only

What are Alaska Public Records, and How are They Created?

Alaska Public Records

The state of Alaska defines public records as "books, papers, files, accounts, writings, including drafts and memorializations of conversations, and other items, regardless of format or physical characteristics, that are developed or received by a public agency, or by a private contractor for a public agency, and that are preserved for their informational value or as evidence of the organization or operation of the public agency; public records does not include proprietary software programs."

Government agencies, individuals, and legal entities create public records in Alaska, and they are typically maintained, stored, and managed by municipal or state agencies. Different types of law enforcement also create and maintain some public records.

AS 40.25.110 states, "Unless specifically provided otherwise, the public records of all public agencies are open to inspection by the public under reasonable rules during regular office hours. The public officer having the custody of public records shall give on request and payment of the fee established under this section or AS 40.25.115 a certified copy of the public record."

The Alaska Department of Public Safety consolidates public records from local and state agencies, and they handle public requests for copies.

Alaska State Archives is the entity in charge of maintaining historical public records such as 1964 earthquake records, naturalization records, school records, Trans-Alaska Pipeline records, and vital records.

 

How to Access Alaska Public Records?

How to Access Alaska Public Records

According to Alaska laws, state and local government and municipal agencies are required to make public records available upon request. There are a few exceptions, and you will have to pay some fees. To request access to public records:

Employers and licensing agencies can get public records using fingerprints. Individuals can get a copy of their own records for free.

 

Different Types of Public Records in Alaska

Alaska Criminal Records

Alaska criminal records may contain past conviction information, current offender information, and criminal identification (fingerprints, photographs, and a detailed physical description). These documents indicate that a person has been arrested for a criminal act and has been or is in the process of being prosecuted.

Court records, prison records, jail information, and other documents will be included in public criminal records.

Some common types of criminal records in Alaska include (but are not limited to):

  • Felony and Misdemeanor Records - misdemeanors in Alaska include things like theft, assaults, and harassments of innocent individuals, drug abuse, vandalism, DUIs, and other lesser criminal acts. Felonies include drug manufacturing, aggravated assault, and other serious violent offenses, as well as homicide and some fish and game offenses.
  • Alaska Jail and Inmate Records - both jails and prisons keep inmate records, and those too are public records. You can access them online through the DOC.
  • Police Records - police reports, warrants, mugshots, incident reports, and citations are all public records maintained by the police.

Alaska uses theCourtView online system for electronic criminal court documents and public records. Anyone can use this system for a fee to search and print criminal records. For other types of public criminal records, you will need to contact the Alaska Department of Public Safety, Public Information Office.

Alaska Court Records

Different Types of Public Records in Alaska

Court records in Alaska pertain to things like wills, small claims lawsuits, divorces, marriages, criminal court cases, and evidence. Other court records include assets, land deeds, probate proceedings, paternity suits, as well as many other criminal and civil filings. Court paperwork may be created by the court itself, law enforcement, individuals, attorneys, or other government officials.

Some types of court records in Alaska are:

  • Civil Court Records - family matters like paternity, divorces, custody and child support, probate issues, and small claims lawsuits.
  • Criminal Court Records - criminal filings for misdemeanors, felonies, and other citations. These may include things like trial paperwork, sentencing, prison transfers, and other documents related to the court case.
  • Financial Court Records - bankruptcies, liens, tax issues, company stock filings, and corporate financial reports.
  • Other Court Record - bench warrants, arrest warrants, and judgments.

Courts in Alaska are organized in four levels, the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the Superior Court, and District Court.

Alaska's Court System is the government agency that manages court public records and maintains the entire court system. They use the online system called CourtView to make it easy for the public to search and retrieve documents and post filings.

Alaska Arrest Records

Local law enforcement is responsible for arresting individuals who break state and local laws. Upon arrest, the police fill out forms like a RAP sheet to document the arrest. They also take down information like the perpetrator's name, address, and birthdate. During the booking process, they also take mugshots and fingerprint them. All of these items become Alaska arrest records.

Some different types of arrests records in Alaska are:

  • Possession or the sale of drugs.
  • Criminal driving violations like DUIs/DWIs.
  • Booking records, which may include fingerprints and mugshots.
  • Arrest warrants granted by a judge.
  • Bench warrants for not appearing in court.
  • Crime scene photos.
  • Witness statements.
  • Property crimes and accompanying paperwork showing damages.
  • Vehicle records if one was used during the crime.

Arrest records are compiled and kept by the Alaska Department of Public Health, State Troopers, Public Information Office. The general public can get copies of anything allowable by law. You may request copies in person at a local law enforcement agency as well. They do charge a fee for copies.

Alaska Vital Records

The Alaska Department of Public Health, State Troopers, Health Analytics, and Records division is the government agency in charge of maintaining, keeping, and issuing vital records. They handle everything from birth and death records to marriage licenses, divorce certificates, and even some adoption paperwork. Along with visiting the Juneau or Anchorage offices in person, you can also order copies of these vital records online. They even offer heirloom copies of birth and wedding certificates.

The Department of Health website has links to order copies of any of the types of vital records using a downloadable form and following the instructions contained within.

 

Other Public Records in Alaska

Other Public Records in Alaska

Along with criminal, court, arrest, and vital records, other types of public records you can find in the state of Alaska include, but are not limited to:

  • Land and property records.
  • Official complaints.
  • Social media feeds.
  • Department of Corrections/Prison records.
  • Address history.
  • Phone numbers.
  • Driving records which may consist of DUIs, traffic tickets, citations, accidents, and other things. However, motor vehicle records are not public records due to Driver's Privacy Protection Acts laws.
  • Professional licenses or certificates.
  • Corporate financial statements and stock records.
  • Local community involvement.
  • State and local government budgets.
 

What Information is Not Public Record in Alaska?

Per AS 40.25.110, there are exceptions to public records law. Things that are not public records in Alaska are juvenile records, adoption papers, medical and public health information; library lending; names of victims of certain types of sexual assault; and some law enforcement records. Additionally, any public records that contain personally identifiable information may be redacted to protect the individual's privacy.