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Connecticut Public Records

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The following is for informational purposes only

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

Connecticut Public Records

The Connecticut Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is the law dictating access to public records for the state. The Connecticut FOIA states that public records or files "means any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency, or to which a public agency is entitled to receive a copy by law or contract under section 1-218, whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method."

Public records are created by government agents, law enforcement, and other legal professionals. Only organizations and agencies that receive state funding and serve a government purpose are required to share public records with the public.

The Connecticut Freedom of Information Act states that "(a) Except as otherwise provided by any federal law or state statute, all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency, whether or not such records are required by any law or by any rule or regulation, shall be public records and every person shall have the right to (1) inspect such records promptly during regular office or business hours, (2) copy such records in accordance with subsection (g) of section 1-212, or (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212. Any agency rule or regulation, or part thereof, that conflicts with the provisions of this subsection or diminishes or curtails in any way the rights granted by this subsection shall be void."

The State of Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Library Services is the entity in charge of public records. They have a guide website on how to request different types of records from the courts, the Secretary of State, licensing bureaus, criminal record repositories, and other custodians of public records.

The Connecticut State Library is the government agency in charge of historical public records. They maintain state publications, account books, diaries, and journals, war records, photographs, some court records, newspaper clippings, military and other types of public records as well.


How to Access Connecticut Public Records?

How to Access Connecticut Public Records

The place to start when searching for Connecticut public records is the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Library Services agency.

  • Review the website and find the type of records you need.
  • Click the link associated with the kind of records (court records, criminal information, court records, medical information, licensing, police records, or other types.
  • Contact those agencies directly and follow the instructions contained on their website. Some may allow online access, but with others you may have to request them in person or by mail.

The fee for public records is 25-50 cents per page, payable at the time of your request. According to the Connecticut FOIA, government agencies have four days to produce the documents or deny your request. You can appeal, and if you win, the agency may be fined up to $1,000.


Different Types of Public Records in Connecticut

Connecticut Criminal Records

Connecticut Criminal Records are collected and maintained by the Public Records Online - CT Judicial Branch Law Library Services. They have a portal to search both criminal convictions and pending criminal records. Additionally, you can consult the Connecticut Department of Corrections for offender information and search inmate records.

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

  • Felony and Misdemeanor Records - common misdemeanors in Connecticut include prostitution, embezzlement, and theft. Some examples of felonies in Connecticut include murder, sexual assault, kidnapping, arson, robbery, and manslaughter.
  • CT Inmate Search - both jails and prisons keep inmate records, and those too are public records. The Connecticut Department of Corrections allows online searches for prison inmates through their website.
  • Police Records - local police can provide copies of incident reports, police reports, sometimes mugshots, and even crime scene photos upon request.

You can also visit courthouses in person and their websites to look for criminal records. Local police may also provide some criminal records upon request. The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection also provides criminal background check reports upon request.

Connecticut Court Records

Different Types of Public Records in Connecticut

Court records in Connecticut, are maintained by the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch. They allow case lookups on their website, but not all cases and information will be available. Court records may be requested via email or phone and should be available within one to two days.

Some types of court records in Connecticut are:

  • Civil Court Records - domestic relations cases such as divorces, marriages, paternity lawsuits, custody and child support cases, estates, conservatorships, wills, civil lawsuits, 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 evidence related to the court case.
  • Financial Court Records - bankruptcies, liens, tax issues, company stock filings, and corporate financial reports.
  • Other Court Records - such as bench warrants, arrest warrants, judgments, traffic tickets and other traffic violations, and name changes.

Courts in Connecticut are organized in four levels, the Supreme Court, the Appellate Court, Superior Court, and then Probate Court.

If you cannot find the records you need, you may also visit the courthouse in person.

Connecticut Arrest Records

Connecticut arrest records are also available through the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch website. They have a search portal, where you can look up active and past arrest warrants. The local police also maintain arrest records, and you could visit them to get paper copies and documents not available through the courts. They have a special form to fill out to request incident reports, but each request costs $16.

Some different types of arrests records in Connecticut are:

  • Drug charges.
  • Murder.
  • Prostitution.
  • Aggravated assault.
  • Criminal driving violations like DUIs/DWIs.
  • Theft.
  • Arson.
  • Booking details like 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.
  • Sex charges.
  • Vehicle records if one was used during the crime.

Connecticut Vital Records

The Connecticut State Department of Health is the agency in charge of vital records for "births, deaths, marriages and fetal deaths for all vital events occurring in Connecticut from July 1, 1897, to present." You can also contact them regarding adoptions and correcting vital records that contain errors. They even have a process for changing your gender. They suggest that you visit your local town office to obtain copies of vital records. They also use the VitalChek system so that users can obtain copies online.


Other Public Records in Connecticut

Other Public Records in Connecticut

Along with criminal, court, arrest, and vital records, property records in Connecticut are also public. Here are the others:

  • Government contract with vendors.
  • Driving records (without personally identifiable information).
  • Home addresses.
  • Government budgets and annual reports.
  • Home phone numbers.
  • Police and accident reports.
  • Liens & tax issues.
  • Company incorporation records.
  • Personnel records for state agencies.
  • Permits, licenses, and certifications.
  • Salaries.

What Information is Not Public Record in Connecticut?

Although you can find a lot of Connecticut public records through various website portals and in person, some information is not available to the public. Things like sealed records, juvenile files, domestic abuse victim's information, sexual assault victim's details, marital therapy records, and medical records are not available. In the case where records include psychologist and psychiatric records or personally identifiable information like driver's license numbers, social security numbers, or other IDs, that information will be redacted or removed from the files before they are provided to the public.