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.
The place to start when searching for Connecticut public records is the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Library Services agency.
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.
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):
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.
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:
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 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:
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.
Along with criminal, court, arrest, and vital records, other types of public records you can find in the state of Connecticut include, but are not limited to:
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.