Indiana Public Records

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The following is for informational purposes only

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

Indiana Public Records

Indiana's Access to Public Records Act (APRA), Indiana Code 5-14-3 is the state's public records law governing access to public records. It is the responsibility of government agencies to provide these records to the public without delay.

Indiana APRA states that public records are created, stored, maintained, and must be provided to the public from public agencies. They define "public agency" as: "Any board, commission, department, division, bureau, committee, agency, office, instrumentality, or authority, by whatever name designated, exercising any part of the executive, administrative, judicial, or legislative power of the state. Any: (A) county, township, school corporation, city, or town, or any board, commission, department, division, bureau, committee, office, instrumentality, or authority of any county, township, school corporation, city, or town; (B) political subdivision (as defined by IC 36-1-2-13); or (C) other entity, or any office thereof, by whatever name designated, exercising in a limited geographical area the executive, administrative, judicial, or legislative power of the state or a delegated local governmental power."

Per Indiana's APRA, "Public record means any writing, paper, report, study, map, photograph, book, card, tape recording, or other material that is created, received, retained, maintained, or filed by or with a public agency and which is generated on paper, paper substitutes, photographic media, chemically based media, magnetic or machine readable media, electronically stored data, or any other material, regardless of form or characteristics."

Indy.gov is the official government website that informs the public of the law and handles public records requests. They have a few laws cited on their website with instructions on how to request further information.

Indiana's Archives and Records Administration office is the government agency in charge of storing and managing all historical public records for the state. Along with vital records, they have naturalization records, military documents, African American history papers, court records, land deeds, department of correction records, government history documents, photographs, and historical medical information, along with civil war records. Their site is well organized and makes it easy to find things.

 

How to Access Indiana Public Records?

How to Access Indiana Public Records

The Indy.gov website handles public records requests, but they also warn that you may have to contact each city/county government agency in person, by mail or online to request records depending on their process. The general steps to take are:

  • Visit the Indy.gov website.
  • Use the green Get Started button at the top and fill out the form; or
  • Visit the website for the agency you need records from and follow their precise instructions. They recommend that you include the following when requesting records:
  • The date.
  • Your name, address, and telephone number.
  • The name and address of the agency or agencies that you are contacting.
  • A description of the record(s) you would like to view or copy. Include as much detail as possible.
  • Whether you'd like to be contacted before copies are made.
 

Different Types of Public Records in Indiana

Indiana Criminal Records

The Indiana State Police is the law enforcement agency in charge or criminal records requests. Using a name search, they can supply you with a "Limited Criminal History Report." Using fingerprints, they can supply a "National Full Criminal History." The report will include the subject's name, date of birth, race, and gender, and if needed, social security number and place of birth. It will only show crimes committed and processed in Indiana, not other states. You can request records through their online portal or through the mail using the request form. You must pay a fee for criminal histories.

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

  • Felony and Misdemeanor Records - common misdemeanors in Indiana are theft, battery with bodily injury, resisting law enforcement, carrying a handgun without a permit, and criminal conversion. Felonies in Indiana are things like aggravated rape, voluntary manslaughter, and aggravated battery.
  • Jail and Inmate Records - both jails and prisons keep inmate records, and those too are public records. The Indiana Department of Correction has an offender search tool on their website to locate criminals and their records.
  • Police Records - local police can provide copies of incident reports, police reports, sometimes mugshots, and even crime scene photos upon request.

Indiana Court Records

Different Types of Public Records in Indiana

Court records in Indiana are managed by the Indiana Judicial Branch, the government agency in charge of all justice-related activities in the state. They offer a ton of services on their website, including e-filing, an attorney court portal, an easy way for you to pay a traffic ticket online, and check lawyer licenses. You can also search court cases, search the child abuse registry, watch oral arguments, and review court decisions. You can also visit each courthouse's website for online search portals or always visit them in person to request paper records.

Some types of court records in Indiana 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 Indiana are organized in four levels with multiple court types on each level. It starts with the highest level, the Supreme Court, then the Court of Appeals and Tax Court, next is Superior Court, Circuit Court, and Probate Court, and finally, City Court, Town Court, and Small Claims Court of Marion County.

Indiana Arrest Records

Indiana arrest records may be included in criminal histories that the Indiana State Police supply to the general public. You can also search Indiana's court records to find arrest records for individuals who have already been sentenced or convicted of the crime. You can also search the state's department of corrections for offender records to find arrest information. Sometimes, the local police can supply you with records as well.

Some different types of arrests records in Indiana are:

  • Drug charges.
  • Murder.
  • Burglary.
  • Child molestation.
  • Battery.
  • Aggravated assault.
  • DUIs/DWIs.
  • Sexual assault.
  • 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.
  • Vehicle records if one was used during the crime.

Indiana Vital Records

The Indiana State Department of Health is the agency in charge of all vital records for the state. They issue certificates to the public upon request, but you do have to pay a fee for each one. They only offer birth and death certificates, but you can order them in one of two ways: VitalCheck or In.Govvital records website. You may also order them through the mail, by phone, or in person at the local health office. They require proper documentation of parentage and identity before releasing any records. This agency is also in charge of or all vital statistics for the state. All the services they provide are:

  • "Certified copies of birth and death certificates.
  • Process record corrections and amendments.
  • Process Adoption Decrees.
  • Certified copies of marriage records.
  • Process Acknowledgement of Paternity requests.
  • Process Disinter/Reinter requests."
 

Other Public Records in Indiana

Other Public Records in Indiana

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

  • Government budgets and annual reports.
  • Driving records (without personally identifiable information).
  • Home addresses.
  • Maps, books, and tapes.
  • State health and wellness statistics.
  • Air and water quality (pollution reports).
  • Property records, real estate deals, and land deeds.
  • Home phone numbers.
  • Police and accident reports.
  • Liens & tax issues.
  • Company incorporation records.
  • Demographics.
  • Library Research.
  • Personnel records for state agencies.
  • Permits, licenses, and certifications.
  • Government employee salaries.
 

What Information is Not Public Record in Indiana?

Indiana divides records into two categories "disclosable" or "non-disclosable." They define non-disclosable records as:

  • "Records protected by federal or state law, such as adoption or patient medical records.
  • Trade secrets.
  • Confidential financial information about a person or company.
  • Investigatory records of a law enforcement agency.
  • Materials expressing opinions and used for decision-making.
  • Certain employee personnel file information.

If a record contains both disclosable and non-disclosable information, the city or county agency must separate the disclosable material and make it available to you. This may be done by redacting, or blocking out, the non-disclosable information."