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.
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:
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):
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:
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 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:
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:
Along with criminal, court, arrest, and vital records, property records in Indiana are also public. Here are the others:
Indiana divides records into two categories "disclosable" or "non-disclosable." They define non-disclosable records as:
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."