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What are Nevada Family Court Records?
Nevada family court records are official documents providing details of family law cases heard in family courts in the state. These case files are legal documents prepared, served, and filed during hearings and trials. They include summons, motions, sworn affidavits, orders, notices, citations, waivers, dockets, and final judgements. Pursuant to the provisions of the Nevada Public Records Act, family court records are available to the public unless otherwise sealed by statute or court rule.
Nature and Jurisdiction of Nevada Family Courts
The family divisions of the district courts, otherwise known as family courts, hear a wide variety of cases related to domestic matters including annulments, divorces, paternity issues, adoption, and domestic abuse. They also approve restraining orders, custody and visitation rights as well as property divisions and name changes. The Nevada Supreme Court and Court of Appeals have discretionary jurisdiction over family cases appealed from the family courts as well as other divisions of the district court.
All records and proceedings from these cases are filed and managed by the record custodian of each court. Records of cases appealed to the Supreme Court but were originally heard by the family courts are kept by the clerks of the District Courts.
Are Family Court Records Public in Nevada?
Most of Nevada’s family court records are available to the public upon request. However, certain family law cases are deemed confidential and access to their records restricted. These include those pertaining to juvenile and parental adjudication. Only authorized individuals are allowed access to these records. These are usually the parties involved, their legal representatives, and court/state agencies tasked with reviewing family law cases. Third parties requesting access need to petition the court to unseal confidential records. Only those with relevant court orders can view and/or copy sealed family law records in Nevada.
How Do I Get Family Court Records in Nevada?
Members of the public can access Nevada family court records:
- In person
- By mail
How To Obtain Nevada Family Court Records In Person
First, locate the courthouse where the family law case was filed. This is usually the district court. Find the address and contact information of the Nevada district court of interest using the Nevada Judiciary directory. Call the clerk’s office in the courthouse to enquire about the availability of the family court record of interest. Court officials can also provide information about the request process including the information needed to find and retrieve records, search and copy fees, and when to visit the courthouse to obtain these records.
Some courthouses have public access terminals available to members of the public to view court records. To obtain copies of court records, the requester usually needs to complete a request form, attach a government-issued photo ID, and pay the required search/copy fees.
Requesting Nevada Family Court Records by Mail
Not all Nevada district courts accept mail requests for court records. Some of them accept both regular mail and email requests. When unsure about the options available, contact the clerk of court where the family law case was filed and ask for the mailing and/or email addresses of the office of the clerk as well as the steps required to submit a request. Usually, Nevada family courts require those requesting records by mail to submit written requests providing details like names of the individuals involved in the cases, case numbers, and specific documents needed. Each mail request should also include a copy of the requester’s government-issued photo ID, a self-addressed stamped envelope, and copy/search fees applicable. Some Nevada courts provide downloadable forms including all the details required for requesting court records. For such courts, completed forms replace written requests.
How to Obtain Nevada Family Court Records Online
With the exception of the 8th judicial district court, Nevada district courts do not have online case management portals. For such districts, access to family records is limited to in-person and mail-in/email requests. Search for family court records for the 8th judicial district court by visiting its Case Records inquiry page. Court records are uploaded to this portal within 3 - 4 weeks of hearing dates.
The state’s appellate courts also make their records accessible online. Use the Appellate Court Case Lookup search tool provided on the Nevada Judiciary website to find the records of appealed family law cases.
Nevada public records are also accessible from some third-party websites. These websites offer the benefit of not being limited by geographical record availability and can often serve as a starting point when researching a specific or multiple records. To find a record using the search engines on these sites, interested parties must provide:
- The name of someone involved providing it is a not a juvenile
- The assumed location of the record in question such as a city, county, or state name
Third-party sites are not government-sponsored websites, and record availability may differ from official channels.
Family Court Records can include marriage records and divorce records. These records contain personal information of those involved and their maintenance is critical should anyone involved wish to make changes. Because of this both marriage and Nevada divorce records can be considered more difficult to locate and obtain than other public records, and may not be available through government sources or third party public record websites.
How Do I Access Divorce Records in Nevada?
Like most court records, Nevada makes divorce records prepared by state courts available to the public. These records are also maintained by the offices of the clerks of district courts. These records are different from divorce vital records. Vital records for Nevada are available from the Office of Vital Records of the Department of Health and Human Services of the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health. This agency maintains divorce records at the county level. Those looking for divorce records must contact the offices of county clerks in the jurisdiction where the divorces were finalized.
Both government websites and organizations may offer divorce and marriage records. Similarly, third party public record websites can also provide these types of records. But because third party organizations are not operated or sponsored by the government, record availability may vary. Further, marriage and divorce records are considered highly private and are often sealed, meaning availability of these types of records cannot be guaranteed.