Exhibits

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Exhibits in California

Exhibits in the County of Marin

Exhibits for small claims, civil, family law, juvenile, probate, and criminal cases may be claimed by the party to whom the exhibits belong or the party’s attorney. Exhibits may be picked up from the Records Management Unit.

To pick up exhibits, the underlying case must be concluded and the appeal period must have expired. The Court requires individuals claiming exhibits to present photo identification (driver’s license, California identification card, or other valid photo identification.) Requests to pick up exhibits must be made at least 24 hours in advance of the pick up date.

Exhibits may be released to an individual other than the party to whom the exhibits belong or the party’s attorney if that person presents the Court with photo identification (driver’s license, California identification card, or other valid photo identification) and a signed and dated letter from the owner of the exhibit authorizing third party pickup and including that person’s name, address and telephone number.

California Code of Civil Procedures section 1952 states that exhibits submitted to the Court in civil actions shall be destroyed sixty days after the final determination of the case. Final determination includes expiration of the appeal period. Written notice of the planned destruction of exhibits, except small claims exhibits, shall be mailed to parties by the Court. Following proper notice, the Court shall destroy the exhibits. The California Penal Code, starting at section 1417, states that criminal case exhibits may generally be destroyed thirty days after the final determination of the case.

Pursuant to Standing Order 04-02, the Court does not store dangerous, toxic or bio-hazardous materials exhibits in any cases. These exhibits are returned to the charging agency at the conclusion of the court case.

Records Management and Exhibits in the County of Marin

Overview

The Court has created a centralized office for the viewing and copying of all public court records and to pick up exhibits after the conclusion of a court case. Active and disposed court records for all public case types (criminal, civil, family law, probate, small claims, etc.) may be requested for public inspection by contacting the Records Management Office in person or by phone, mail or email.

Case Records Include all filed documents such as:

  • Dockets (also referred to as the Register of Actions): A record of the complete history of the case with brief chronological summaries of the court proceedings.
  • Motions: Written request made by a party to an action before, during, or after a trial asking the judge to issue a ruling or order in that party’s favor.
  • Pleadings: Written statements filed with the court that describes a party’s legal or factual claims about the case and what the party wants from the court. Copies of court records can be requested.
  • Court Transcripts: A court transcript is a verbatim accounting of everything said in the courtroom on the record during a proceeding. Transcripts are the property of the Court Reporter.

Viewing Court Records

Register of Actions information for non-confidential civil, probate and small claims cases is available on-line. Information for all other cases must be accessed at the courthouse only. Please note that current day entries do not appear in the online Register of Actions until the next business day.

The Court’s Public Index provides the case name, case number, names of parties, case type, filing date, disposition date (if no longer active) and other information helpful in locating and identifying the correct case from among the thousands of cases in the Public Index. Individuals may access the Public Index on-line by clicking here.

Members of the public may view and request copies of records in person at the Records Management Office. Public computers are available in this office so that individuals can search the public index and court case database for imaged records. Court case files located in the Clerk’s office are made available to the public the next business day after the date they are requested if ordered by 12:30 p.m. Please refer to the public viewing schedule below for these times and to find out how to request that a court file be made available for viewing.

To request a file, call or email the Records Management Office. You must provide the case number. Case name and/or names of involved parties can be used to look up case numbers by clicking here.

Individuals who need assistance in finding the case they are seeking may request help in person or by sending in a written research request by mail.

The Records Management Office does not provide case information or conduct research over the telephone or through email.

Files that are in use by the Court will not be available for public viewing when requested. Requestors may check back with Records staff periodically to see whether files are available for viewing.

Requesting Copies of Court Records

Copies of documents in court files may be purchased. There is also a retrieval charge for files that are stored outside of the Civic Center.

Case Exhibits

The Records Management Office also handles the return and destruction of case exhibits, following the disposition of court cases.

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