Public Records Policy

Last updated on July 16, 2020

UniCourt Believes in Open Access to Public Records

UniCourt believes in open access to public records and publicly available information (“public record(s)” or “record(s)”). We organize and publish public records and make them universally accessible and useful to the public. Public records are records that are created and maintained by the government and are open to public inspection. Examples of public records include court records, county records, marriage records, and death records. Publicly available information is information from non-governmental sources that is available to the public. Examples of publicly available information include the internet, newspapers, telephone directories, classified ads, and other publications.

We follow the well articulated federal and state public policies that promote open access to public records. Public records by law are open to inspection, examination, and copying by the public. There are no “private facts” in public records unless they have been sealed by a court order. We do not knowingly post sealed public records.

UniCourt also strives to respect the privacy of people who wish not to have a public record published by us. Therefore, on each record we publish, we provide a clear process for people to follow if they would like to request the removal of a record by submitting a Public Records Removal Request.

Access to Public Records Serves Vital Public Interests

Access to public records is a necessary element of any democratic system. In particular, there is a well-established judicial principle that has recognized the positive role played by allowing public access to court records. Public access to court records permits the public to monitor and participate in such proceedings. Public access can assist the general public in fact finding on certain subject matters. It can also provide an effective restraint on individuals, corporations, and the judicial system itself to curtail potential abuses in judicial proceedings. The Supreme Court of the United States, federal courts, and state courts have all endorsed the concept of open access to court proceedings and court records. It has been found that such access promotes public confidence in governmental proceedings by providing a means by which citizens can scrutinize judicial power and enhance the truth findings function of the court.

What Public Records Does UniCourt Collect, Use, and Publish?

UniCourt collects, uses, and publishes public records and publicly available information from governmental and non-governmental sources. We do not distribute nonpublic information to the public. Examples of public records from governmental sources include the following:

Examples of publicly available information from non-governmental sources include the following:

Are the Public Records Provided by UniCourt Accurate?

UniCourt takes reasonable steps to accurately reproduce the public records and publicly available information we collect. However, sometimes these records may contain errors or be incomplete, inaccurate, or may not be the most currently available information. These records are provided “AS IS” and are provided subject to our General Disclaimer and Terms of Service.

Public Records Should Be Used in a Responsible Manner

UniCourt uses all public records and publicly available information in a responsible manner. We also strive to respect privacy. All records in our public records databases are either obtained from the government or reputable private suppliers. We do not distribute nonpublic information to the public.

All public records and publicly available information provided by UniCourt should be used in a responsible manner and in accordance with this Public Records Policy and our Terms of Service.

Are Public Records Covered by Privacy Laws?

Public records are typically exempt from state and federal privacy laws such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”). The CCPA clearly states that “personal information” does not include publicly available information, and that “publicly available” means information that is "lawfully made available from federal, state, or local government records."

Please note that public records such as court records published by state or federal courts, and any information contained in them, like the names of parties, attorneys, and judges, and any other information like addresses and telephone numbers published by state and federal courts are not personal information for the purposes of privacy laws. To learn more about our Privacy Policy click here.

What Factors Are Considered by UniCourt for Removing a Public Record?

While open access to public records and publicly available information serves vital public interests, UniCourt also strives to respect the privacy of people who wish not to have a record published by us. Factors we typically consider when evaluating a Public Records Removal Request include, but are not limited to, the following:

Since the above factors are not exclusive, please feel free to submit a request for review even if it does not fall within one of the above factors. In order to help us evaluate the merits of your request, we may require you to provide supporting documentation, such as court orders and police reports.

How Do I Submit a Public Records Removal Request?

To submit a Public Records Removal Request click here. A Public Records Removal Request, if approved, will remove (de-index) a public record published by UniCourt from the internet search engines (Google, Bing, etc.). To request the removal of multiple records, you need to submit a separate Public Records Removal Request for each record.

UniCourt only considers a Public Records Removal Request that provides all required information, including identity verification, applicable supporting documentation, and email verification. Further, we only consider requests submitted by a party to the public record, a legal guardian or fiduciary of a party to the record, or an attorney representing a party to the record.

UniCourt does not charge for submitting or processing a Public Records Removal Request. If someone is charging you for removing a record we have published, you can submit a removal request for free directly through us.

Please note that even if UniCourt removes a public record, it still may be publicly and privately available in other repositories and can only be sealed by a court order. We are only able to remove records published by UniCourt (UniCourt.com) and do not control what is published on other sites. If you believe a record should be sealed, then we strongly encourage you to obtain a court order to have the record sealed.

How Long Does It Take to Process a Public Records Removal Request?

Once UniCourt receives a Public Records Removal Request, we will initiate our internal review process. We typically decide on a request within 30 days, and will communicate our decision to you in writing.

If your request is approved, the exact timing of the removal of a public record from the internet search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) is unknown. We do not control the internet search engines, their practices, or the timing of web page (URL) de-indexing. Based on past experience, URLs are generally de-indexed by the internet search engines within about 30 days.

What If a Public Records Removal Request Is Not Approved?

If UniCourt has not approved your Public Records Removal Request, and you have additional supporting information or documentation regarding this request that you would like us to consider, you may appeal our decision by submitting a new request within 30 days of notice of UniCourt’s decision. All appeals are final.

UniCourt does not grant all Public Records Removal Requests. The casual removal of public records limits public access and disclosure, and it diminishes the integrity of our products and services. This is particularly true of records that have a strong public interest or where corporations or other organizations are involved. Ultimately, the records we publish are public records and are therefore open to inspection by the public. There are no “private facts” in public records unless they have been sealed by a court order. Accordingly, UniCourt reserves the right to deny a request, not make a decision on a request, or republish a removed record in our sole discretion.

BY SUBMITTING A PUBLIC RECORDS REMOVAL REQUEST, YOU AGREE NOT TO BRING A LEGAL ACTION AGAINST UNICOURT REGARDING YOUR REQUEST BEFORE YOU (I) HAVE SUBMITTED A REQUEST IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS PUBLIC RECORDS POLICY, (II) HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED BY UNICOURT THAT YOUR REQUEST WAS NOT APPROVED, (III) HAVE SUBMITTED AN APPEAL OF THE DECISION REGARDING YOUR REQUEST, AND (IV) HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED THAT YOUR APPEAL WAS NOT APPROVED.

WAIVER OF JURY TRIAL: BY SUBMITTING A PUBLIC RECORDS REMOVAL REQUEST, YOU AGREE THAT IF YOUR REQUEST IS APPROVED, YOU SHALL NOT BRING A LEGAL ACTION AGAINST UNICOURT REGARDING YOUR REQUEST AND YOU HEREBY IRREVOCABLY WAIVE, TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, ANY AND ALL RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY AND ANY ACTION, PROCEEDING OR COUNTERCLAIM (WHETHER BASED ON CONTRACT, TORT, OR OTHERWISE) ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO YOUR PUBLIC RECORDS REMOVAL REQUEST AND/OR UNICOURT’S PUBLIC RECORDS POLICY.

YOU FURTHER AGREE THAT ANY LITIGATION REGARDING UNICOURT’S PUBLIC RECORDS POLICY AND/OR A PUBLIC RECORDS REMOVAL REQUEST SHALL BE GOVERNED BY AND CONSTRUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA REGARDLESS OF THE LAW THAT MIGHT OTHERWISE APPLY UNDER APPLICABLE PRINCIPLES OF CONFLICTS OF LAW, AND YOU CONSENT TO THE STATE AND FEDERAL COURTS OF CALIFORNIA, LOCATED IN ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA AS THE APPROPRIATE JURISDICTION AND VENUE FOR ANY ACTION ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO THE INTERPRETATION AND/OR ENFORCEMENT OF UNICOURT’S PUBLIC RECORDS POLICY AND/OR A PUBLIC RECORDS REMOVAL REQUEST.

How Do I Contact UniCourt?

To submit a Public Records Removal Request click here. Additional questions regarding UniCourt’s Public Records Policy and/or a Public Records Removal Request may be directed to UniCourt at:

UniCourt Inc. 2522 Chambers Road Suite 184 Tustin, CA 92780

What if UniCourt Changes Its Public Record Policy?

UniCourt may change its Public Records Policy and/or Public Records Removal Request from time to time with or without notice.

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