Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 7 years ago

Looking for CT court records?

Hi. I'm trying to find court records on a 1940 civil case in Fairfield Superior Court. The docket is 60024 and the Bin # is 8-2A. I call the records department and they don't know how to look for trial records. They tell me that I need another 4 to 5 digit number to search for the correct box and to call the Clerk's Office to get it. I call the Clerk's Office to inquire about this number and they have no idea what I'm talking about. I'm also 100% positive that the State Library doesn't have the trial records as their docket numbers end at 60002 (Just 22 short!).

2 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You need to go down to the actual county courthouse in the district in which the case was tried. All lawsuits are public record, and those records are not destroyed, though they may be moved offsite for storage purposes.

    Most county courthouse clerks offices have microfishe machines, or computers, what have you, that will enable you to look up a case file, etc., even from 60, 80 years ago. In order to do this efficiently, it would really help to have the names of the parties, litigants, who is suing whom. This is called the caption.

    If you have the caption of the case, mores the better: Joe Blokes versus Evil Empire, Case No. CV12-1938-123456789. The caption will help you more than anything else.

    This is what a case number looks like -- though the numbers have been changed for privacy: No. CV18-2012-12345678. The CV stands for civil. The 2012 in there is the year in which the case was FILED, not the year the case was tried. That means your 1940 case was most likely filed in '39 or '38, or even before that. (Some captions don't have CV or CR, sometimes it's something else, somtimes it's not there at all.)

    The clerk's office does not have the wherewithall to look up a case from 70+ years ago. If you have the case number, they can pull the files for you, or order them up from storage, but they do not have the wherewithall -- manpower, hours, time, etc. to do that kind of research. Clerks of the Court are busy all day long filing lawsuits, receiving transcripts, sending transcripts and appeals to Court of Appeals, and pulling files for attorneys, court reporters, judges, law clerks, and the citizenry.

    In the meantime, take heart. If you know any details of the case, you can do some online research, like if you know the story of the case you can look that up and read about it, you can go the the Hall of Records and read about it, find old newspaper clippings, etc., etc., if you have a grandparent who remembers it -- all of these are resources to help you find the caption of the case, Joe Blokes versus Evil Empire. The caption of the case will help you track down the case number more than anything else.

    Good luck.

  • 7 years ago

    this really is more of a genealogical/ historical question.

    The easy answer is that you often will get conflicting information if trying to get records by phone. Some clerks are totally lost when it comes to historical information (and have never tried to find ANYTHING unless it is computerized).

    You may have to show up in person, and keep asking. All genealogists worth their salt have had times when "the record does not exist" but in person, they find same "non existent" record.

    You might repost this also over in genealogy. We have a number of excellent researchers there.

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