What is Court Record Search?
This is basically checking court records on any individual or company. It is a part of due diligence checks and it will also reveal cases that are still active. There are different steps that are often required when researching court records. Every province has lower and upper courts. Legal actions for small amounts of money usually takes place in the lower courts while legal proceeding for a large amount of money takes place in the upper courts.
This means that prosecution for misdemeanors takes place in the lower court and misdemeanors for felonies takes place in the upper court.
To reiterate, Court Record Search involves checking the upper and lower court records to find legal actions concerning a company or an individual.
Court Record Search Steps
There are three basic steps to take when researching court records of a subject in any city or province. They are outlined below.
- Find the case numbers of all the lawsuits involving your target
- Get the case files of the lawsuits using the case numbers (a court clerk can assist)
- Get research material on the lawsuits from the case file
How to Find a case in Ontario
To get the case number for all legal proceedings involving an individual or company. You can check the list of all upper court lawsuits in the jurisdiction. This list can be found in the court’s computer system, index cards, microfilm, or books. If the jurisdiction has its civil records online, you can search the website to find out the case number. For example, you may use the CanLii search tool to find individual involve in a criminal case.
Next, write down the name of the company or individual, the case number, case date and the charges. It is important to get the accurate case files, thus, make use of Social Insurance Numbers (SIN), addresses, date of birth, race, and any other information that can be used for identification.
Check the Case Files
Follow the instruction given to you by the court’s clerk when checking the case files; make use of the name of the individual and the case number. Ask the clerk to pull the cases for you and then go through them to get information on what the case is about. Ensure that you have photocopies.
The lower courts, federal courts and out out-of-jurisdiction courts need to be checked as well.
Need information on all closed and active cases involving an individual or company? We can conduct searches in the jurisdiction of the individual or company on your behalf.
Our team of research experts will provide real-time updates to you throughout the research process.
Have any questions?