Search West Virginia Court Records
Searching for court records in county Clay in the state of West Virginia
Court records cover a whole range of public documents that you can search on in Clay County, in the state of West Virginia. Any time there is a hearing in the national federal court, state court or the district court in Clay County, there will be records made, kept and maintained regarding the case. The entire US courts system is based upon county lines, so if you know which county a case is being heard in, then you know which county's court records you need to search. District courts, which may sound like they only deal with local matters, are actually the first port of call for the more serious federal offences. It is state courts, again based on county lines that hear local criminal and civil cases and which will often deal with family matters, such as divorce and custody hearings.
As you can imagine, there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of past and current court records in the US, so if you only want to search in Clay County in the state of West Virginia then this will make your job much easier. Of course, this all depends on you knowing that this is where the incident or trial is taking or took place – or perhaps you know that the person you are interested in searching for has only ever lived in Clay County. It would be a safe assumption then that any court case they were involved in would also have taken place in Clay County.
There are many reasons why someone would want to search on court records in Clay County in the state of West Virginia. If you are looking into your family history, the extensive records kept by local and national courts can help you find the full names, dates of birth and even addresses of any of your ancestors who found themselves in trouble with the law. In some cases, employers are allowed to look at the official court records of prospective employees in Clay County, especially if they are going to be working with children or handling sensitive information, or if the applicant has given them permission to look into the background. Some people want to know if someone they know has ever appeared in court for personal reasons; maybe they are checking out a new boyfriend before moving him into the family home or wondering if their babysitter has ever been in trouble with the police. It is unlikely in these cases that you would be allowed to have access to any current court records that involve these people, as these are often protected and hidden from the public view. After a set amount of time, though, these records start to become available. Perfect for genealogists, not so good for a woman who wants to know if her partner is in trouble with the police at the moment!
If you know that the person is likely to have committed the crime in Clay County in the state of West Virginia, then searching online is one possible option. Many courts have their own computer databases recording court documents, or you could use one of the commercial sites that collate information together from all the different courts that cover Clay County in the state of West Virginia. These sites often include national information too, which has the added advantage of allowing you to check if someone has never appeared in court elsewhere in the US. After all, if a new partner lied to you about being in trouble with the police, what's to stop him lying about where he has lived before? All these sites are very user-friendly and will often charge no fee for the initial search, only asking for money if you want to see the full information they have available on a certain case. If you do have to pay the fee up front and you get no “hits” back on your particular search then many of these sites will refund the money. Make sure you check the small print of these sites so you know exactly what you will be expected to pay for before you start using one to search for court records in Clay County.
Of course, the court records themselves will be kept within the archives and offices at the local county courthouse. If you are looking for older records, then this might be your only option, as historic documents might not have been transferred to computer systems yet. The staff at the courthouse will be able to give you help and advice and can, in some cases, even carry out the search for you – for example, if you live outside of Clay County you can mail or email a search request to the staff who may be able to do the work for you for a small fee. Be prepared to wait a while for these results to be returned to you, however, as the people who work in county courthouses have lots of other requests!