The National Archives at New York City

Recent Court Records (1970s-Present)

  • More recent court cases (mid-1970s to the present) might not be in the custody of the National Archives at New York City. To find out about these cases, contact the appropriate court directly.
    Additional information on Recent Court Records

Location of our Court Records

  • All of the U.S. District Court records and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit records in the custody of National Archives at New York City, with the exception of those filed at the U.S. District Court in New Jersey, are preserved in off-site storage.

    We can have files sent to our office at no charge to the researcher. It usually takes 3-5 business days for a case to arrive.

Federal Court Records of the National Archives at New York City

Federal Court Records of the National Archives at New York City (1685-1970s)

The National Archives at New York City has legal custody of records filed in the Federal Courts located in New York, New Jersey, and Puerto Rico. We also have a selection of pre-Federal court records.

Please see our Federal Court Records of the National Archives at New York City Finding Aid for detailed information about these records and how you can research them. The finding aid provides a description of the records including a Brief Administrative History of the Courts, a list of our holdings (with date ranges), and includes Pre-Federal Court Records, U.S. Circuit and District Court Records, and Records of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

The finding aid also lists some notable cases in our records including the Alger Hiss and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg espionage cases, the prosecution of Susan B. Anthony for illegal voting, the trial of Marcus Garvey for mail fraud, and copyright cases involving Charlie Chaplin, Cole Porter, and Oscar Hammerstein, and the song "Happy Birthday."


Pre-Federal Court Records

The earliest court records of the National Archives at New York City are those of the Vice Admiralty Court for the Province of New York (1685-1775) and the Court of Admiralty of the State of New York (1784-1788).


Records of the U.S. District Courts

Researcher note: The Federal District Courts are organized according to the United States Code, the codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States:

United States Code
TITLE 28--JUDICIARY AND JUDICIAL PROCEDURE
PART I--ORGANIZATION OF COURTS
CHAPTER 5--DISTRICT COURTS
Sec. 110. New Jersey
Sec. 112. New York
Sec. 119. Puerto Rico

Please see our page listing the Federal courts in New York, New Jersey, and Puerto Rico and the areas they cover.

Common types of District court records of the National Archives at New York City include Admiralty, Bankruptcy, Law, Equity, Civil, Criminal, and Habeas Corpus cases.


Records of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Researcher note: The Federal Courts of Appeal are organized according to the United States Code, the codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States:

United States Code
TITLE 28--JUDICIARY AND JUDICIAL PROCEDURE
PART I--ORGANIZATION OF COURTS
CHAPTER 3--COURTS OF APPEALS
Sec. 41. Number and composition of circuits

The records of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, New York City document appeals of lower Federal court decisions in Connecticut, New York, and Vermont.


Finding Aids of the National Archives at New York City

There are docket books available for most of the court records described in our
Federal Court Records of the National Archives at New York City Finding Aid. Many docket books are indexed by the names of the parties in the case and provide the docket or case number.


Requesting Court Records

Mail, Fax, or E-mail

The staff of the National Archives at New York City will do a search for a case file and related court records in response to written, facsimile, or e-mail requests. To facilitate a search, please provide the following information when you submit your request:

  • The names of the parties involved (individual, company, organization, etc.)
  • The nature of the litigation (civil, criminal, bankruptcy, admiralty, etc.)
  • Approximate time period when the case was heard

You can send your request to:

National Archives at New York City
1 Bowling Green, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10004

You can also send a fax to 212-401-1638 or e-mail us at newyork.archives@nara.gov.

Please provide your mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address (optional) in your request. If records are found you will be notified of the size of the file and the cost for photocopies. However, if the file is voluminous, you might be required to hire a document service to photocopy the file, or visit our research room and copy the file yourself.

Request and Order Online

You can also submit a research request online. The search is free, and you will be given a price quote for any charges for copies should we find a record you want. If the file is voluminous, you might be required to hire a document service to photocopy the file, or visit our research room and copy the file yourself.

To place an order, you can go directly to the U.S. Courts page.

Or follow these steps:

Registration
At some point in the process, you will be asked to either register as a new user or log in, if you already registered to use the system at some point.

Naturalization Records
Naturalization records up to 1991 are court records, and you can use this system to request a search for naturalization records. Please see our researcher pages on Naturalization Records for more information on our holdings and procedures.

Self-service Copies

Self-service copies, made by researchers at our facility, are $.20 per page.

Copies by Mail

For mail order service, copies are $.75 per page with a $15 minimum charge. If you require certified copies, there is an additional charge of $15 per certification. When you make your initial research request, please be sure to specify if you need certified copies.

Certified Copies

Certified copies of records are $.75 per page with an additional charge of $15 per certification. National Archives staff must make the copies. We can provide certified copies through the mail; however, you may still be required to come to our facility if the research involved is time-consuming or the files are voluminous. When you make your initial research request, please be sure to specify if you need certified copies.

Further Information on Court Records in the National Archives

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