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New York StateUnified Court System

Credit Reports and Obtaining Court Records


In General
Credit Reports
Obtaining Court Records


In General

The Civil Court of the City of New York is a court of record. This means that it maintains records of civil actions and proceedings. Any member of the public, whether he or she is involved in an action or not, has the right to examine or copy a record, if it has not been sealed.
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Credit Reports

Credit Reporting Firms (such as TRW; Equifax and TransUnion) have a staff which visits the court to review the records of the court and to record Judgments, Satisfactions of Judgments, Orders Vacating Judgments, Stipulations of Settlement, Discontinuances and Dismissals of cases. This is information that they deem useful to their clients and is used for the maintenance of a data bank which exchanges information across the country.

In order to dispute any credit report an individual must write to the credit reporting firm and provide copies of documents which are believed to support the complaint. It is not the duty or responsibility of court personnel to report to or to explain any discrepancy to the credit reporting firm. The credit reporting firm has a responsibility to remove from its file any information that is incorrect or which can not be verified, but will not remove any information which is accurate and verifiable, and is less than seven years old (10 years for bankruptcies). You can send a statement explaining your version of the disputed information to be filed with it, and the service must send that statement to any inquirer when making their report.
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Obtaining Court Records

Records are retained by Civil Court for 25 years; three years in the courthouse and an additional 22 years off-site in an archives storage location. Records which are in the courthouse are available by completing a requisition form and filing the form with the Clerk. This can generally be accomplished while you wait. For records which have been sent to the archives, two to three weeks time may be necessary for the staff to retrieve the file and make it available for your use. To find out where to go in your county to requisition a recent or archived file, click on Locations.

In order to requisition a case record an individual must provide the Index Number of the case. For recent cases the Index Number can be found by use of the public access computer. To find out where the public access computer is located in your county, click on Locations. If the case is an older one which has not been entered into the computer system, in order to determine the Index Number of the case, the manually maintained Index Books, filed by Year and the name of the Plaintiff (the person who started the lawsuit), must be reviewed. It is suggested that you come to the court with as much information as possible concerning a case to avoid wasting time in locating the Index Number. For purposes of security of Court records, you may also be required to present personal identification to the Clerk before you can be permitted access to a file.

Court personnel may provide access for examining a file, and may provide forms to correct some information. However, at times, you may have to obtain the proper form elsewhere. For example, although the law mandates that a Satisfaction of Judgment be filed by the Judgment Creditor, in practice, any party may file a Satisfaction of Judgment. Similarly, any party may file a Stipulation of Discontinuance, a General Release or any document relating to a case. As proof of filing which can be sent to the Credit Reporting firm(s), court personnel can stamp an accompanying copy of a document which you are filing with the Court. In most instances a private photocopying machine is available for the use of the public for a fee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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