Civil Records

Last updated: May 29, 2020

What Does Civil Records Mean?

Civil records are documents, and other information related to a civil case, that are maintained by the federal or state court of jurisdiction. In most instances, this information can be accessed by any member of the public. Civil cases involve matters such as liens, divorces, bankruptcies, and other non-criminal court filings. Trial transcripts, exhibits, motions, and pleadings all form a part of the civil record.


WorkplaceTesting Explains Civil Records

When an organization performs a background check, a review is usually made of both civil and criminal records. Each governmental unit determines which civil records to maintain and in what form those records will be made available to the public. In some instances, civil records such as lawsuits and debt recordings or liens may be found online. In other instances, civil records may be obtained by filing a request for information with the appropriate country or federal office. Civil records can provide additional background information about a prospective employee's past behavior that may not appear when a search of his or her criminal records is conducted. However, there may be legal restrictions to using this information in hiring decisions.


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