Historically, court records in Indiana have been presumed to be open for public access, unless those records fell into certain exceptions that were deemed confidential. The philosophy of open records is that government and the public interest are better served when records are open for public inspection.
In addition to the inherent authority of the Indiana Supreme Court to oversee the operation of trial courts throughout the state, Indiana Code §5-14-3-4(a)(8) specifically recognizes the authority of the Indiana Supreme Court to promulgate rules governing access to court records. In accordance with this authority, Administrative Rule 9 and the Access to Court Records Rules were promulgated. The Access to Court Records Rules express the general premise that records are publicly accessible unless they are explicitly excluded from access. These rules seeks to assure full public access to court records while protecting important privacy interests and while assisting court staff and clerks’ offices in providing helpful customer service.
This Handbook was developed to assist Indiana judges and other members of the justice community in better understanding Administrative Rule 9 and the Access to Court Records Rules and how to apply them in Indiana courts.
Download the entire Handbook below or read Frequently Asked Questions about Access to Court Records, both of which are available in Adobe PDF format only.