If you're a judgment enforcer, you can visit your court and ask a court clerk; or use the court's computer(s) to view judgments and ask the court clerk to get judgment folders. The clerk will then make a copy for you for (for example fifty cents for each page), which adds up, and also you may need to wait in line . It would be more cost and time effective if you used your scanner or a camera.
This article explains the way things go in California, your experience may be different. In the majority of courts, scanners and cameras are not allowed. If a clerk see you using these, they might tell you to get out. But it doesn't need to happen. I'm a Judgment referral expert, not an attorney. This article is only my opinion, please hire an attorney if you require legal advice.
Here's the applicable sections of the California Rules of the Court, section 10.500:
e) Public access (1)The Judicial Council intends by this rule to implement Government Code section 68106.2(g), added by Senate Bill X4 13 (Stats. 2009-10, 4th Ex. Session, chapter 22), which requires adoption of rules of court that provide public access to non-deliberative and non-adjudicative court records, budget and management information.
(1)Access (A)A judicial branch entity must allow inspection and copying of judicial administrative records unless the records are exempt from disclosure under this rule or by law.
Also, California Government Code Section 70627:
The fees collected under this section shall be distributed to the court in which they were collected.
(a) The clerk of the court shall charge fifty cents ($0.50) per page to cover the cost of preparing copies of any record, proceeding, or paper on file in the clerk's office.
(b) For comparing with the original on file in the office of the clerk of any court, the copy of any paper, record, or proceeding prepared by another and presented for the clerk's certificate, the fee is one dollar ($1) per page, in addition to the fee for the certificate.
(c) The fee for a search of records or files conducted by a court employee that requires more than 10 minutes is fifteen dollars ($15) for each search.
Unless you're a licensed photocopier, access to view the records is allowed, however to copy the files (in any form) usually will require the clerk to make the copy at the fees shown above.
The majority of clerks in California rely on California Rules of Court section 1.150 to prevent the use of cameras, and the majority of court clerks also ban scanners. Besides CRC 1.150, the majority of courts have a local rule to stop the use of cameras in any part the court, not only the courtrooms.
However it's a good idea to introduce yourself to the clerks during a time when they aren't busy. In certain courts, polite enforcers have successfully gotten a clerk to agree that a portable scanner is OK, by carefully addressing the court clerk's concerns. A scanner isn't a camera, and as the court's files wouldn't be disturbed, certain courts permit scanning.
What can you do if the clerks do not allow cell phone cameras or scanners? Many enforcers bring laptops to the court and use a text editing program, a spreadsheet, or database to perform data entry at the court. If you don't own a laptop computer, these 5 steps will help:
1) Check if the register of actions (ROAs) are on the web prior to going to the court. Lots of courts are on the web these days, and you can visit their website and look up judgment info; but most often they don't let you see the judgment documents. One can look up judgments by case number or name.
2) Check out the computers are available for checking out judgments are available at your court.
3) Figure out the location where the physical judgment files are kept, and the way to get to them.
4) Figure out the court's case file numbering system. Figure out how to use their numbering system to go back 2 years or more. As an example: 14-SC45503 might be today. Try going back to 12-SC43503, etc. You can check them by looking at the register of actions, and look at records before visiting the court, determine the judgments you want to look at; and ask for the judgments by case number at the court clerk's counter.
5) To know the way the court handles things; find out when the post-judgment hearings are held for motions to vacate, motions to pay in installments, third-party claims, claims of exemption, etc.
Mark Shapiro - Judgment Broker - http://www.JudgmentReferral.com - where Judgments go and are quickly Collected!